Apple Announces iPad 2

 

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After months of speculation, we finally got the goods from Apple last week, as the company announced the iPad 2. We’ve seen explosive growth for this tablet computer in the last year and now, with the second-generation model, there’s more to love. It doesn’t mean that everyone in the tech industry is hailing the iPad 2 as a success; however, for us Mac fanboys out there, it’s definitely something pretty to look at.

The first thing you’ll notice about the iPad 2 is that it comes in two colors, black and white.  There is no difference between the two, just that the outside is a different color. There have also been a few design changes.  The iPad 2 is 33% thinner than the previous model and approximately 15% lighter.  One of the criticisms of the first model was that it was a little too thick and way too heavy, so it was great to see Apple address some of those concerns.

For those of you who wanted something faster, there’s definitely good news. The iPad 2 will feature a dual-core A5 processor, meaning that this device can do twice the work at one time.  Everything will load faster and work more smoothly. There’s also been a graphics chip upgrade, although there has been no upgrade in the screen quality or resolution.

Apple is claiming that the iPad 2 will be up to nine times better than the iPad when it comes to graphics performance. This translates to faster gaming graphics, smoother video play, and easier picture scrolling.

Despite the fact that the iPad 2 will be thinner, there has been no loss in battery life. The same, and quite outstanding, 10-hour battery life will still be in place, even with the faster processor and thinner body type. The new A5 chip has a high efficiency yield and the updated edition of the iOS will keep the battery from fading.

The biggest upgrade with the iPad 2 is the introduction of a dual-camera system, similar to what is in place on the iPhone 4.  The two cameras are designed to work with FaceTime and can work together so you can talk to your friends and family and see them too. The front camera will let you see each other face-to-face, while the back camera can show where you are or what is going on around you. The cameras aren’t just for FaceTime calling, as iMovie will be available for the iPad 2. With the back camera offering HD resolution, you’ll be able to shoot, edit, and upload a movie on a whim.

One of the new innovations coming with the iPad 2 is the Smart Cover. Apple has designed the Smart Cover to work side-by-side with the iPad, literally working on top and underneath it. A magnetic technology built into each pulls them together. The idea is that the Smart Cover will protect your iPad’s screen, but at the same time not add to the bulk or the weight.

If you open your Smart Cover, your iPad will wake up automatically and, if you close the cover, it’ll go to sleep.  The Smart Cover can also flex into different positions so you can set it to play games, work, or watch a movie. It comes in ten different colors, five of which are in Italian leather.

The iPad 2 goes on sale on March 11th at the online Apple Store and retail locations. There will be three editions, starting 16 GB and then moving to 32 GB and 64 GB.  There will be models available that will be Wi-Fi only ($499, $599, $699) and those that come with a 3G plan through AT&T and Verizon ($629, $729, $829).

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