Apple iPad 2 Announcement is Black and White

Apple iPad 2 Announcement is Black and White

Earlier today we told you there was still time to post your iPad 1 up on eBay or Craigslist before it goes out of style. Hopefully you took our advice, because if you didn't, it might be too late. During a press event in San Francisco today, Apple officially launched the iPad 2, so now the mainstream is up to speed on what technophiles had known for a while was coming. So what did we learn?


Mainly what we learned is that it's incredibly difficult to keep a secret in this day and age of the Internet. Most of what the iPad 2 brings to the table had already been leaked to the Web days, weeks, and even months before today. Let's take a quick and dirty look at the feature-set:
  • The iPad 2 is 33 percent thinner than the original at just 8.8mm
  • The iPad 2 is up to 15 percent lighter than the original
  • Uses a dual-core A5 processor that's twice as fast as before
  • Graphics performance is 9x better than before
  • Built-in gyro for advanced gaming
  • Screen size and resolution are both the same (9.7 inches, 1024x768)
  • Front-facing camera with FaceTime support
  • Rear-facing camera with 720p HD recording
  • Same 10-hour battery life claim as with the original iPad
In other words, the iPad 2 is thinner, lighter, faster, and better equipped than before, just as we've been hearing leading up to the official launch. Curiously missing is any mention of RAM, which leads us to believe it won't ship with 1GB. There's also no USB port or microSD card slot, and of course no support for Adobe Flash. There is, however, the option of an HDMI mirrored video out cable that will provide up to 1080p output to your swank HDTV.


And what of the recent rumor that Apple would ship the iPad 2 in both black and white? It's true! Whatever has prevented Apple from shipping a white iPhone 4 apparently hasn't stopped the mobile device maker from coming out with a white iPad 2, which will cost the same as the black version (we'll get to pricing info in a minute).


Launching with the iPad is a new Smart Cover that serves double-duty as a folding stand. Unlike the original, however, this one magnetically attaches to magnets built into the iPad 2's bezel.  In addition, the new Smart Cover "automatically wakes the iPad 2 when it's opened and puts it to sleep when it's closed." Pretty rad.



On the operating system front, Apple will release iOS 4.3 with the iPad 2. The OS boasts a faster browser, iTunes Home Sharing, enhancements to AirPlay, the choice to use the iPad switch to lock the screen in portrait/landscape mode or mute the audio, and Personal Hotspot to share an iPhone 4 cellular data connection over Wi-Fi.

All in all, it's a decent, if not spectacular upgrade to the original iPad. It's faster, but may not have more RAM. It will have cameras, but limited to 720p recording. Graphics performance is improved, but the display panel remains the same. Is it worth upgrading your original iPad? Depends on how much those added features mean to you.


One thing you won't have to decide is whether or not the new features justify a pricing premium, because the iPad 2's pricing structure is exactly the same as the iPad 1. That means you can pick up an entry-level iPad 2 16GB Wi-Fi for $499. As for availability, the iPad 2 will go on sale on March 11th, which is next Friday. If you are planning to sell your iPad 1, that gives you a little over a week to unload it before prices really take a nosedive in the used market, if not sooner.
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You know what... .Hats off to Apple.... in the sense that, the prices are fair imo, especially when compared to other tablets..... dual core cpu, 33% thinner.... thats just impressive. Forget apple for a second and just think from an engineering perspective. Its lighter, has more features and is still capable of having the same battery life (assuming that i believe whats posted).

Thats pretty impressive, Once again, forget that its apple, just think it from a tech-evo point of view.

I sitll wouldnt buy one though hahah

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Excellent breakdown Paul, as always you do great work here and @ MaxPc..

The first thing that came to mind is the fact that you getting a device that's more powerful than the previous generation, but at the same price point. That there, is a winner. I totally expected the opposite.

