The wait is over for eager Apple fans wanting the next generation iPad. At an invite-only event in San Francisco on Wednesday, the company took the wraps off the iPad 2.
The Apple iPad 2 (Credit: James Martin/CNET)
Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who is taking a leave absence from the company
, returned to unveil the new product, which is expected to be a hot seller.
As expected, the new tablet has two cameras and is faster with dual-core processors, which just about double CPU performance and make the graphics speed nine times faster, while using the same power as the processor from the first iPad. It's thinner than the older model. It went down in thickness from 13.4mm for the old iPad to 8.8mm on the new one.
In terms of the technical specifications, the device is 24.1cm high, 18.5 cm wide, and 0.86cm deep. And it weighs just 603 grams. The device comes in three storage sizes for both the Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi plus 3G models: 16GB, 32GB, 64GB. The rear camera is 720P and the front camera is "VGA-quality" suitable for video and still photography.
The new tablet will go on sale in Australia on 25 March, after the US, which is getting it on 11 March. In the US, the pricing will start at US$499. Australian pricing will be announced at a later date.
The iPad 2 will also get some new features thanks to the latest release of the operating system, iOS 4.3. This upgrade brings a few new features like AirPlay support for apps that will include photo slideshows and porting audio from apps to other devices. Safari performance will be improved. Other major tweaks include a software option to adjust whether the switch on the iPad is used to mute the volume, or lock the screen orientation, functionality Apple had changed after the iPad had been released.
The iOS 4.3 version of software will be available on 11 March, and it supports iPad, iPhone (GSM) and iPod Touch (3rd and 4th generation).