Apple has officially unveiled the successor to the iPad, the tablet that shaped the market. The iPad 2 will ship in the United States March 11th, 2011 in a Wifi only configuration and a Wifi + 3G configuration. The Wifi only models will retail at $499 for 16GB, $599 for 32GB, and $699 for 64GB. The Wifi+ 3G models, from both AT&T and Verizon Wireless, will cost $629 for 16GB, $729 for 32GB, and $829 for 64GB. Both 3G and Wifi only models will be offered in black and white.
The design of the new iPad has been refreshed. At 9.5 inches by 7.31 inches by .34 inches, the iPad 2 is significantly smaller than the previous design. Plus, at only 1.3 pounds, the iPad 2 is not only lighter than the former model but is also one of the most compact tablets announced. However, Apple did not compromise on the battery in this smaller enclosure. The iPad 2 will still get a full ten hours of performance from its internal 25-watt cell.
Inside, the iPad is significantly improved as well. Sporting a blazing fast dual core 1GHz A5 chip, the new iPad is twice as fast as before. Moreover, thanks to a new but unnamed GPU, graphics performance is about nine times as powerful as before. The iPad also sports both a front facing VGA camera and an HD rear facing camera allowing users to capture and create outstanding mobile videos. One of my favorite features, the iPad 2 also supports full video-mirroring via VGA and HDMI adapters!
The new iPad is clearly an evolutionary update to the previous design. Although faster, lighter, and thinner than before, the iPad 2 is not a completely new product. It is, however, one of the most powerful and attractive tablets on the market. No one will feel slighted by the elegance and efficiency of the new iPad. Will you be upgrading on March 11th?