Apple Announces iPad 2: Thinner, Cameras, Dual-Core Processor [UPDATE]

| Product News

Apple announced the iPad 2 Wednesday at a media event in San Francisco. The new device is thinner, features front and rear-facing cameras, and has a new dual-core processor Apple is calling the A5. The company also said it features a 10 hour battery, and that the 3G version will run on both Verizon (CDMA) and AT&T (GSM) networks out of the box. Oh, and there’s a white option that will be available on day one.

White iPad 2

The device is a third thinner than its predecessor, a stunning achievement in the 10+ months since the original iPad was introduced. It’s 8.8mm, down from 13.4mm, which is thinner even than the iPhone 4, which is 9.3mm thick. It weighs 1.3 lbs., down from the 1.5 lbs. of the original device.

Apple also added HDMI out to the iPad 2, via an optional $39 adapter for the Dock. This feature supports up to 1080p out, it supports rotation, and can charge your iPad while you are using it in this fashion. Even better, it works for all apps (as opposed to just video or images or Apple apps).

The rear-facing camera is capable of capturing 720p video, while the front-facing camera is VGA quality only (a curious choice considering the introduction of FaceTime HD cameras on the new MacBook Pro models). iPad 2 will also support FaceTime, though not the sending of FaceTime HD calls, as the front-facing camera is 800 x 600 (VGA-quality).

The new iPad features the same resolution, 1028 x 768, as the original, which runs contrary to some rumors and supposed leaks that were circulating. What is new, however, is LED backlighting for the device. LED offers better colors and lower power consumption, which likely helped in extending the battery life of the device.

Apple is keeping the pricing of the original device, as well as the same storage levels of 16GB, 32GB and 64GB priced at US$499, $599, and $699 for the WiFi-only models. Models equipped with 3G capabilities will be priced at $629, $729, and $829.

Apple said it will ship on March 11th. The company has updated both the iPad site and the Apple Store to include more information for the new device. Currently the Apple Store offers no pore-order information.

[Update: This article was updated with photos and additional details. - Editor]

iPad 2

Comments

Lee Dronick

I was watching the video at Apple.com. In the Garageband demo they said “As you tap harder it plays louder.” Is the screen pressure sensitive?

geoduck

When the original iPad came out I was tempted but passed. Oh it was great but it didn’t have cameras, their weren’t many iPad specific apps at first,  and I try not to get the first model year of any product. Well the iPad2 is out. It has cameras, is a lot more powerful, there’s a pile of iPad specific Apps, and overall looks like what I’ve been waiting for.

Sign me up

eolake

Good choice, Geoduck. I have two gen one’s and I love them.

mickelsp

@Sir Harry:  No, the screen isn’t pressure-sensitive.  Rather, the acceleration due to the force of your tap is detected by the accelerometer, and the volume is controlled accordingly.

Lee Dronick

o, the screen isn?t pressure-sensitive.? Rather, the acceleration due to the force of your tap is detected by the accelerometer, and the volume is controlled accordingly.

Thanks, I was thinking that it would have been nice for pressure sensitive sketching and painting.

ibuck

Same basic design but slimmer probably means more slippery than original. Probably needs a case, rather than the new Apple covers, for better grip. The higher speed, new cameras and software are tempting though.

I’d still like to see a size midway between the 3.5” screen on iPhone/iPod Touch and the iPad’s 9.7” display, even if they don’t call it an iPad. How about a Big Touch at 6.5”?

paikinho

My tiny kids were in the Mac Store whizzing around doing stuff on the 1st generation in 10 minutes. I found it amazing how intuitive they found it to be.

There are a bunch of apps out for primary education and Montessori learning methods, big fat dictionary for while they are reading, encyclopedias, learning games…... so they will be getting a new one of these for their combined birthday.

They will have a blast taking photos and making their own films too.

If you want to know how useful these can be give one to a kid. I couldn’t be more geeked to give them one of these. The world of information at their fingertips.

Sign us up too.

geoduck

Hmmm…
The US store has been updated but not the Canadian Apple Store. I wonder if it will be delayed up here.

daemon

Steve Jobs misquotes Samsung’s VP.

Oh, that misquote was widely circulated, but really, you’re gonna keep making fun of a Korean who says “smooth” with an accent?

TOr

Correction to article above AT&T uses WCDMA technology for wirelwess 3G. GSM does not have any 3G capabilities.

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