Apple iPad 2 has been revealed by Steve Jobs at 10am PST, March 2, 2011. I followed live blogs and tweets on the Internet at 2am (GMT+8), 3 March in Malaysia to get the 1st hand information about iPad 2.
In this article, you will learn all about iPad 2: features, specs, apps, release date, and prices.
In term of design, the new iPad 2 looks very similar to iPad 1. Still using the same aluminum body but much thinner and lighter. iPad 2 is 33% thinner and up to 15% lighter, only 0.34″ thick and weight 1.33 pounds (601 gram).
Beside black color, new iPad 2 will be available in white color and shipping together from day one. No waiting for white iPad 2. (Are you still waiting for White iPhone 4?)
New A5 processor
iPad 2 is now powered by new 1GHz A5 dual-core processor. Apple claims that the processor is 2x more processing power and 9x faster graphics performance than previous iPad 1′s A4 processor.
Better performance is great but will iPad 2 keeps the same long battery life? The answer is, YES.
While more powerful than iPad 1, iPad 2 still have the same 10-hour battery life for your whole day usage. That’s cool!
iPad 2 cameras
Beside new A5 processor, iPad 2 now build-in, not one, but two cameras – one on the front and one on the back. The back camera capable to take HD video (720p / 1280×720 pixels) and 5x digital zoom for photo shooting; the front camera takes VGA quality video and photos.
New iPad build-in apps
With the build-in cameras, iPad 2 now has 3 additional build-in camera apps: Camera, FaceTime and Photo Booth.
Camera app allows you to take photos and record videos. FaceTime for iPad can make video calls to other users’ iPad 2, iPhone 4, iPod touch, or Mac over WiFi connection. Like the Photo Booth for Mac OS X, Photo Booth for iPad takes snapshots and add special effects for fun.
New Apple apps for iPad
iMovie for iPad works like the iMovie for Mac. It allows you to edit HD movies on iPad and then publish online, stream to AppleTV, or sync to Mac/PC/iOS devices (via iTunes). GarageBand for iPad is designed for music lovers. Now anyone can compose and play music using an iPad.
iPad 2 will be shipped with iOS 4.3 which gives features like faster Safari web browser, setting to customize the switch above volume control to either mute or screen rotation lock, iTunes Home Sharing to play iTunes library content over WiFi network.
iPad 2 release date and prices and shipping
iPad 2 release date is 11 March 2011. iPad 2 available in 3 different storage size: 16GB (USD$499), 32GB (USD$599), and 64GB (USD$699). Add USD$130 and you get the iPad 2 with WiFi + 3G model. Both black and white iPad models are the same price.
iPad 2 will shipping in US at 11 March and start shipping from 25 March to 26 other countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Ireland, Hungary, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and U.K.
New iPad 2 accessories
iPad 2 Smart Cover (USD$39, polyurethane; USD$69, leather) — a foldable screen protector with magnetic hinge for your iPad 2 without covering the aluminum back. You can fold it to make it becomes an iPad stand (horizontal) for video watching or comfortable typing angle. When you close smart cover, iPad 2 will automatically switch to sleep mode; when you open it, iPad 2 instantly wake up (no need to swipe to unlock).
Apple Digital AV Adapter (USD$39) — allows you to do video mirroring, output iPad display to TV, video projector, or other HDMI compatible display. Works on any app, no setup required. The adapter has a second connector for you to charge iPad while mirroring video. Digital AV Adapter support video out (no mirroring) for original iPad, iPhone 4, and 4th-generation iPod touch.
My two cents
iPad 2 is thinner, lighter, faster, and added camera. These are good improvement but I don’t feel like to upgrade from iPad 1.
RELATED: Apple iPad 3G + WiFi 16GB Review
Most iPad apps do not need to super power of A5, yet. Original iPad’s A4 can handle 3D gaming like Infinity Blade (showed in iPad 2 demo video) quite well. The A5 processor’s power would only be used in heavy apps like iMovie movie editing.
Facetime camera? When is your last time having video call? I don’t remember anymore. I don’t feel comfortable for other party to see me digging nose when I am chatting with them. Take photos/videos with iPad 2? You will looked more funny than using Samsung Galaxy Tab (review).
My biggest biggest disappointment about iPad 2 is no upgrade for screen display. iPad 2 still using the same 9.7-inch, 1024×768 pixels glossy super glare display.
I am saving money for iPad 3 now. How about you?