The iPad 2 is here

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Putting an end to all the rumors and speculations floating around the world, Apple announced the iPad 2 yesterday. As expected, the new iPad is thinner, lighter and much more powerful than the original one. Here is how it looks like:

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The biggest improvement over its predecessor in the new model is the Apple’s A5 processor. Its a 1Ghz Dual Core power efficient chip which allows the iPad to run for up to 10 hours on the built in battery.

Here is a quick list of features:

  • 1GHz dual-core Apple A5 custom-designed, high-performance, low-power system-on-a-chip
  • Capacities
    • 16 GB, 32 GB and 64 GB
  • WiFi & WiFi + 3G models
    • Separate model for GSM and CDMA
  • 9.7-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit glossy widescreen Multi-Touch display with IPS technology
  • 1024-by-768-pixel resolution at 132 pixels per inch (ppi) (not retina)
  • Fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating
  • Support for display of multiple languages and characters simultaneously
  • Back camera: Video recording, HD (720p) up to 30 frames per second with audio; still camera with 5x digital zoom
  • Front camera: Video recording, VGA up to 30 frames per second with audio; VGA-quality still camera
  • Tap to control exposure for video or stills
  • Photo and video geotagging over Wi-Fi
  • Up to 10 hours of surfing the web on Wi-Fi, watching video, or listening to music
  • Up to 9 hours of surfing the web using 3G data network
  • Video mirroring and video out support: Up to 1080p with Apple Digital AV Adapter or Apple VGA Adapter (cables sold separately); 576p and 480p with Apple Component AV Cable; 576i and 480i with Apple Composite AV Cable
  • Digital compass
  • Assisted GPS (only in WiFi + 3G model)
  • Three-axis gyro
  • Accelerometer
  • Ambient light sensor

The new model has front and back facing cameras to enable users to make FaceTime calls with their friends and family members using iPhone 4, Macs, iPod Touch or iPad 2. Apple has also made a “smart” cover for the new iPad. It attaches to the iPad magnetically and protects just the front side of the device. It can be folded to have the iPad 2 placed in various ergonomic positions for typing, watching videos and making FaceTime calls. Why smart? because your iPad automatically wakes up when the cover is opened and goes to sleep when its closed. I guess it has got more to do with the ambient light sensor than the cover. And this can very well be included into the original iPad with a firmware update. Apparently, this is achieved with the help of magnets. Hop over to iFixit for more details. The cover is available in 10 colors, 5 of which are made of aniline-dyed Italian leather:

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Here is a quick video that shows the new cover in action:

The iPad 2 will run iOS 4.3. Apple has also ported their famous Garageband music creation suite for the iPad. Here are some more pics:

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The new iPad is coming on March 11. You can buy one online or in Apple retail stores. If you have the original iPad, there is not much reason to upgrade unless you desperately want FaceTime.

And here is a short video to reinforce your love for your original iPad:

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