I love all the new features, plus the Smart cover is absolute genious. But the part that appeals most to me, is the HDMI connection. Knowing that the Ipad 2 is fully capable of outputting 1080p videos, I'm able to display my work to my clients on their TV at the maximum resolution, and at the same time, look sophisticated. ...Great conversation piece also.

Starting at 499, I don't think the Xoom has a chance, unless you rely on Android...I'm no expert and I have never own any Android devices, so I don't know whats the experience is like, but , If and when the time comes to have a regular day-to-day use for a tablet(which looking at the Ipad 2, ...its looking right, at the moment) .. I would go for the Ipad 2, hands down.

PS..Glad to see Good old Steve @ it again, healthy and in great spirit.

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SammyHayabuza
Excellent breakdown Paul, as always you do great work here and @ MaxPc..

The first thing that came to mind is the fact that you getting a device that's more powerful than the previous generation, but at the same price point. That there, is a winner.

Thanks for the props, SammyHayabuza. And I agree that the iPad 2 is a potential "winner," at least for Apple. The iPad 2 is still missing some key features, and the lack of Flash support is frustrating, but I think Apple added enough upgrades to keep the iPad not only relevant, but still the tablet to beat. Between Apple's marketing mastery and app infrastructure, they don't necessarily need to have the fastest or most feature-rich tablet on the market, they just an overall really good one, and I think they have that with the iPad 2.

I'll find out soon enough, anyway. Sold my iPad 1 last week and will be snagging an iPad 2 on March 11.

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New slimmer design, and some improvements, but same old B.S. NO memory expansion, NO replaceable battery, NO USB ports, STILL same old Itunes crap. I will be getting rid of mine, and getting an Android tablet with Tegra 2 thank you.

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Ill admit, props to apple, but i still dont want a tablet. Its certainly more capable of replacing a notebook than it used to be but even now, why would i bother? At 500$ with AMD's E-350 in the same range, and the next iteration of it to be 50% more powerful in the same envelope...id rather have a full OS and slightly less battery life.

But for those who want tablets, looks like apple takes the cake again for the time being...aside from the display at least....

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finally! now i'm getting one.

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TBagger,

Was the iPad your first introduction to Apple products? The "iTunes crap" was an absolute given--iTunes is Apple's fundamental application for iTunes/iPhone/iPad integration, file management, and content playback. Given how central the product is to Apple's revenue, a fundamental overhaul to iTunes (or a major change to content access) would be like Microsoft announcing a fundamental redesign of Office products from the blackboard up.

The rest was all absolutely predictable as well. Jobs doesn't like expandable devices. I won't go so far as to say that Jobs "doesn't like" external ports, but such accoutrements are always kept minimal and no iPod, iPhone, or iPad has ever featured an external port or expandable memory. Apple's decision to start using one-way screws earlier this year is a clear demonstration that the company doesn't want anyone to be able to swap the battery.

I'm not defending *any* of the above as good or saying I prefer it. In point of fact, I don't. There was no reason to think that Apple would adopt any of the changes you were looking for and good reason to expect they wouldn't.

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Pwrnt,

I've always seen a tablet as more useful than a laptop in situations where one is computing on-the-go, with one hand holding the device and the other perhaps no more than intermittently available for data entry. If you fly coach and want to do much on the plane, a tablet might also be more useful than a laptop--especially if you have seatmates.

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To be honest, I'm more excited about how much of this hardware will arrive in the iPhone 5 than I am about the iPad 2. ;)

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I for one am genuinely impressed with what Apple has delivered here. They definitely could have knocked it out of the park with the simple, low-cost addition of an SD card slot though. Why-oh-why must we keep things so closed Apple?? So close to perfection here! We'll see how it stacks up in the lab here though. ;-)

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SWEEET! looking forward to that review!! Though i have a request, can you try to show how sensitive the accelerometer is? i was playing with an ipad at the apple store the other day while browsing through the mall.... and i noticed that the screen orientation change was a bit too delicate/ sensitive for my liking... and me being an ios noob, i couldnt figure out a way if there was a way to decrease it, if thats possible at all.

