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Apple CEO Jobs takes stage to introduce next-generation iPad

Apple’s iPad 2 gets a closer inspection Wednesday in San Francisco after Steve Jobs unveiled the updated tablet computer.

Getty Images photos

Apple’s iPad 2 gets a closer inspection Wednesday in San Francisco after Steve Jobs unveiled the updated tablet computer.

SAN FRANCISCO — Apple CEO Steve Jobs briefly emerged from his medical leave and walked took the Yerba Buena Center stage to a standing ovation Wednesday to unveil the second generation of the popular iPad, which comes with two cameras for video chatting. It goes on sale March 11 in the United States.

Jobs looked frail as he appeared in his signature black mock turtleneck, blue jeans and wire-rimmed glasses.

"We've been working on this product for a while, and I just didn't want to miss today," Jobs said. "Thank you for having me."

The next-generation tablet computer is faster than the original iPad's and is also thinner — 8.8 millimeters, or about a third of an inch, instead of the current 13.4 millimeters.

Jobs also introduced a new accessory for the iPad that will let people connect the tablet to high-definition televisions so they can watch videos up to 1080p in resolution on the bigger screen. The $39 part plugs into the iPad's charging port and connects to an HDMI cable.

Apple also introduced updates to the software that runs on the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch devices. The new system, iOS 4.3, includes support for FaceTime, Apple's video chat program. The update turns iPhones and iPads with 3G cellular connections into personal WiFi hot spots. The improved software also makes Apple's Safari Web browser run faster.

>>Fast facts

Thin is in

Original iPad: 13.4 millimeters.

iPad: 2: 8.8 millimeters.

What's the same

Price: $499 to $829, depending on storage space and whether or not they can connect to the Internet over a cellular network.

Battery life: About 10 hours of usage or a month on standby.

Apple CEO Jobs takes stage to introduce next-generation iPad 03/02/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 2, 2011 10:06pm]
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