Meet the Dual Core, Multi-Camera iPad 2

Earlier today Apple made good on their promise to wow us once more with yet another new multi-touch wonder: the iPad 2 (Steve Jobs himself kicked off the presentation). Rumors have been flying for months about what it would and wouldn’t include, many of which were proven true, though as always Apple still had a few surprises up its sleeve.

Keep reading to see what the hype is all about. We’ll go over all the details of the new and improved iPad so you can see whether or not it’s time to give in and get one!

Physical Design: Thinner and Lighter

As predicted, the iPad 2 has a sleeker physical design than the previous version. The new version is 33% thinner and 15% lighter.

The edges are beveled and the back appears to be much flatter, which should dramatically improve using the iPad while it rests on a flat surface. As predicted, speaker grill has been moved to the rear bottom of the device.

As you can see, from the frontside perspective, not much has really changed aside from the addition of a camera. When your device is all screen, it’s hard to change the basic appearance. There’s also now a built-in gyroscope so gaming is about to get noticeably better!

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The new iPad

Tech Specs: Faster, Sleeker and More Powerful

Obviously, Apple wouldn’t dream of introducing a new product that isn’t faster and more powerful than the previous version, and the iPad 2 is no exception. Here’s a quick rundown of what we know so far:

  • Height: 9.5 inches (down from 9.56)
  • Width: 7.31 inches (down from 7.47)
  • Depth: 0.34 inches
  • Weight: 1.33 pounds down from 1.5 (Wifi, 3G is 1.34-1.35 for Verizon and AT&T respectively)
  • Resolution: 1024×768 pixels
  • Capacity: 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB
  • Processor: 1GHz dual-core Apple A5
  • Battery Life: 10 Hours
screenshot

Physical Dimensions

The most notable upgrade is the fact that the iPad now sports a new dual core A5 processor. This should really take the speed and capabilities of the device into a whole new realm, and indeed some of the new software below really pushes the bounds of what I would’ve thought was possible on such a slim tablet!

As yet another bonus, the iPad now supports HDMI output, which should make those Keynote presentations prettier than ever!

Resolution

As you can see, despite multiple reports, no bump in screen resolution was made. The iPad 2 looks like it sports a nearly identical display to the first version.

Say Cheese: The iPad Gets Two Cameras

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A two camera setup just like the iPhone

No one knew exactly what the iPad 2 would have in store for us, but we all knew one thing: at least one camera would be present. Apple didn’t disappoint though and instead opted to mimic the dual camera setup from the iPhone so that you can utilize both a front and rear-facing view.

The iPad’s new cameras are primed for not only photos and video, but also live video chatting with other iPads, iPhones, iPod Touches and even Macs.

Here are the specs on the two cameras, straight from Apple:

  • Back camera: Video recording, HD (720p) up to 30 frames per second with audio; still camera with 5x digital zoom
  • Front camera: Video recording, VGA up to 30 frames per second with audio; VGA-quality still camera

Software: iOS 4.3

Along with the iPad, Apple gave us more of a glimpse into iOS 4.3. In addition to some performance enhancements, there are a few new apps from Apple. Obviously, you can now use FaceTime, but they’ve also brought PhotoBooth Garage Band and iMovie to the iPad as well!

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PhotoBooth is better than ever on the iPad

PhotoBooth is all the fun you’re familiar with but now the effects can be manipulated by sliding your fingers around. iMovie is a lot like the iPhone version but really seems to take advantage of the larger screen by including many enhanced controls.

Even more exciting for me is the all new Garage Band app for iPad. You can use the included software instruments or plug in your own just like you can on the Mac!

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Both iMovie and Garage Band have made the jump to the iPad

The New Smart Cover

In addition to the new iPad, Apple unveiled new “Smart Covers” to protect your iPad. They cover up only the screen of the iPad and auto-align using magnets. The magnets also tell the iPad when to wake/sleep so that the device will automatically wake up when you pull the cover off.

Further, the cover folds up and doubles as a stand!

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The Smart Cover only covers the screen

iPad 3: Later This Year?

Now that we’ve got you all hyped up about the iPad 2, it’s worth noting that many sources are reporting that yet another version of the iPad will be released as early as September. Supposedly, today’s update was intentionally kept fairly mild while the real surprises are in store for the iPad 3.

However, no matter how many times I read this rumor, and it’s everywhere right now, I just can’t stomach the thought of Apple releasing another update that soon (nor would I call this a minor update!). Customers who are still getting used to their shiny, new iPad 2 would no doubt be furious to see an update in September. After the outcry from Apple’s debacle with dropping the original iPhone’s price just months after the release, I imagine they’ll shy away from this type of tactic!

What Do You Think?

Leave a comment below and let us know what you think of the iPad 2. Is it the update you were hoping for? What features are you most happy with and most disappointed in?

