Apple has revealed the second generation of their popular iPad tablet today, set to ship in the U.S on March the 11th, and March 25th internationally.
The event was held at the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco on Tuesday the 2nd of March and was attended by press and media from the tech community. One of the main whispers around the conference hall before the announcement was the subject of Steve Jobs, following his recent leave of absence it was unclear if he’d be presenting the event, but he arrived to standing-ovation to give details on the new device.
Apple also revealed some very impressive statistics. Jobs described 2010 as the “year of the iPad”, and he wasn’t kidding – a staggering 15 million first generation iPads sold in 2010, which in just 9 months outsold every other tablet PC in history combined.
The name “iPad 2” has been thrown around the blogosphere for several months, and it seems Apple has decided to follow the iPhone numbering convention, the official name of the second generation iPad is “iPad 2”.
As expected, the feature-list seems more evolutionary than revolutionary. Speed improvements, thinner design and cameras are all on the menu, starting with an upgraded CPU. The main processor is a Samsung A5 dual-core chip, bumping the speed of the tablet up to nine times the speed of the original iPad, helped out by a double speed graphics processor.
With Apple’s keenness to spread the Facetime video conferencing tool across their platforms, a front-facing camera was to be expected, and we got one! Along with the added surprise of a back-facing video camera capable of shooting footage in 720 resolution HD.
The appearance of the iPad 2 is faithful to the original model but with some dramatic reductions in the thickness of the device. iPad 2 is even thinner than the iPhone 4, making it 33% leaner than the first generation, and weighing in at a very lightweight 0.58 KG (1.3 lbs).
The gyroscope has also made its way into the new tablet, meaning iPhone apps that utilize it will be able to take full advantage of the new hardware.
Jobs also revealed that the iPad 2 will be available in both white and black models, “immediately”, cracking a slight joke at the much delayed white iPhone 4.
An HDMI adapter will be available as a seperate $39 add-on, allowing users to send HD signals from any app to their TV set up to full 1080p resolution, including viewing photos and videos.
There were some disappointments though, after the stunning iPhone 4 retina display was premiered last year, many Apple fans were hoping for a resolution improvement of the iPad 2’s screen, so seeing that it’s still the same 1024×768 4:3 display is a bit of an anti-climax – still it gives us something to look forward to in iPad 3 I suppose.
So the feature list in full:
– Official name “iPad 2”
– A5 dual core CPU (2x faster than iPad 1, still low powered)
– 9x faster GPU than iPad 1
– Dual Cameras, front facing Facetime and back-facing camera
– 33% Thinner than the iPad 1, 13.4mm to 8.8mm, even thinner than the iPhone 4
– Curved back
– Weighs 1.3 pounds, 0.58kg
– Available in white and black models
– 10 hour battery life (one month standby)
– HDMI Video out with special cable (1080p output with all apps, charge while using)
U.S Pricing the same as iPad 1
WIFI – 16GB $499, 32 GB $599, 64GB $699
3G – 16GB $629, 32GB $729, 64GB $829