After months and months of rumor, the iPad 2 is finally here. It’s a thinner, lighter iPad that seems like the perfect device for those who chose to wait until the revision. Unless you were hoping for a higher resolution screen.
On the form factor, the iPad 2 looks like the first iPad from the front, albeit with a camera, and an option for a white bezel (which you may or may not find just a tad ugly). From the side you see that it’s much thinner, even thinner than the iPhone 4 (by half a millimeter). It has a more rounded aluminum edge, and a flat back, complete with another camera. With the smaller size comes less weight, the iPad 2 is 1.3 pounds, as opposed to the 1.5 pounds of the first iPad.
Inside is where the big improvement lies. As we’ve heard in rumors, the iPad 2 sports the A5 dual-core CPU. It’s supposed to make the iPad 2 twice as fast than the previous model, with graphics that are up to 9 times faster. That chip allows for 1080p playback through the HDMI dock. There’s even screen mirroring, so you can display anything on your iPad 2 on your HDTV through the dock.
As you may have guessed, those two cameras are used for FaceTIme, but also for Photobooth for iPad. So, expect to see a lot of kids silly taking pictures of themselves at the iPad 2 displays in Apple stores. The camera will also be useful for iMovie which will be a Universal app once the ipad 2 launches. Not sure you’d want to record video with the 10-inch tablet, but it’ll be great for video you import from your iPhone or camera.
The one big surprise comes in the form of the new case for the iPad 2. Actually, it’s not a case, but a cover. Apple calls them Smart Covers. It attaches with magnets to the side of the iPad, and simply covers the screen. It will wake the device when removed, and put it to sleep when closed. It’s segmented into four panels of polyurethane or leather to make what should be a great stand for most situations.
Of course, you need the price, the iPad 2 will come at the same prices as the iPad. There will be 3G models for both AT&T and Verizon in the US. All models will ship on March 11.