Also, do you think this is just a minor update meant to hold us over until the real treat later this year? Or should we not expect a third iPad until March of next year? We want to hear your thoughts and opinions!


  • http://www.twitter.com/ConnorTurnbull Connor Turnbull

    Very nice. Delicious in fact.

    I’ll be picking one of those up on March 25th in the UK. Well a 32GB 3G one and a boatload of accessories. HDMI out *drools*

  • //adrusi.com/ adrusi

    I’m really surprised that it doesn’t have a retina display, that’s a big disappointment. It would also be nice for it to sport a thunderbolt port, but the technology that thunderbolt relies on, while used in all traditional computers, would require a complete redesign of the iPad’s architecture, and with only a week since thunderbolt was revealed (less), there wouldn’t be enough time to do that

  • http://www.timstringer.com Tim Stringer

    I’m very impressed by what I’ve seen so far. There’s a good chance I’ll be looking for a new home for my first generation iPad.

    I do a fair amount of presenting and training and am happy I’ll be able to mirror my iPad’s display without having to jailbreak the device. It wasn’t clear if this will be available to first generation iPad owners as well. The video camera is a welcome addition as I use FaceTime quite a bit…and I’m thrilled to see the addition of iMovie and Garage Band. Both will be lots of fun.

    The case is also very innovative, though I’m not sure I’m not sure how I feel about leaving the back of the iPad 2 exposed. I’ll likely pick up a slip case for some extra protection when I’m on the go.

    • http://www.coroflot.com/joshuajohnson Joshua Johnson

      I think third party manufacturer’s will really advance the Smart Cover concept. I can’t wait to see what cool products come from it.

  • Eva

    I still WANT one! Not sure I can justify needing one, but that’s not the point. WANT. That’s the point, my precioussss.

  • Marius Masalar

    Okay, so I’m impressed and somewhat relieved that a lot of the “minor spec bump” rumours weren’t quite true. It’s a spec bump, but it’s pretty significant. I think a 3rd gen in just a few months would be silly, but you never know.

    Either way, I’m glad I waited until second gen to get my iPad…now I can look forward to grabbing one ASAP.

    The cases seem a bit dumb to me though…only protects one side? This thing is paper thin and light, so I for one am happy to put it in a more serious case that will actually protect it against bumps and bruises. I’ll wait for the proper cases from third parties that take advantage of the magnetic sleep/wake thing.

  • Rohan

    So is this worth buying?

    • http://www.coroflot.com/joshuajohnson Joshua Johnson

      In a word… yep.

  • Matt Benz

    I like this review. Pretty much sums it up. I would, however, like to point out that at the top where you are talking about weight, you guys wrote “The new version is 33% thinner and 5% lighter.” It should be 15%! Anyways, cool review.

  • http://www.amperspectives.com Andy M

    I love the new iPad 2 updates. I have already sold my iPad 1 today. :)

  • http://ApfelTutor.ch ApfelTutor

    well, The iPad 3 Rumor …

    what I missed today:
    o higher display resolution
    o the new Thunderbolt interface.

    what I enjoy the most, out of today:
    x iPad Smart Cover
    x dual-core A5 with superfast graphics performance
    x 3-axis Gyroscope
    x HD video camera
    x iPad Side Switch (dual mode)
    x Video mirroring
    x iTunes Home Sharing

    So, I dont think there will be a major update this year – but another “minor” update would be really nice in September.

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  • http://activetofocus.com activetofocus

    YES,Beautiful design.I like iPad2 ! But today from 3999¥ down 2888¥ ,It’s big discount.

  • http://techinch.com/ Matthew Guay

    I’m most excited that GarageBand will be avilable for iPad 1 too … I plan to stick with mine a bit longer, but sure would hate to not get GarageBand! Too bad they’re not releasing iMovie for iPad 1 too…

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  • http://imeerocks.net Imee

    Photobooth & Garageband… YES! :)

  • Kent J

    Give me a USB port or the ability to copy any picture/photo/graphic from an SD card and I will THEN reluctantly say i love my ipad. At this point i just ‘LIKE” my ipad.

    CONNECTIVITY!!!!! apple sucks on it

  • http://www.hatchferguson.com Stephen

    As a business user looking for a neat way to do presentations to small groups I would have liked to see a projector facility in the Ipad 2. Humping laptops and projectors to meetings that then have to be set up takes up time that could have been sued for the presentation.

    You can get an Iphone size projector and attach by cable but it costs around £250, which is a lot for a small business on top of the cost of the Ipad.

    I have not had the Ipad 1 so I am new to the product and hoping it will make my life easier and slicker as well as an enjoyable thing to have back at home.

  • http://adf.ly/1sMqx antony

    Hi nice post, Do you want a Free iPAD 2. Get it from: http://adf.ly/1sMqx

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