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Dave_HH:
They definitely could have knocked it out of the park with the simple, low-cost addition of an SD card slot though

I can only think of two things...

Maybe Apple doesn't want the Ipads to be used as or confused as, Digital Picture Frames and, second, having an SD card slot can hinder sales of greater capacity models.

And there's also one more thing, "rooting or hacking via the SD card slot..but that's something way out of my territory,... correct me if I'm wrong.

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hmm....guess i'll stick with my Ipod touch then. still does pretty much the same thing.

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OK; I was really confused when watching the conference on a live blog, they said basically nothing about internals at all. This looks somewhat better, and as I have been saying supposedly they have another on coming 3rd quarter, or so it seems. If I wanted a tablet (well it is not that I absolutely don't currently there is not enough justification for me for the expenditure, not to mention money is kind of tight), I think I would get the BB slate coming soon, the Xoom is decent but the BB model looks better for right around the same amount.

The iPad 2 is 33 percent thinner than the original at just 8.8mm

The iPad 2 is up to 15 percent lighter than the original

Uses a dual-core A5 processor that's twice as fast as before

Graphics performance is 9x better than before

Built-in gyro for advanced gaming

Screen size and resolution are both the same (9.7 inches, 1024x768)

Front-facing camera with FaceTime support

Rear-facing camera with 720p HD recording

Same 10-hour battery life claim as with the original iPad

The dual core and extended GPU capabilities make it look decent, or at least better, but why not upgrade the panel to?

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Tech lust...but still, I really can't afford one, and really don't need one. I hit the lottery, it's another story!

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Heh. Never try to apply logic to Apple's product decisions without first considering Steve Job's approach to things. There are a ton of reasons why Jobs wouldn't want to put a microSD or USB2 slot on a product (I'm not saying he's always the only voice or that he doesn't sometimes do things in a way he dislikes. 

 

  •  Current capacities are fine. Why? Because he says so. You don't need more storage. If you need more storage, buy the more expensive device.
  • An SD or USB2 port could open the way to device hacking in general. That's bad. Your iPad runs the software Jobs thinks is best already. You don't need to change it. If you need to update it, Apple will tell you.
  • You don't need any sort of peripheral support. It's all with your fingers. If you think you need some of this stuff you're wrong.

Etc, etc, etc. Apple doesn't build products designed to inspire you to tinker. Apple designs products for you to like just the way they are. I actually rather hate this approach, but I think Steve honestly believes he knows what users need much more accurately than users do. Based on the exploding popularity of these devices, it'd be hard to argue.

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Well, Heres an interesting article i read on cnn.

http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2011/03/03/steve-jobs-reality-distortion-takes-its-toll-on-truth/

It points out some very interesting facts. I havnt seen the keynote yet.. i've skimmed through it though. Essentially, and this goes for practically all companies, Apple really tweaks the facts arounds haha.

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Joel H

Im sure Ipad makes for good entertainment, but in terms of capabilities its just not up to par on the OS side. I want to be able to run applications that i run on my computer, i want to be able to work anywhere and not have to sacrifice screen real estate for a keyboard. When it comes down to it Ipad is great for media and dicking around but other than that it cant do what a full flavored computer can.

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Pwr,

I don't know how many people are really arguing it can. I've toyed with the idea of experimenting with an iPad + keyboard dock as a notebook replacement when traveling, but I haven't felt quite sure enough to take that jump yet. *If* it works, it'll be because enough specific apps have been written to allow for it.

I think tablets will eventually make great sense for people in certain work environments and for anyone who primarily needs a device to *consume* information. That doesn't necessarily mean just entertainment by any means, but I think tablets will end up in businesses where you spend a lot more time reading content (checking patient charts, teaching in a school) than writing it.

Anyone who spends a lot of time authoring content is a person who spends a decent chunk of time in front of a monitor--and *that* kind of user will want to stick with more traditional form factors, IMO.

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