iPad 2 Now Official – FaceTime, Dual-Core and Smart Covers

Apple has announced the iPad 2 at an event held earlier today. New features include a couple of cameras, dual-core processor, new design and a fancy new case/cover.

Just like the previous first gen iPad, the iPad 2 comes in three capacities of 16GB, 32GB and 64GB as well as two options of each which is WiFi only or WiFi and 3G.

The new iPad is now slimmer, lighter and smaller and measures 9.5 inches tall, 7.31 inches wide and has a depth of 0.34 inches. Rumors were quite correct in the positioning of buttons, microSIM slot and also got it right about the cameras.

For connectivity it has Wireless 802.11a/b/g/n and the 3G model comes in two versions with one being Verizon compatible and the other being compatible with AT&T.

The display hasn’t changed from what we can see although the technology has changed inside. The resolution is 1024 x 768 on the 9.7 inch screen. The technology used is IPS. To get the iPad 1/3 thinner than the original, Apple managed to change the screen a little by putting changing three surfaces to two which in turn, allowed the structural perimeter to be taken away and hence, a thinner and more compact iPad.

The processor inside is the Dual-core A5 chip that makes surfing around the iPad a lot quicker. The original iPad wasn’t slow by any means, but the iPad 2 is even more snappy, particularly when moving in to apps such as iBooks. Delays are cut down and animations are smoother. What the iPad 2 also has is faster graphics performance which Apple measures at about 9x faster than the iPad 1.

For those concerned about the battery, they still managed to give a good 10 hours which isn’t bad at all considering all the enhancements made to the processor.

The cameras on the device allow you to make FaceTime calls as well as capture video in HD if using the rear camera. Cameras are the main thing that the original iPad lacked, so it’s good to see Apple has put them in on this model.

Other new additions include a three-axis gyro like found in the iPhone 4 as well as an ambient light sensor, probably partly to do with the auto switch on.

As for a release date, the iPad 2 is available from March 10 in the US and will be arriving here in the UK on March 25. Full details can be found on the Apple site.

For those in the US, the prices are $499, $599 and $699 for the 16GB, 32GB and 64GB model. This comes in either black or white with both shipping on day one.

The 3G models, also in black and white, cost $626, $729 and $829 for the three capacities with the AT&T and Verizon models costing the same.

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