Apple officially introduces iPad 2: A5 chip, 33% thinner, same prices

Apple officially introduces iPad 2: A5 chip, 33% thinner, same prices

Summary: After months of waiting and speculation, Apple has officially unveiled the iPad 2 at a special press event in San Francisco today.

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After months of waiting and speculation, Apple has officially unveiled the iPad 2 at a special press event in San Francisco today.

[Image Gallery: Apple's iPad 2 Event]

This story will be developing, but here's what has been announced about the much-awaited tablet so far:

  • iOS 4.3
  • All new A5 chip with dual-core processors
  • 2x faster CPU
  • 9x faster graphics
  • Same power consumption rate as A4 chip
  • Dual cameras: Shoots 720p at up to 30fps on the rear and VGA stills on front-facing camera
  • 33% thinner body at 8.8mm
  • Weighs 1.3 pounds
  • Built-in gyroscope
  • Same 10-hour battery life
  • New apps optimized for iPad: iMovie, GarageBand, FaceTime, Photo Booth

And unlike the iPhone 4, CEO Steve Jobs promises that this device will ship in both black and white from day one, with both AT&T and Verizon as 3G carrier options.

While all of these are definite improvements, I'm sure many consumers (myself included) were hoping for a cost drop. However, most of the price tags will remain the same:

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

Best of all, the iPad 2 is set to launch on March 11, with 26 countries receiving the tablet by March 25. Maybe 2011 really will turn out to be the "year of the iPad 2." We're only two days in, but this is definitely going to be the "month of the iPad 2" at the very least.

Jobs also debuted a few nifty accessories, including an HDMI 1080p output dongle for $39 and a bizarre-looking screen cover that can convert to prop up the iPad. That will be available in a rainbow assortment of colors in polyurethane and leather for $39 and $69 respectively.

This is all very exciting, so check back in a bit to see an evaluation and whether or not I will be buying one myself.

Related coverage on ZDNet:

Topics: Hardware, Apple, iPad, Mobility, Networking, Processors

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32 comments
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  • RE: Apple officially introduces iPad 2: A5 chip, 33% thinner, same prices

    Well, they did the right thing by keeping the pricing the same. It should put a lot of pressure on competitors.

    Other than that, the upgrade seems minor (and inferior) when comparing specs to say the Xoom.
    Badgered
    • RE: Apple officially introduces iPad 2: A5 chip, 33% thinner, same prices

      @Badgered
      Anything is better than Android, why would you want a XOOM which has that very weird honeycomb, even chromium OS looks better!! this iPad is nice! I will get one!
      Hasam1991
      • RE: Apple officially introduces iPad 2: A5 chip, 33% thinner, same prices

        @Hasam1991

        Take it easy, kid.
        Rigel.628
      • RE: Apple officially introduces iPad 2: A5 chip, 33% thinner, same prices

        @Hasam1991 [i]Anything is better than Android, why would you want a XOOM which has that very weird honeycomb, even chromium OS looks better!! this iPad is nice! I will get one! [/i]

        Didn't say I would want a Xoom. Some people prefer the SD slot, higher res cameras, etc.. etc...

        Personally, besides some basic functions, price will rule the day for me.
        Badgered
    • You would think the iPod and iPhone runaway success

      would have taught some people that it's more than feature checklists. But I guess old habits die hard.
      fr_gough
      • RE: Apple officially introduces iPad 2: A5 chip, 33% thinner, same prices

        @frgough@...

        Go back and read what I wrote without assuming there was a bias there...

        Old habits indeed.
        Badgered
    • What is "inferior" to Xoom?

      @Badgered: except screen resolution (which is not principal difference), iPad is the same or <b>better than Xoom, Galaxy Tab 10.1, PlayBook, TouchPad.</b>

      Screen is IPS and all of its layers are glued together to fight parasitic refraction.

      Also, competitors are thick plasticky but pricy products. And these have like 100 tablet apps agains iPad's 65000.
      DDERSSS
      • RE: Apple officially introduces iPad 2: A5 chip, 33% thinner, same prices

        @denisrs <i>except screen resolution (which is not principal difference), iPad is the same or better than Xoom, Galaxy Tab 10.1, PlayBook, TouchPad.</i><br><br>Really? Did you see an SD slot on the iPad 2? How about a Higher res camera? no... it must just be that screen res that's the only difference. <sigh>
        Badgered
      • RE: Apple officially introduces iPad 2: A5 chip, 33% thinner, same prices

