iPad 2: A Completely New Beast

The iPad 2 is here. With a faster A5 processor, more memory and two cameras - one frontal for FaceTime videoconferencing - all packed in a "completely new design", thinner and lighter than the first. It's a completely new beast. Here are all the details you need to know about Apple's tablet.

The Hardware

Contrary to the rumours, the new iPad 2 has been improved a lot internally. Faster processor, faster graphics, HDMI full HD output, the 720p HD camera on the back, the frontal VGA camera... it's quite a new beast.

The Good

• Dual-core 1GHz A5 processor, which is "up to two times faster" than the previous version, Steve says. • The graphics have been improved too. The GPU goes at nine times the speed as before. • Same low power consumption as the A4. • Built-in cameras for photos and video: One for frontal FaceTime videoconferencing and Photobooth (VGA resolution) and one on the back with 720p HD video capability. • It also has a built-in gyroscope, like the iPhone 4. • They claim the battery life is 10 hours, like before, with a one month stand-by time. • HDMI mirrored video output at 1080p Full HD (the cable costs $US39).

The Bad The only thing that remains the same is the 9.7-inch 1024x768-pixel IPS display. We were all looking to a higher pixel density, but that will have to wait till the next generation.

The Design

This thing is really sexy. Thinner than the iPhone 4 and 33 per cent thinner than the current iPad. That's going from 13.4mm (more than a centimetre) to 8.8mm. For reference, the iPhone 4 is 9.3mm. The weight is going down too: from 0.7kg to 0.6kg. It also comes in two colours, black and white, "shipping from day one".

When and How Much?

The new iPad will come on March 11 to the US, and the 3G model will be available on both AT&T and Verizon networks. Internationally, the intro date will be March 25 in 26 countries, including Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, United Kingdom and Spain.

The prices will remain exactly the same across the whole line.