Apple Announces iPad 2 – Thinner. Lighter. Faster.

The wait is over. Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who is taking a leave absence from the company, returned to unveil the new product iPad 2 at the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco today. As rumored, the next generation tablet device will have a 33% thinner profile.

 

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The Apple event started at around 11:30 PM IST with the Beatles on the sound system. Trashing all rumors, Steve is out on the stage looking healthy for this awesome announcement.

He declared –

2010: Year of the iPad.

2011: Year of the copycats?

 

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Notice the Honeycomb logo in the above picture?

Then, he announced the iPad 2 with all new design, A5 chip, dual core, video cameras, built in gyroscope, thinner than iPhone 4, and in two colors.

 

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Detailed specs:

  • Dual-core A5 processor (2x faster and 9x the graphics processing of the A4)
  • front and rear-facing cameras
  • 9.7-inch capacitive touchscreen display
  • 16, 32 or 64 GB capacity
  • Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity
  • gyroscope (similar to the iPhone)
  • HDMI out (1080P) (you have to purchase a cable for that)
  • 1.3 lbs. (down from 1.5 of the original iPad)
  • available in white with support for Verizon and AT&T
  • starting price of $499 for 16GB Wi-Fi model
  • New case accessory will cover the front of the device using a magnet to hold it in place and toggle the sleep state of the device
  • iOS 4.3 (check the features in next blog post)

iPad 2 ships March 11 in same 3 sizes at same 3 prices: $499 (16GB), 599 (32GB), 699 (64GB), or $629, 729, and 829 for 3G models. As expected, India is not in the list of production now.

 

Additionally, he announced Smart Covers.

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Other awesome features you can play on this new iPad 2 include

Photo Booth  – you can manipulate effects by touching.

You can FaceTime between two iPads, between an iPad and an iPhone, or between an iPad and a Mac.

iMovie for iPad. Precision editor, Multi-track audio recording, new themes. HD video sharing.

GarageBand Touch instruments, you can plug in a guitar if you want, but it’s got touch instruments. Guitar amps and effects, 8 track recording and mixing, 250+ loops

Finally, Steve says “This is worth repeating. It’s in Apple’s DNA that technology is not enough. It’s tech married with the liberal arts and the humanities. Nowhere is that more true than in the post-PC products. Our competitors are looking at this like it’s the next PC market. That is not the right approach to this. These are pos-PC devices that need to be easier to use than a PC, more intuitive.”

I think 2011 is clearly the year of iPad 2.

 

Picture credits: Engadget and Apple.