Mar 2, 2011
Steve Jobs made an appearance today to announce the iPad 2 in spite of his being on medical leave, commenting that he “just didn’t want to miss this day.” Prior to the event, there was speculation that Jobs would make an appearance, with some wondering if his presence would draw too much attention away from the product. Although Jobs appeared thin, he seemed to have plenty of energy, which should give his many fans comfort that his recovery is proceeding well.
Around the Web, commentators have come away with the overall impression that the iPad 2 is a must-have item for gadget lovers who didn’t purchase the original iPad. However, owners of the original model may want to wait for the iPad 3, rumored to be in the pipeline for later this year, before upgrading.
Although not the revolutionary upgrade that some were predicting in the months preceding today’s announcement, the iPad 2 does have several compelling new features that are certain to turn some heads. The new features of the iPad 2 include the following:
- Reduced thickness by .16 inches (4 millimeters) — iPad 2 is now thinner than iPhone 4
- Reduced weight by .2 pounds
- Available in white and black
- Tapered design feels much thinner in the hand
- Front- and rear-mounted cameras
- FaceTime video chat support
- CDMA radio for Verizon (GSM and CDMA models sold separately)
- Dual-core Apple A5 processor
- 10-hour battery life on WiFi, 9 hours on 3G wireless, 30-day standby time
- Larger speaker
The prices and storage capacities will be unchanged compared to the iPad 1. Apple will begin taking orders on March 11. For now, the Apple online store is selling refurbished iPads for as little as $349. This will most likely be a very limited-time offer, so if you don’t have an iPad yet and want to wait for the iPad 3 before buying one at full retail price, grab a refurbished iPad while you can.
Of course, Apple would never announce a new device without announcing a must-have accessory to go along with it. The official Apple case for the iPad 2 is not a case at all, but is in fact a cover that snaps on the iPad 2 with magnets. The cover uses a segmented design that folds back into a triangular shape, staying out of the way or doubling as a stand when the iPad 2 is in use. The cover props the iPad up slightly for typing, or nearly upright for watching videos. Apple claims that the microfiber inner lining of the cover cleans the screen of the iPad 2 every time it is closed. Apple calls the iPad 2 cover the “Smart Cover,” as it has the ability to put the iPad 2 to sleep automatically when it is closed, and wake it when it is open. Apple’s cover for the iPad 2 will be available in a variety of colors, and will cost $39 in polyurethane or $69 in leather.
iPad 2 Image Gallery
Courtesy of Apple.