Apple today introduced the iPad 2, the next generation of its highly successful iPad tablet computing device. Apple is positioning the latest iteration of iPad as thinner, lighter and more robust than its predecessor.
In terms of physical design, Apple says the iPad 2 is 33 percent thinner and 15 percent lighter than the original iPad, with the same 9.7-inch LED-backlit LCD screen. It is available in black or white and offers 10 hours of battery life.
For computing power, the iPad 2 features Apple's new dual-core A5 processor and comes with iOS 4.3, Apple's latest mobile computing platform. Apple touts new features of iOS 4.3 including faster Safari mobile browsing performance, iTunes Home Sharing, enhancements to the AirPlay wireless streaming system, and Personal Hotspot to share an iPhone 4 cellular data connection over Wi-Fi.
In addition, the iPad 2 comes equipped with two cameras, a front-facing VGA camera for FaceTime video calling and Photo Booth photo/video software, and a rear-facing camera that captures 720p HD video, bringing the FaceTime feature to iPad users for the first time.
Other iPad 2 features include a built-in gyro for advanced gaming, HSUPA support for enhanced 3G upload speeds on iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G on AT&T, and HDMI video mirroring that lets users mirror their iPad screen on an HDTV using an optional adaptor.
iPad shook up the world of mobile computing, as evidenced by the plethora of similar devices that have since been released by companies such as Samsung and Motorola.
iPad 2 with Wi-Fi will be available on March 11 for a suggested retail price of $499 (U.S.) for the 16GB model, $599 (U.S.) for the 32GB model and $699 (U.S.) for the 64GB model. iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G will be available for a suggested retail price of $629 (U.S.) for the 16GB model, $729 (U.S.) for the 32GB model and $829 (U.S.) for the 64GB model.