Apple announces the iPad 2; declares 2011 Year of the iPad 2

Apple today announced the iPad 2. Motorola, RIM, HP and Samsung all just wet their collective pants.

Apple today announced the iPad 2:

  • All-new design:
  • 33% thinner than iPad 1 (8.8 vs. 13.4mm)
  • Thinner than the iPhone 4 (9.3mm)
  • Lighter (1.3 vs. 1.5 pounds)
  • 2x faster Dual-core Apple A5 CPU
  • Same low-power as A4
  • 9x faster GPU
  • Front-facing camera
  • Rear-facing camera
  • Available in black or white
  • Models that work with both AT&T and Verizon
  • Gyroscope
  • Same battery life as iPad 1
  • 10 hour battery life, over a month of standby
  • Same prices as iPad 1
  • WiFi: 16GB $499, 32GB $599, 64GB $699
  • 3G: 16GB $629, 32GB $729, 64GB $829
  • Shipping March 11 in the US
  • Shipping in 26+ countries on March 25th

But wait! There's more:
  • HDMI out at 1080p (via $39 dongle)
  • Mirrored video output (yes!)
  • HDMI dongle supports simultaneous video out and charging
  • Supports rotation
  • Innovative new "cover" case, attaches to the device and only covers the screen
  • automatically wakes the iPad when you open it, and puts it to sleep when it closes (via magnets)
  • Cover adds minimal weight and thickness
  • Cover is made of microfiber cloth that cleans the screen
  • Cover comes in polyurethane ($39) or leather ($69)
  • Cover doubles as a two-height stand
  • Cover comes in 10 colors: 5 poly, 5 leather

iOS 4.3 was also announced:
  • Safari inherits the Nitro Javascript engine
  • iTunes Home Sharing
  • AirPlay improvements
  • Preference for iPad switch
  • Personal hotspot (iPhone 4 only)
  • Photo Booth app
  • FaceTime app
  • iMovie for iPad
  • Available March 11

Apple home page updated, iPad product page updated, press release posted, US Apple Store still down.
A photo gallery is available here.
Thanks to ZDNet's own Adrian Kingsley Hughes for the live analysis.

Photo: Engadget