Apple iPad 2 breaks cover: dual-core 1GHz A5 chip inside, 33 percent thinner than iPad

Apple iPad 2 breaks cover: dual-core 1GHz A5 chip inside, 33 percent thinner than iPad
Ladies and gents, one of the most anticipated devices of the year, the iPad 2, was finally unveiled by Apple's very own Steve Jobs who appeared on stage winning thunderous applause. We're glad to see one of the most influential CEOs in good health, but we're also happy to see Apple bring out the next iPad 2 with a mighty dual-core A5 chipset clocked at 1GHz and with a 33% thinner body. The second-gen iPad's body measures at the razing sharp 0.34 inches (8.8mm) of depth, significantly less than the original iPad's 13.4mm. Yes, folks, it's even thinner than the iPhone 4 and it will weigh 1.3 pounds now. We know what you are all wondering now - the release date! No need to worry - March 11th is the official release date for the U.S. market, while another 26 countries will get it on March 25th. But before we jump into more details, don't forget that you can check out our brief comparison of the specs of Apple's original iPad and the new iPad 2.

Did we mention it will come in white as well as black from day one? Steve Jobs made sure to underline that the second-gen iPad will be the first dual-core tablet to ship "in volume" - so much for the rumors about component shortages, right? Performance-wise the A5 chip will bring double the processing speed of the original iPad and up to 9 times the graphical power. All of this won't compromise battery performance according to Jobs as the chip has the same low power consumption as the one on the A4 used on the iPad. And yes, that means the same good 10 hours of battery life you enjoyed on the first-gen tablet. The 9.7-inch screen size and the 1024 x 768 resolution remain unchanged, but this time the tablet is even better equipped for hardcore gaming with a built-in gyroscope.

The slate will come with both front (VGA) and rear-facing cameras for video chat and the photo enthusiasts out there. At such a light weight you might rethink the weirdness of carrying a huge tablet to shoot pictures - after all the camera on the back is capable of 720p HD recording. You can also easily transfer photos and videos of up 1080p full HD resolution with the new HDMI mirrored video output, which works with all apps. In addition, the iPad 2 will charge even while you watch movies via HDMI. Unfortunately, the cable would cost you $39 and you'll need an optional adapter, but hey - nothing surprising from Apple here, right?

Steve Jobs says he didn't like the original iPad's cases which only made the tablet bulkier. How about a new Smart Cover, which was tailor-made to fit alongside the product and doubles as a stand. Just bend and fold the thin cover to turn the tablet into a stand and don't worry about cleaning your iPad 2 - the micro-fiber lining does that when you open it. It also comes in a polyurethane ($39) and leather ($69) versions with 5 colors for each one of them. It also wakes the tablet on opening and puts it to sleep when it's inside.

What's a tablet without the apps? Cupertino has a lot of them, but some of the most notable additions include FaceTime for video chats, the self-explanatory Photo Booth and the useful Find My iPad app. All of this will run on iOS 4.3, but to learn about the highlights of the updated iOS take a look here.

Finally, the iPad still has an extremely competitive price when compared to the competition and the second one won't be an exception - the Wi-Fi version comes at the same price tag of $499 for 16GB of storage. Add to that the fact that U.S. biggest carriers AT&T and Verizon will offer it from day one and you have a sweet deal. Sprint and T-Mobile? Sorry folks, it seems they are not getting the iPad 2 initially. Take a look at the prices per model and memory capacity below:

Should we say Apple stock jumped right after the announcement? The new iPad seems to fulfil many dreams, let us know your thoughts about it!

source: Apple

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