The iPad 2 Officially Announced, Everything You Need To Know

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Well folks this is exactly what we expected to hear this morning and a few things we didn’t. This morning, Apple officially unveiled the Apple iPad 2, the follow up to its hugely successful iPad that sold a whooping 14.8 million units in 2010. The iPad will hit both Verizon and AT&T at the same time on March 11th. The iPad 2 with Wi-Fi will be available on March 11 for a suggested retail price of $499 for the 16GB model, $599 for the 32GB model, $699 for the 64GB model. iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G will be available for a suggested retail price of $629 for the 16GB model, $729 for the 32GB model and $829 for the 64GB model on both Verizon Wireless and AT&T.

As expected the Apple iPad 2 is thinner and lighter than the original iPad, 33% thinner in fact.  The iPad 2 goes from the iPad’s original 13.4mm down to a slim 8.8mm in thickness, thinner even than the iPhone 4 which is 9.3mm. The iPad 2 features Apple’s new dual-core A5 processor and now includes two cameras, a front-facing VGA camera and a rear-facing camera that captures 720p HD video. The iPad 2 is lighter but only by a measly .2 pounds with the original iPad coming in at 1.5 pounds and the iPad 2 weighing 1.3 pounds. Here’s something that’s nice, the iPad 2 will ship day 1 in BOTH black and white, guess they figured that whole color thing out huh? The iPad 2 should get up to 10 hours of battery life, a nice bump from the original. The iPad 2 will also support HDMI out through the use of a special Apple accessory cable that will retail for $40.

The iPad 2 comes with iOS 4.3, the latest version of Apple mobile OS. It features faster Safari mobile browsing performance; iTunes Home Sharing; enhancements to AirPlay, the choice to use the iPad side switch to either lock the screen rotation or mute audio; and Personal Hotspot to share an iPhone 4 cellular data connection over Wi-Fi. Additional 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 (this one is nice).

The iPad 2 Smart Cover provides protection for the iPad screen while maintaining its thin and lightweight profile. Designed with a unique self-aligning magnetic hinge that makes it easy to attach and remove, the new iPad 2 Smart Cover automatically wakes iPad 2 when it’s opened and puts it to sleep when it’s closed, and has a soft microfiber lining to help keep the screen clean. The Smart Cover also folds into a stand for typing or viewing videos and is available in vibrant polyurethane for $39 or rich leather for $69 in a range of colors, including a red one which helps support the Global Fund to fight HIV/AIDS in Africa.

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