So, the moment we’ve all been waiting for. The iPad 2 is finally here, and it’s got a whole load of new features, applications and accessories.
The first thing everyone’s going to notice is the size difference (in terms of thickness/depth); Apple has managed to make the iPad 2 an impressive 33% thinner and 15% lighter which means that it is now thinner than the iPhone 4.
The next new feature is one that will please everyone, two cameras; the rear being able to record hd video. Obviously with the addition to new cameras, this means that FaceTime fans now have another device they can use to video chat with one another. Going by the demonstration at the Apple Keynote, the iPad’s 9.7″ screen makes FaceTiming with friends even more personal due to the almost lifesize representation of users.
Some other much anticipated features now available are the Gyro, accelerometer, and compass (not so much). The newly included Gyro means that the iPad can sense which direction it is heading and how it’s moving, so games, maps, and other apps know your every twist, turn and tilt.
Apple’s new A5 1Ghz Dual Core processor is also the heart of the iPad 2 and it features the same 10 hours of battery and 30 days of stand-by.
In addition to the hardware changes, Apple have also added some new features on the software side. These updates come in the form of apps and additions to iOS 4.3. One of the new Apps for iPad 2 is GarageBand, costing $4.99, which has some amazing feaures such as direct input for a guitarist (using extra hardware sold separately), smart instruments which allow any level musician to create amazing songs and also virtual instruments such as pianos, guitars, drums and keyboards. In addition to all of the instruments, there is also an 8 track recorder to allow professional song creation all the way from beginning to end; and with the ability to send the song to iTunes and via email, you can let anyone know about your new creations.
Apple’s new Case/Cover looked like it also had some complex planning whilst designing it. The Smart Cover is an ingenious cover that both protects your iPad’s screen and doubles up as a stand. The Smart Cover works because of the implementation of magnets inside both the iPad 2 and the Smart Cover, these allow for the Smart Cover to fall into place perfectly and easily.
Now, with all of these additions and more, most of you would think that the prices would be horrendous (and although being a slight Apple fanboy, I’d probably have thought so to), but Apple had actually kept the prices exactly the same as the 1st Generation iPad. $499 is the starting price for the 16gb WiFi only model and they go up to $829 for the 64GB WiFI+3G version. (UK Prices to be announced shortly)
Now, if you haven’t started already, you better start saving your pennies because the release date is 11th March (US), just a little over a week away. The 25th March will be when atleast another 26 countries start getting the iPad 2 including the UK, France and Germany.