A year after revitalizing the once-sleepy, now red-hot tablet market with the original iPad, Apple surprised absolutely no one Wednesday by taking the wrapper off a slimmer, trimmer version of the wildly popular slate, complete with a front-facing camera for video chat (finally!) and a souped-up processor.
The new iPad 2 took the spotlight during a press event at San Francisco's Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, with none other than Apple CEO Steve Jobs—who is still on medical leave, mind you ("he looks good," Engadget noted on its live blog)—taking the stage to unveil the much-anticipated follow-up to the best-selling original.
The "dramatically faster" iPad 2 boasts a dual-core A5 "system on a chip" processor under the hood, said Jobs, good for twice the CPU power and nine times the graphics performance of the original while maintaining the same 10-hour battery life.
Also new: dual cameras (at last), including a front-facing camera for VGA-quality video chat, while the rear camera will be good for 720p video capture. (Apple hasn't listed specific megapixel counts for the iPad 2's cameras yet.)
As predicted, the 9.7-inch display on the iPad 2 has the same resolution as that on the original: 1,024 by 768, to be exact, disappointing news for anyone hoping that the new iPad would boast an improved "retina"-style display.
Measuring 9.5 by 7.3 by 0.34 inches, the iPad 2 is slightly shorter and narrower than the original, with the listed weight of 1.33 pounds (or 1.35 for the 3G-enabled iPad 2) a bit lighter than the iPad 1.
As with the first iPad, the iPad 2 comes with Apple's proprietary 30-pin dock connector for syncing and charging, along with a 3.5mm headset jack. Missing in action, however, is a slot for SD (or microSD) memory cards.
A white version of the iPad will be available on "Day One," promised Jobs, with Apple probably hoping to avoid last year's debacle of the white iPhone that never quite arrived.
The iPad 2 retains the same price points as the original: $499 for the 16GB version, $599 for the 32GB model, and $699 for the 64GB model. The 3G-enabled versions will also come with the same $130 premium over the Wi-Fi-only models (think $629 for the 3G-ready 16GB iPad 2, $729 for 32GB, and $829 for the 64GB version), and they'll be available for both AT&T and Verizon Wireless.
The ship date? March 11 in the U.S., and March 25 in 26 additional countries.
The first iPad, originally unveiled last January before landing in stores the following April, was initially greeted with skepticism.
So, what do you think—is the iPad 2 a worthy successor to the iPad? Planning to get one on March 11, or will you instead go for one of the iPad's increasingly powerful, feature-packed competitors?
Resource: http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_technews/20110302/tc_yblog_technews/apple-unveils-thinner-lighter-more-powerful-ipad-2 Wroten by Ben Patterson