Apple have just officially announced the second generation iPad!
Steve Jobs and a couple of other senior Apple executives presented the new, much anticipated, iPad, displaying it’s new features live on stage.
The iPad 2, which will run iOS 4.3, has been given a release date of March 11th.
The iPad 2 has a snazzy new 1GHz A5 chip, which is reportedly, twice as fast as its predecessors.
It also comes as no great surprise to see that Apple have also, finally, after much public outcry, decided to put a front and rear camera on the iPad 2.
Another major talking point is that the iPad 2 seems to have successfully undergone a weight watchers regime as it is now 33% thinner, measuring a super-thin 8.8mm (slimmer then the iPhone 4) and weighing only 600g.
Impressively, Apple claim that the iPad 2, which is set to be available in either black or white, will still maintain a similar battery life to the first generation iPad (10 hours), despite the improved performance and additional features.
As well as now having FaceTime compatibility and a larger speaker grille, the iPad 2 also comes with HDMI output, however, an additional cable (priced $39) is required.
There are also additional ‘add-ons’ in the form of new, iPad exclusive, apps.
iMovie and Garageband, two flagship pieces of Apple software, have been made iPad compatible.
These apps will be available for $4.99 each, a bargain in Steve Jobs’ eyes, “I cannot tell you how many hours teenagers are going to spend making music with this.” His words, not mine.
Mr Jobs has also designed a new cover, which is essentially some thin magnets wrapped in your choice of coloured poly ($39) or leather ($69).
Don’t go thinking it’s just some expensive piece of material though, oh no, when the cover is placed on the iPad 2 it puts it into sleep mode and it is then awoken when the cover is removed.
Jobs is probably rather smug about the fact that his new cover can also be folded into a table top stand on which you can prop up your iPad 2, presumably to make you look more professional.
Prices start at $499 for the WiFi 16GB model and $629 for the WiFi + 3G 16GB model.
Pre-orders are not yet being taken but in the meantime first generation iPad prices have been slashed to $399.