Apple just announced the iPad 2 at their March 2 event, and it's pretty much what many of us expected - thinner, lighter, faster, with dual FaceTime cameras and much faster dual-core A5 chip. The A5 is twice as fast as the A4 chip, and graphics performance is up to nine times faster than the original iPad, which is, you know, insane. Despite all that new speed, battery life is the same, and the iPad will run for 10 hours straight, with 30 days standby time. Also unchanged is the price, as the iPad will start at $499 and will be available in the same configurations as the previous model - this time though, you can choose between Verizon and AT&T for the 3G model. Screen resolution remains the same at 1024 x 768, which is fine for now. The iPad 2 is 33% thinner than the original, and as you can see in the image above, will ship in both black and white colors.
Apple is also finally (finally!) releasing an HDMI adapter, which will mirror the iPad 2 on an external display at 1080p resolution. This'll run you $39, but we're sure that there are many out there that'll snap that accessory up quickly. The rear camera will be capable of recording 720p video at 30fps, while the front camera will do VGA resolution, also at 30fps.
Apple has redesigned the cover for the iPad 2, and they're calling the new accessory a "Smart Cover." It's a magnetic cover that sticks tot he display, and automatically wakes the iPad 2 when removed. It folds up and turns into a little stand for both viewing and typing mode. They'll cost $39 for the polyurethane, and $69 for the leather version.
The iPad 2 goes on sale on March 11 at 5:00 pm at Apple Stores. If you were thinking of ordering online instead to get it ahead of time, think again--Apple isn't going to be taking orders for the device until launch day. Hey, they've gotta make sure there are lines at stores, because those look good on the news, y'know?
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