iPad 2 Event: More Features, Same Price

Today’s the day! Apple hosted an event to announce the iPad 2. So let’s dive right in. What’s new about the iPad 2, what’s staying the same, and what can you expect from the new model?

First things first, things that are changing!

1)   FASTER: The iPad 2 features a new chip that Apple is calling the A5 and dual core processors that allow for up to 2x faster CPU and 9x faster graphics than on the iPad 1.

2)   CAMERAS: The new iPad comes with both front-facing and rear-facing cameras, and thus, includes Photobooth apps as well as FaceTime support – and not just to other iPads. The iPad 2 will have capability to FaceTime with iPhones and iPod Touches.

3)   THINNER AND LIGHTER: The new iPad is 33% thinner and a little bit lighter than the original iPad. iPad 1 was 13.4mm thick, and iPad 2 is 8.8mm – about 1mm thinner than the iPhone 4. The iPad 1 was 1.5 lbs, the iPad 2 is 1.3 lbs. It’s not a huge difference, but thinner and lighter is always welcome with tech toys.

4)   BLACK OR WHITE: The iPad 2 will also be available in two colors – white or black. There were rumors of a white iPhone 4, but those rumors never materialized. Steve Jobs, however, says the iPad 2 comes in white “from day one.”

5)   HMDI: The new iPad will provide HDMI connectivity with a cable that will retail for about $40. Its output is a maximum of 1080p, and the cable allows for charging even while using HDMI.

6)   SMART COVER: Instead of covering up the design with the case like Apple did with the original iPad, Apple has rolled out a magnetic front cover made out of either polyurethane or leather, for $39 or $69, respectively.

7)   NEW iOS 4.3: Better Safari performance, iTunes home sharing, AirPlay improvements, and the choice to set the side button for either instantly muting the iPad or for locking in a viewpoint.

8)   MULTIPLE SUPPORT: New iPads will be 3G supported through both AT&T and Verizon.

9)   NEW APPS: iMovie, GarageBand. iMovie will allow for video sharing and editing, and Garage Band allows for real instrument,s “Smart Instruments,” 8-track recording, and 8-track mixing. Jobs says, “I’m blown away with this stuff. You know, playing your own instruments. Or using the Smart Instruments. Anyone can make music now.

So in short, LOTS of changes. What’s staying the same? The battery life and the price. Despite all the new bells and whistles, the iPad 2’s battery will still have 10 hours of battery while in use, and 1 month of battery life on standby. It will also stay the same price, with the lowest price available being $499.

In summation: “iPad 2 – amazing product,” says Jobs.

So when can you get it? The iPad 2 will start shipping on March 11 in most countries.

Jobs concluded, “It's in Apple's DNA that technology is not enough. It's tech married with the liberal arts and the humanities. Nowhere is that more true than in the post-PC products. Our competitors are looking at this like it's the next PC market. That is not the right approach to this. These are pos-PC devices that need to be easier to use than a PC, more intuitive."

Jobs predicts that 2011 will be the Year of the iPad 2.

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Categories: Gadgets and Gizmos

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