Apple Unveils iPad 2; Thinner, Lighter, Comes With Faster 1 GHz Dual-Core A5 Chip, Cameras; Will Be Available On March 11th
Apple unveiled the second generation iPad – iPad 2 at today’s ‘Come See What 2011 Will Be Year Of’ event.
iPad 2 is 33% thinner, 15% lighter than the original iPad, comes with the same 9.7 inch screen and features Apple’s new dual-core A5 chip for faster performance and better graphics, front facing camera for FaceTime and PhotoBooth and a rear facing camera that captures 720p HD video.
Here are some of the major new features of iPad 2:
Apple’s New A5 Chip:
iPad 2 gets Apple’s new 1GHz dual-core A5 chip, which according to Apple is two times faster than the original iPad. It’s the first time we can recollect that Apple has revealed the speed of the processor for an iOS device.
It looks like A5 chip also includes a faster GPU, which improves graphic performance by up to 9 times.
Size and Weight:
As mentioned earlier, iPad 2 is 33% thinner – 0.34 inch (8.8 mm), 15% lighter at 1.33 pounds (601 g) than the original iPad. We’ve always felt that the original iPad is on the heavier side, so hopefully the reduction in weight will make it easier to hold for long durations.
iPad 2 gets two cameras – one front facing VGA camera for FaceTime – Apple’s video calling feature and a rear camera, which can take HD video. Apple hasn’t mentioned the megapixels of the rear facing camera, which indicates that Apple has probably used the 0.7 megapixel camera from iPod Touch 4G. We doubt someone will be using an iPad to take photos but it’s good to see iPad 2 coming with a front facing camera as it has the perfect screen size for video conferencing.
iPad 2 will come in two colors: White and Black. Steve Jobs reassured the audience that White iPad 2 will start shipping from the first day unlike the white iPhone 4, which has been delayed until Spring.
The Smart cover as the name suggests is a cover for the iPad 2, which protects iPad’s screen. iPad 2 Smart Cover automatically wakes iPad 2 when itâ€™s opened and puts it to sleep when itâ€™s closed, and has a soft microfiber lining to help keep the screen clean.Â It appears to be a much better solution than an iPad case, which also adds to the weight of the device. Smart cover s available in polyurethane for $39 or leather for $69 in a range of colors.
- The resolution of the screen is the same as the original iPad – 1024-by-768-pixel resolution at 132 pixels per inch (ppi).
- Even though iPad 2 comes with a faster processor, it has the same 10 hour battery life.
- iPad 2 also get a 3-axis gyroscope, which should improve the gaming experience.
- Apple has moved the microphone to the middle of the top-edge instead of next to the microphone, that’s probably the reason the purported iPad 2 cases had a slot at the top-center, which many had speculated was for the Thunderbolt I/O port or aÂ Mini DisplayPort jack or aÂ USB port.
- iPad 2 will come pre-installed with iOS 4.3, which was also previewed today.
- Apple has unveiled a new iPad 2 dock.
- Apple has also released two new apps for iPad: iMovie for iPad and GarageBand for iPad.
iPad 2 with Wi-Fi will be available for $499 for the 16GB model, $599 for the 32GB model, $699 for the 64GB model. iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G will be available for a suggested retail price of $629 for the 16GB model, $729 for the 32GB model and $829 for the 64GB model.
iPad 2 will available in the US on March 11th and on March 25th in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK.
Checkout the video of the iPad 2 in action (courtesy folks at CNET):
It needs to be seen if the new features and improvements, some of which address the shortcomings of the original iPad, will help Apple to keep its leadership position in the tablet marketplace, which will soon see a flood of devices like Motorola Xoom, BlackBerry Playbook, HP TouchPad etc.
What do you think? Are you planning to buy or upgrade to one? Please share your views in the comments section below.
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