ipad-2-side-by-sideApple kicked off the launch of the iPad 2 today with the delightful surprise of Steve Jobs making an appearance on stage. Considering his current medical leave, it was uncertain if he would show up, but he said he couldn’t miss something this big. Also in attendance was Jony Ive, lead designer for Apple, sitting in the front row, which sure makes you wonder about those rumors he’s leaving from the other day.

Steve came back in fighting form as he led the show off with some zinging for Samsung its sales of just 2 million tablets, and the fact Honeycomb only has 100 tablet specific apps compared to the iPad’s 65,000.  Other take-aways from the intro was that Apple sold 15 million iPads between April and Dec. of last year.  Doesn’t matter what device you’re talking about, that’s impressive.

Not long after that, the iPad 2 logo has hit the screen and it became official that the second iteration of the popular tablet was upon us.  Also announced was the the new A5 processor.  Here’s what we know about the A5 thus far:

Apple A5 Specs

  • 1 GHz
  • Dual-core
  • Up to 2X faster CPU
  • Up to 9X faster graphics
  • Same low power consumption as A4

As for the actual device, the video cameras (yes, plural) have been confirmed with the front one being shown off.  The iPad 2 is also 33% thinner, so there goes using your original cases.  Also added this time around is the same gyroscope used in the iPhone and iPod Touch.

A White iPad 2 has also been shown, we’ll see if it ever ships as we have still never seen the white iPhone materialize.  Hopefully it will!

Shipments will begin on March 11th in the United States, 26 other countries on March 25th. Pricing for the U.S. is:

iPad 2 Pricing

16 GB 32 GB 64 GB
Wi-Fi $499 $599 $699
Wi-Fi + 3G $629 $729 $829

Also new this year will be HDMI out through an adapter on the 30-pin connector. You will be able to charge while using it as the two cables plug in side-by-side. You will be able to mirror your screen to a TV at 1080P, so get ready to share family photos and movies as you like. The adapter will sell for $39.

A new case is also being introduced this year, although it will be renamed to being a “cover”. It’s held on by using magnets, and when you peel it back from the screen it will wake the iPad 2 up, and when you pull it back over, it puts it back to sleep. It adds minimal thickness, is quick to remove, the magnets auto-align it and there is a mico-fiber lining that cleans the screen. The big issue? It doesn’t cover the back, so prepare for scratches.


iPad 2 Specs

  • Dimensions: 9.5″ H x 7.31″ W x .34 D, weighing 1.33 lbs, 1.35 lbs for 3G, 1.34 for Verizon
  • W-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
  • Display is 9.7-inces diagonal, LED-backlit (1024 x 768)
  • A5 1 GHz Dual-core processor
  • Back camera: HD 720p, 30 frames per second with audio, still camera has 5X digital zoom
  • Front camera: VGA at up to 30 frames per second, VGA still camera
  • Three-axis gyro, Accelerometer, Ambient light sensor
  • 30-pin dock connector port, 3.5-mm stereo headphone jack, built-in speaker, microphone
  • Video mirroring via video out up to 1080p.

Be sure to check out our iPad 2 overview video!