This morning, right next door to the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, Apple held an event at which it--as rumored--unveiled the iPad 2. The new device is thinner and more powerful than its elder sibling and has several new features and improvements. It also has a much-earlier-than-expected ship date of March 11--just over one week away.
The iPad 2 is 33 percent thinner and 15 percent lighter than its predecessor, but it boasts the same screen size and resolution. It will sport a new dual-core A5 processor but will still have the same battery life of 10 hours. The device will also be available in two colors: black and white.
The biggest additions to the device are rear- and front-facing cameras. The latter is a VGA camera that can be used for FaceTime video chat with iPad 2 and iPhone 4 owners. The former can shoot 720p HD video, which can be edited with iMovie App for the iPad, also due on March 11. Both cameras can take pictures that can then be altered using the iPad's Photo Booth software.
The iPad 2 will also have the ability to mirror video on larger-screen displays such as HDTVs via an HDMI output. However, an adaptor--sold separately for $39--will be required.
Pricing of the iPad 2 will begin at $499 for the 16GB model, rising to $599 for the 32GB model and to $699 for the 64GB model. The iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G will cost $629 for 16GB, $729 for 32GB, and $829 for the 64GB model. Purchasers will have a choice of two wireless service providers: Verizon or AT&T.