Before starting, allow me to state that I am perfectly aware of the fact that one of two things will happen today across the Internet; everyone with a blog or Twitter account will either write about the iPad 2 with great praise, or tweet and blog about how they hate having their Twitter stream filled with BS about the iPad 2. That being said…I dont’ care (sorry, folks). I want to write about the iPad 2, so I’m going to write about the iPad 2, even though I have no hope of affording one anytime soon.
There’s been a lot of speculation about what improvements the iPad 2 will offer. Of course, being an Apple product, this should be no surprise. For some reason, speculation and media frenzy go hand in hand with Apple. Parts of the iOS 4.3 beta, like the inclusion of FaceTime, Photo Booth, and Camera apps, have hinted at the possibility of both front-facing and rear cameras. Other parts of the iOS 4.3 beta have pointed to the possibility of a proximity sensor for when the iPad is kept in a book-style case. A Retina Display capable screen is expected, and some have even suggested that the iPad 2 may do away with the home button, relying on a unique gesture to perform the home button’s potentially obsolete functionality.
Well, the speculation is over, as the iPad 2 has been revealed. What’s new?
- New brain: The iPad 2 will be using the new A5 chip (dual-core processor resulting in up to 2x faster CPU and 9x faster graphics, while retaining the low power consumption of the A4).
- New moves: The iPad 2 will include the same built-in gyroscope found in iPhone/iPod Touch.
- New waistline: The iPad 2 will be 33% thinner than the iPad, going from 13.4mm to 8.8mm, which is 0.5mm thinner than the iPhone 4 (which at its release was, if you recall, the thinnest smartphone yet).
- New eyes: The iPad 2 includes both front-facing and rear cameras. With these cameras you get the ability to use apps like Photo Booth and FaceTime. The new processor is so powerful that Photo Booth effects can be cycled through with real-time results. FaceTime on the iPad 2 works with all FaceTime enabled devices.
- New choice: The semi-controversial rotation lock/mute switch back and forth has now been settled with a Settings preference that allows the user to choose the switch’s functionality.
- New old news: The iPad 2 is available from day one in both black and white, on both AT&T and Verizon.
- New old battery: The iPad 2 retains the battery life of the iPad in spite of the increased functionality and decreased internal living space.
- New old pricing: The iPad 2 pricing is the same as the iPad pricing, ranging from $499 to $829 depending on WiFi vs. WiFi/3G and storage size.
- New output: The iPad 2 has HDMI out that provides mirrored video output up to 1080p. It works with all apps, supports rotation, allows you to chargee your iPad 2 while you’re using it, and requires no setup or configuration. The special cable runs $39.
- New clothes: The iPad 2 has a new Apple cover called a Smart Cover. Held on by magnets, it covers the face of the iPad 2. It can be purchased in polyurethane or leather, has a micro-fiber lining that cleans the screen, and utilizes the new proximity sensor to wake the iPad 2 when you open it, and put it to sleep when you close. It has multiple folds so that you can also use it as an easel-stand in either portrait or landscape mode. $39 for polyurethane, $69 for leather.
- “…2011 is clearly the year of the iPad 2…”
The iPad 2 will be available for purchase March 11, 2011. Apple retail stores will start walk-in retail sales at 5PM on that day. So, did you get what you wanted? Was there more you would have liked to see? What included features excite you the most, and what excluded features do you miss?