Apple iPad 2 (and more) unveiled today

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Mere minutes ago, Apple unveiled its iPad 2 and quite a bit more at a media event, throwing the daylight of reality on speculation about the rumored new device’s features.  Steve Jobs, Apple CEO who has taken a leave of absence from the day-to-day operations, even emcee’d the event.  More detailed info is available via Apple, but a quick rundown: New dual-core A5 processor (touted to be faster than the previous A4), front- and read-facing cameras, gyroscope, 33% thinner (13.4mm to 8.8mm—thinner than the iPhone 4 at 9.3mm),  lighter (1.3lb vs. 1.5lb), black or white bezel colors, models for both AT&T and Verizon, same battery life and same price tag (starting at $499), up to 1080p HDMI video out (with a $39 cable), and to begin shipping March 11!  Who’s gettin’ one?

Also debuted was something called a SmartCover.  It’s a flap that attaches magnetically to the iPad 2 and when pulled back from its face, it “wakes” the device; it also folds into a stand.  Has a microfiber underside and available in 5 polyurethane ($39) or 5 leather ($69) colors.

Additionally, iOS 4.3 (also out March 11) with improved Safari, iTunes home sharing over WiFi, AirPlay improvements, personal hotspot (for iPhone 4 only), and both FaceTime and Photo Booth (to take advantage of the iPad 2’s new cameras).

Finally, new apps: iMovie and Garage Band for iPad (each $4.99).

I myself am a bit bummed that the Retina Display rumors didn’t pan out, but I held out and didn’t buy an iPad, and now I’m definitely going to pick up one of these.  Anybody else out there going to buy one, or am I the only one?  😉

Special thanks to Engadget for the awesome live event feed coverage!

15 thoughts on “Apple iPad 2 (and more) unveiled today”

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  2. I don’t think I’ll be running out to get one. I like the new cover, but the other features don’t really force me to want to upgrade yet. I don’t Facetime, and I see the camera otherwise being uneccessary. Faster/thinner is nice, but not necessary for my use. I’ll let others try it out first.

  3. I like the new features and all, but I don’t feel like they’re enough to warrant a new purchase if you’ve already got an iPad (unless, of course, you have a specific need for the cameras). If I was shopping for my first tablet, however, I’d absolutely be putting my money down for the iPad 2.

    As it stands, my original iPad is still working like a champ, so as long as iOS 5 doesn’t bring it to its knees like iOS 4 did to the iPhone 3G, I’ll be just fine until the next generation of iPads is announced.

  4. @Ajax: What on earth are you talking about? The iPad has had multitasking since the release of iOS 4.2, back in November.

  5. I’m with Andy, mine is still working great, still has great battery life, so no need to upgrade yet. Although I definitely will appreciate lighter weight though when the time comes.

  6. Decent update for those people who have not purchased yet… awesome that the price is unchanged, but still can’t justify the purchase. My Windows 7 desktop, iPhone 4 and MacBook Air 11″ do everything I need at the moment.

  7. I have three buyers for my old iPad (let the bidding begin) and plan to buy the new iPad 2 at first light on March 11. My MacBook Air 11″ is sweet, but for traveling and light work (DropBox), nothing beats the iPad. I can hardly wait!

  8. It’s very tempting. I do a lot of reading on my iPhone, maybe now it’s time to go for a bigger screen.

  9. Now’s a good time to pick up a used iPad 1 on the cheap. The iPad 1 is already plenty fast, and I don’t really think a couple of ozs of weight and a sliver of thickness makes that much difference on an already svelte device. I think if you got to have the latest, the iPad 2 is the way to go. But if you are looking for a capable, bang-for-buck tablet, the iPad 1 is still fine, and cheap.

  10. I don’t have an iPad yet, and I admit some gadget lust looking at the new one. I wouldn’t mind putting it on my birthday wish list, but I’m tempted to hold out for the (rumored) iPad3 with the better screen.

    We’ll see how long I can last before buying one.

  11. Yes, the new ones are great. However, my 1st generation is still superb. So, no need for an upgrade. Also, I agree with the poster above on getting a great deal on the 1st gen iPad. Go for it! To me, tablets are not phones. The reason that I upgrade my phone, yearly, is because of the discount; tablets don’t offer this.

  12. @Andy Simmons = The iPad doesn’t multitask…it pauses applications while others run. It also has a very poor interface for switching back and forth between apps. For me…the pause is okay…the double click and swipe back and forth to find an app is horrid.

    The problem with the iPad 2 is the same problem the iPad 1 has…iOS. It’s underpowered and locked down compared to the competition like Android.

    For me…as long as Apple keeps blocking addons like Flash and Silverlight, etc., won’t allow files to be easily manipulated without connecting to iTunes and doesn’t include a USB port for easy connectivity they won’t be getting any more iPad purchases from me.

    Adobe has shown that Flash runs very well on small devices (it runs on my G2 very nicely).

    It does appear that Apple at least now included a radio that will now work with TMobile’s 3G network. They made a big deal of how they weren’t locking people to AT&T but didn’t really mention that the iPad can’t work with any other U.S. carrier last year.

    I wonder how Apple is going to spin the lack of 4G capability as many of the Android and even RIM phones are starting to run on the 4G networks and none of Apple’s devices are slated to do so until next year. I guess they’ll just tell us all that it isn’t necessary like cut/paste wasn’t for over two years.

  13. I sold my iPad 1 before the keynote was over. Should be getting the iPad 2 next weekend – in Uganda!
    Loving my iPad – actually sold my MacBook a couple of months ago so I only have my Mac Pro and iPad. Will need the extra power that comes with the iPad 2.

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