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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Apple reveals iPad 2, thinner, lighter and faster with two cameras for same price



Apple CEO Steve Jobs made a surprise appearance in San Francisco today to announced the iPad 2, a lighter, thinner and faster version of the blockbuster original iPad that has set the pace for the exploding tablet market. Orders for the iPad 2 will begin on March 11 and despite a number of upgrades the prices will remain the same as the original version.


The iPad 2 will ship with a 1GHz dual-core Apple A5 processor that is twice as fast with nine-times the graphics support. With front and rear-facing HD 720p video cameras it's also 33% thinner and 15% lighter than the original. It will be available in white and black on both the AT&T and Verizon networks. WiFi-only and WiFi/3G models are included in the lineup with 16GB, 32GB and 64GB of storage for the same prices as the original iPads, starting at $499.


The 9.7-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit glossy widescreen Multi-Touch display has a resolution of 1024-by-768-pixel resolution at 132 pixels per inch (ppi) and a special fingerprint-resistant, oleophobic coating.

Designed with two cameras, the back camera produces HD (720p) video with up to 30 frames per second and audio and also is a still camera with 5x digital zoom. No information on the still camera's sensor size was immediately available. The front camera produces VGA video at up to 30 frames per second with audio and VGA-quality stills. Both cameras have a "tap to control" feature for exposure on video and stills. Photos and video can be geotagged over WiFi.


The built-in 25-watt-hour rechargeable lithium-polymer battery is rated to last for up to 10 hours of web surfing via WiFi or when watching video or listening to music. That rating drops to nine hours when using the iPad on the 3G network.


The iPad 2 will be released running iOS 4.3 that will include a new Photo Booth app and FaceTime video conferencing. iMovie and Garage Band for the iPad also were announced and will be available for $4.99 each on March 11. The iOS 4.3 update also will be available for other devices on March 11.

For more details about iOS 4.3, new apps and iPad accessories, please go to this post.

[Last modified: Wednesday, March 2, 2011 5:28pm]


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