It was a little over a year ago that Apple finally put the rumors to rest about their mythical tablet device by launching the iPad. It didn’t cure cancer, solve global hunger, or make you breakfast in bed like many had predicted, but it did sell faster than proverbial hotcakes. Of course, a sequel was about as inevitable as Charlie Sheen’s most recent meltdown, and here we are with the unveiling of a brand spanking new Apple tablet.
Dubbed the iPad 2, Apple’s new and vastly improved tablet features a similar but slightly different design than it’s predecessor, resulting in a device that’s both significantly thinner and lighter than the original while maintaining the same high quality 9.7 inch LED-backlit LCD screen. There are also two cameras now, a VGA number on the front side and a rear-facing one that captures 720p HD video (finally rectifying one of the major complaints of the first iPad). Of course, these cameras would be useless if there weren’t apps built in to take advantage of them, so of course you get FaceTime capability and the same Photo Booth app that’s been on Apple computers for eons now.
Inside the iPad 2 is running on Apple’s new dual-core A5 processor, making it twice as fast as the original and upping the graphics capabilities by a wide margin. It’s also coming loaded with iOS 4.3. This means a faster web browsing experience via Safari, iTunes Home Sharing, and the ability to use your iPad 2 as a personal hotspot to share an Phone 4 cellular data connection over Wi-Fi. iPad specific versions of iMovie and Garage Band are also available for iOS 4.3 users, but you’ll have to pay $4.99 a piece to get them.
Despite all these improvements, some things remain the same. You’ll still get the same 10 hours of battery life you’d get out of the first iPad. Likewise the prices for the various versions remain the same. starting at $499 for a 16GB WiFi-only iPad 2 and going up to $829 for a WiFi + 3G one with 64GB of storage. The second coming of the iPad will be available in both black and white on March 11th at an Apple retailer online or near you.
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