Apple officially unveils iPad 2 along with Smart Covers and iOS 4.3
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With the iPad event still in full bloom in San Fransisco, we've got all the details with regards to Apple's latest device. Much to the pleasure of the audience Steve Jobs himself was on stage to introduce the device, even though he has been battling illness the past month.
According to our Notebookcheck correspondents at the BBC livestream event of the iPad 2, the new iPad has some extremely interesting specs. First off, the iPad 2 will be powered by an A5 dual-core processor that Apple claims is twice as fast as the original iPad and is capable of 9 times the graphics calculations. The iPad 2 also features an extremely thin casing, coming in at 8.8 millimeters (down from the previous 13.4 millimeters). According to Apple, the new iPad is actually even slimmer than the iPhone 4.
Other features of note in the iPad are front and rear facing cameras (no word yet on quality), an improved gyroscope, and the same 10 hour battery life as the original iPad. Unfortunately, we have yet to hear if the iPad 2 will come with Thunderbolt as was previously rumored.
One feature that has been missing from the iPad was HDMI out; however, Apple seems to have rectified that by introducing a new dongle that allows you to connect HDMI screens to the new iPad. The $39 dongle hooks onto the bottom of the iPad and also allows you to charge the device while displaying any apps on a larger screen. The HDMI out should support up to 1080p video quality.
Last but not least, the new iPad will ship in White and Black colors from the get-go and will be available from both Verizon and AT&T. Apple also introduced a nifty "Smart Cover" that hooks on via magnets. The cover will be available in many colors and the iPad will automatically detect the cover opening or closing and will wake or close the device accordingly.
At the event, Apple also introduced iOS 4.3 which will ship with the iPad 2. The latest OS version comes with Facetime, and two new Apple apps (iMovie and Garage Band). iOS 4.3 also features enhanced Safari acceleration and iTunes Home Sharing.
While some assumed the iPad 2 would also receive a price hike, Steve Jobs was able to allay those fears. According to the event, the iPad 2 will be priced similarly to the iPad 1 and will come with the same 16-64 GB storage facilities. The iPad 2 should begin shipping as soon as March 11th, and we will update this post with any new info that we receive.