Apple announces the iPad 2, Smart Cover and iOS 4.3
Yesterday, Apple unveiled the iPad 2 as Steve Jobs, despite his ill health, gave the keynote. And it indeed is the perfect tablet for 2011. Like we rumored in one of our previous posts, the guys have upgraded it with some of the most anticipated features which were missing on the previous model, while they have also surprised us by introducing a few extra add-ons.
It features a completely new design, and is 33% slimmer than the earlier version with just 8.8mm thick, which makes it thinner than the iPhone 4, and a lot lighter as well weighing just 1.33 pounds for the WiFi only version and 1.35 pounds for the WiFi+3G version. It is powered by a new 1GHz dual core Apple A5 processor which performs 2 times faster than the earlier one and 9 times faster in regards to graphic performance. Like we all anticipated, it has a front-facing VGA camera with up to 30fps of recording and another camera on the rear which supports 720p HD video recording. Additionally, the guys have also integrated the gyroscope which was first unveiled with the iPhone 4. It has a 9.7-inch backlit LED display, runs iOS 4.3, which features AirPlay for streaming media over WiFi and AirPrint which is pretty self explanatory.
Some of the new and interesting applications available on the iPad are FaceTime which enables video calling, Photo Booth to add filters to your photos and do some basic editing, Find My iPad, iMovie to edit your videos on the iPad, professional style, and the most interesting of all, Garage Band, the same one which is available on Mac and now optimized for iOS 4.3.
Furthermore, the guys also announced two new brilliant accessories, the first one being the HDMI cable which enables HDMI video mirroring and can be separately purchased for $39 and the new iPad Smart Cover, which is a new interesting origami flap-like cover for the new iPad, which not only keeps the screen from damaging but also helps clean it using the micro-fiber lining, put it to sleep upon closing it and wakes it up on opening it. It has magnets built right into its frame which smartly aligns it on the front. It will be available in two variations – a polyurethane version priced at $39 and options in colors includes pink, orange, green, sky blue and grey, while the leather version will be priced at $69 and available in beige, light brown, black, bright red and dark slate grey.
It would be available in the United States starting March 11, while Apple is bringing it to 26 other countries on March 26. Apparently, it may still take some more time to arrive in India considering that the original iPad just launched a few weeks ago. The pricing is the same as the original one. It will be available in Black and White from both – Verizon Wireless and AT&T. The WiFi-only version has a 16GB, 32GB and 64GB priced at $499, $599 and $699 and the WiFi+3G model will be priced at $629, $729 and $829 respectively.
Stay tuned for more on iOS 4.3.