        @denisrs - you are funny!! Let's compare:
        XOOM - 2ghz processor
        iPad2 - 1.5 ghz
        XOOM - 4G LTE
        ipad2 - 3G (10 times slower)
        XOOM - Front facing 2 megapixel camera for video or stills
        ipad2 - Front facing VGA .3mp(less than 1mp) for STILLS
        XOOM - Rear facing 5MP camera that does 720p
        ipad2 - Rear facing 2mp camera that does 720p
        XOOM - Built-in gyroscope, barometer, e-compass, accelerometer and adaptive lighting
        ipad2 - Built in gyroscope, e-compass
        XOOM - Mobile hotspot capability for up to five Wi-Fi-enabled devices
        ipad2 - What's a hotspot??
        XOOM - 1280x800 display
        ipad2 - 1024x768 display

        As to apps, just because apple ported over virtualy ALL of it's iPhone apps doesn't make them TABLET apps... The android tablets will run almost all of the adroid apps too!

        So, which one is better? Well, I don't see how the ipad2 can even compete on specs... Will it sell more? You bet!! Apple junkies are already looking to sell their 'old' ipads and buy new ones!! Apple LOVES these folks!! They know next fall they will buy ipad3 also!!

        I don't have a tablet yet, but I think I would not get the ipad in any case...
        djalan
      • Your specifications are made-up

        @djalan:

        1) iPad 2 has double core 1 GHz CPU, as well as Xoom;
        2) LTE will work only on less that 1% of territory, will be pricy, spotty and everone would be just lab rat on it (and LTE would die if masses of iPad would try to go there);
        3) front facing camera on iPad 2 not only does stills, but also does video (that is whole point since it supports FaceTime);
        4) Sensors on iPad 2 and Xoom are the same except for barometer (which is in "why the hell it is there" category);
        5) display of iPad is better since it is IPS and it's layers are glued together with no spaces;
        6) also, Xoom is plasticky thick and pricy;
        7) Xoom also almost has no tablet applications (100 against 65000)
        DDERSSS
    • RE: Apple officially introduces iPad 2: A5 chip, 33% thinner, same prices

      @Badgered <br>At least the iPad2 is shipping with all it's functionality in place. Hmmm... Xoom, microSD card slot not working -- wait for a firmware update, 4G -- ship it back to the factory for the upgrade when available.<br>BTW, even if the Xoom's microSD card slot was working, it doesn't do me much good unless I feel like replacing all my SD cards with microSD cards plus adapters.<br><br>And I should try to remember the joys of MotoBlur running on top of Android 3 -- still remember trying to set up one Motorola Droid that insisted you had to use a user name to log into the SMTP server making it a trifle difficult to send mail. <br>Regardless, I'm not going to be replacing my iPad with an iPad2 real soon now. By the time I look at that replacement in another 12-16 months, it'll be a very different market.
      DNSB
  • Bring on Playbook

    *yawn*. RIM can steal some major news by coming in with their delicious tablet that trumps all the iPad 2 specs. Great another dongle and a snap on case. Keep innovating Apple!
    MobileAdmin
    • RE: Apple officially introduces iPad 2: A5 chip, 33% thinner, same prices

      @MobileAdmin
      ALL RIM has so far is vaporware, we haven't seen anything and it was announced back in Nov... I've used a BB for work and I will never go back
      Hasam1991
      • RE: Apple officially introduces iPad 2: A5 chip, 33% thinner, same prices

        @Hasam1991
        IT departments in many places have been playing with the Playbook for months now. It isn't exactly vaporware.
        hoaxoner
    • You saw dongle and snap-on case. Real people

      saw "Holy cow, I can do some wicked presentations with this. Wow, I can wake it up just by opening the cover? Cool, I can edit my home movies on it? Sweet, I can jam with my guitar on it?"

      Which is why this will sell like hotcakes and people like you will continue to recite specs.
      fr_gough
  • The Competition...

    Well, to put it succinctly, are screwed.
    CowLauncher
  • RE: Apple officially introduces iPad 2: A5 chip, 33% thinner, same prices

    The live chat guys all thought the new case was gimmicky, but I quite like it.
    Aerowind
    • RE: Apple officially introduces iPad 2: A5 chip, 33% thinner, same prices

      @Aerowind
      Innovative.. if it flops like the last nano it will become a collectors item
      Hasam1991
      • RE: Apple officially introduces iPad 2: A5 chip, 33% thinner, same prices

        @Hasam1991
        Not Nano, shuffle without the buttons..
        Hasam1991
  • RE: Apple officially introduces iPad 2: A5 chip, 33% thinner, same prices

    Watched the event - came away with a very ho-hum opinion. Nothing really impressive and Steve's pokes at the competition bordered on childish.

    IMO - Apple just left the door open for Android to make some serious inroads.....

    Wonder about the demographic that will trade in the 1 for the 2?
    rhonin