Apple announces the iPad 2

Steve Jobs has taken the stage at Apple’s iPad 2 event to announce the new device. There’s been plenty of speculation over what it’s going to look like, and what features it’s going to have. So now that the cat’s out of the bag, what’s the real deal?

“New Design”

It’s hard to radically alter the design of something as simple as the iPad. It’s effectively a large glass touchscreen, so what can you change? Well, the iPad 2 is 33% thinner than the original iPad, and has a front and rear facing camera. The cameras should make it useful for apps like Facetime and although it’s a but unwieldy as a camera, should mean you can at least grab a few photos with your new toy.

Both black and white versions of the iPad 2 will be available.

Faster and more powerful

The iPad 2 uses a new dual-core processor called the A5. This will give up to 2x faster processing, with up to 9x faster graphics when compared with the current generation of iPads. You would think this is going to hurt the battery life but Apple are claiming that the A5 iPad has the same low power consumption of the A4, giving 10 hours of use or 1 month on standby between recharges.

It’s got USB ports, right?

Er, no. It doesn’t seem to have any more connectivity than the current iPad, although an HDMI cable was demonstrated at the announcement that allows anything displayed on the iPad 2 to be shown on your HD TV.

Oh go on then, how much?

The iPad 2’s pricing will be the same as the current lineup, starting at $499. It remains to be seen whether the price will also be the same in the UK, but I would imagine so. If it is, the range will start at £439.

Are you in the market for the iPad 2? What do you think of the changes? Is it enough of an upgrade, or a little too similar to the iPad 1? I’d love to know your thoughts, so feel free to share them in the comments.

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