With the launch of Apple's second iPad less than 24 hours away, we take a look at the various predictions made around the web as to how Apple will improve on its hugely successful first tablet.
(Credit: CBS Interactive)
With the Motorola Xoom, Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and LG Optimus Pad all waiting in the wings packing dual-core processors, dedicated graphics and up to 1GB RAM, will Apple go all out to match these machines?
John Paczkowski at All Things Digital believes we will see a dual-core processor, with a clock speed of 1.2GHz, but that Apple will be content with doubling the RAM from a paltry 256MB in the original to 512MB in the update. He also confers with speculations by several other sites that code found in iOS4.3 suggests Apple with employ an Imagination SGX543 dual-core graphics processor.
The iPhone 4's Retina display represented a solid leap forward for Apple in smartphone displays, but it's unlikely we'll see a similarly high-quality screen in Apple's 10-inch products just now. That said, Apple's 1024x768 might also seem a bit stingy compared with the extra pixels on the Motorola and Samsung tablets, so we could expect a modest increase in resolution.
From past experiences, we expect Apple to take the "if it ain't broke don't fix it" approach to the iPad's display, especially given that an increase in resolution would require a tweaking of the iPad upscaling algorithm for iPhone apps.
With the recent launch of FaceTime baked into the MacBook Pro range, the safest prediction anyone can make is that Apple will include a front-facing camera on the iPad 2. Whether Apple will splash out on a high resolution camera is anyone's guess. TechRadar is not only predicting a secondary camera for the new tablet, but also the inclusion of a three-axis gyroscope to improve gaming controls.
The biggest question mark for us is whether the new iPad will play nice with other electronics you have in your house. Beyond Bluetooth, we're hoping for HDMI connectivity and even a dedicated iPad TV dock. Not including a high-quality video output option in what is essentially a multimedia device would be suicide for Apple this year.
There are also reports that Apple will include new storage options for the iPad in the form of a microSD card slot and a USB port. Though these are common components on other smartphones and personal computers, it would be a big first for Apple's iOS products.