The Tablet You Love, Take 2

Apple iPad 2

Let the speculation cease. The iPad 2 ($499-$829) is official. Apple’s latest creation features a new A5 dual-core chip, that’s 2x faster than the original and 9x faster graphics performance. A front and rear video camera are now included too, with the latter being capable of recording 720p video at 30fps — implying HD video calling from your lap may become the terrible new norm. Almost as important as what they’ve added though is what they’ve taken away. Specifically, the new design is 33% thinner than its predecessor and measures just 8.8mm — skinnier than the iPhone 4’s “fat” 9.4mm. Apple has also shaved managed to shave 0.2 pounds off of the iPad 2’s weight and will offer it in white and black. Speaking of shipping, the iPad 2 goes on sale both in stores and online on March 11th, and 3G versions for both AT&T and Verizon will be offered. Battery life is still the same glorious 10 hours and prices haven’t budged either.

For more details on the new iOS 4.3 that’s shipping with it and a gallery of photos, keep reading on the next page.

In terms of software, iOS 4.3 will launch with the iPad 2. Noteworthy improvements in this release include better web browsing performance, and home sharing — which will finally allow your iPad to stream content directly from your computer, just like the AppleTV. There’s also a new HDMI adapter cord to enable 1080p output from the iPad and so-called video mirroring, meaning what you do on screen will appear on the TV. Photo Booth is now included and iOS versions of Garage band and iMovie, tuned for both the iPad 2 and iPhone will each cost you $5 extra.

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