Announced at an event currently taking place in San Francisco, California, the iPad 2 has been made official and will be available in two colors (black and white) when it launches Friday week (March 11).
Aside from having a 33 percent slimmer design (it's thinner than iPhone 4), the iPad 2 packs a new chip that Apple is calling the A5. It’s dual-core, packs twice the speed and nine times faster graphics but retains the same low power consumption as the A4. It’s got that same 10 hour battery life; two cameras, one on the front and one on the back; a built-in gyroscope; and HDMI out via a small adapter that allows you to charge at the same time.
It’s available on both AT&T and Verizon and Apple is keeping the same $499 base price for the 16GB WiFi-only model. From there, prices go up as far as $829 (that’s for the 64GB 3G model). However, Apple was quick to point out that five out of six of the iPad models are priced at under $799, which seemed to be a sly little dig at the $799 Motorola Xoom.
Apple also revealed something called Smart Covers. This is a line of covers that clip onto the side of the iPad 2 and magnetically stick to the front of the device. Peeling it away will wake up the device and it can be folded up in a number of different configurations for multiple ‘standing’ options. The Smart Covers come in a range of colors in either polyurethane or leather and will cost $39 (poly) and $69 (leather).