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A faster, lighter iPad 2 will be out March 11

An attendee looks at the GarageBand program as

An attendee looks at the GarageBand program as he plays with the new iPad 2 during an Apple Special event to unveil the new iPad 2 at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, Calif. (March 2, 2011) (Credit: Getty Images)

Apple's second generation iPad was just announced and will be available in the United States on March 11 via the Apple Store. As expected, the iPad 2 will be faster and lighter than its predecessor, but there are some features that the blogosphere called for that have been left out.

The iPad 2 will sport a 1 GHz dual-core Apple A5 custom cpu. Cosmetically changes are minimal. It will be thinner (8.8 mm is 33% smaller), lighter (1.3 lbs), and it will come in two colors, black or white. The battery will remain the same at approximately 10 hours.

PHOTOS: Steve Jobs unveils Apple iPad 2

There will also be front and rear facing cameras. The front camera will be able to be used with Apple's FaceTime app that allows video conferencing between two iPads, between an iPad and iPhone/iPod touch, and between iPad and a Mac. The rear camera will be capable of recording in 720p. 

The standard Apple port will now be able to output 1080p video via a specialized HDMI cable.

A new "smart case" was also announced that will only protect the display, but also doubles as an iPad stand.

There was no mention of upgraded RAM options, SD card slot or the high resolution Retina Display the iPhone 4 uses.

The other big news is the release of iOS 4.3 which will ship with the new iPads and be available for free for current iPhone, iTouch and iPad users. It will bring faster browsing for Safari and improved JavaSscript.

But the coolest feature of the new OS is the integration of Airplay in the iPad. Now you will be able to stream all your media (movies, music, TV shows, pictures) from your regular home computers into an iOS device with video and audio over Wi-Fi.

This update coupled with the HDMI out, can potentially make your iPad a portable home theater PC. Imagine having movies on a desktop but watching it in your bedroom or living room TV via an HDMI connected iPad.

Prices for the iPad remain the same as its predecessor. They start at $499 for the 16GB Wi-Fi only model and run up to $829 for the 64 GB version with 3G connectivity.

Steve Jobs, who took a leave of absence in 2010 for health related reasons, hosted the iPad 2 event.

Check out the full specs from the Apple Store here.

Cheaper iPad

For those of you who have been interested in the iPad, but not its $499 pricetag, Apple has now lowered the price of the original iPad by $100. In fact, the online Apple Store has a refurbished 16GB for $350.


As the details of the iPad 2 spill out, we'll be relaying all the info the instant it hits the web. Just refresh the page!

1:00 Steve Jobs is on stage. He gets a standing ovation.

1:04 Random House is bringing over 17,000 books to the iBookstore. There are 2,500 publishers via iBookstore.

1:05 App store just paid $2 billion to developers. The iPhone has shipped 100 millionth iPhone.

1:08 iPad sold almost 15 million in just 9 months. More than ever Tablet PC ever sold.

1:09 "Generated $9.5 billion in revenue in nine months of 2010. We've never had a product that got off to that fast a start. Many have said this is the most successful consumer product ever launched," said Steve Jobs.

1:11 iPad has 65,000 apps.

1:12 "Apple retail as an important driver in Apple's success," Steve Jobs.

1:13 Steve Jobs taking jabs at Android tablets.

1:18 iPad has new design. Not tweaked, not marginal improvements, it's a completely new design.

1:19 Dramatically faster. A new chip called the A5. Dual-core processor, up to 2x faster CPU. All out on graphics performance: up to 9x faster graphics.

1:20 Same low power as A4.

1:21 CPU is two times faster. Graphics 9 times better.

1:22 Two cameras. Back and front. Both can shoot video. Built in gyroscope.

1:23 Thinner. 8.8 mm from 13.4 mm. 33% thinner. Lighter. iPad 2 is thinner than iPhone 4. Battery life not suffering. 10 hour battery life.

1:24 It's also lighter. Goes from 1.5 lbs to 1.3 lbs. "You might not think that's a lot, but when you get down to 1.5 lbs, a tenth of a pound is a lot."

1:24  And it comes in two colors. Black and white. "And we're shipping white from day one."

1:25 : In addition to both colors, there are models that work with AT&T and Verizon 3G networking, from day one

1:26 Also preserved: the price. Same prices, starting at $499. Same models across the line. 16GB, 32GB, 64GB models with or without 3G. Five of the six models are under $799 competitor pricing.

1:27 Shipping March 11.

1:28 Cable will be available for HDMI out with 1080p. Will cost $39.

1:29 Summary: Same capacities, prices, battery life A5 chip, 8.8mm thick, 1.3lb, white or black (iPad 1: A4, 13.4mm thick, 1.5lb, black only).

1:30 New "smart cover." Grasp and auto-align it, so it's always in perfect alignment. How is it held on? Do we have screws? No, it uses magnets.

It automatically wakes up the iPad from sleep when you open it, puts the iPad to sleep when you close it.

Works as a typing stand, or lets you use it as a stand for watching movies.

1:33 Talk about the new iOS 4.3

1:34 Increased Safari performance. JavaScript to run 2x faster.

1:34  iTunes home AirPlay sharing. Lets you get at all of your music, movies, TV shows that are in your iOS device and share stream it live with video/audio to your mac. Will also work streaming from Mac to iPad. Wirelessly stream over home Wi-Fi to device.

1:35 FaceTime between two iPads, between an iPad and iPhone/iPod touch, and between iPad and a Mac. iPad will have 720p camera.

1:41 New iOS  4.3 will be available for free on March 11. New Photo Booth will also come packaged.

1:43 iMovie for iPad has a precision editor, multitrack audio recording ("This is not a toy, you can really edit movie on this thing."), new themes, AirPlay, share your videos in HD with popular sites, and its universal, so it will also run on iPhone.

1:48 Still describing iMovie capabilities.

1:50 Video and photos will have share buttons to send to CNN, YouTube, Vimeo. iMovie will cost $5.

1:51 GarageBand. Touch instruments. Plug in guitar and play real instruments if you want. Guitar amps and effects, 8 track recording and mixing, 250+ loops to add, and you can e-mail AAC file of your song, and it's compatible with the Mac version.

1:54 Virtual drums, guitars, pianos in GarageBand.

2:02 Still talking GarageBand, virtual mixers. Can plug in guitar to iPad.

2:04  iPad 2 specs here

2:09 No mention of a RAM upgrade. No dedicated SD slot.

2:10 That's it! Steve Jobs just thanked everyone. Stay tuned for more info. 

More coverage below.

1. Watch Apple iPad 2 Event Live Online On Apple Events

2. Watch Apple iPad 2 Event Live Online On Mac Rumors Live

3. Watch Apple iPad 2 Event Live Online On Engadget

4. Watch Apple iPad 2 Event Live Online On GDGT

5. Watch Apple iPad 2 Event Live Online On Twit Live TV


Here are the latest iPad rumors from the blogosphere:

1. The iPad 2 will sport two cameras. One on the back that will make the iPad a giant point-and-shoot, and one on the front for FaceTime.

2.  A new multi-core processor, likely the ARM Cortex A9, will be used to power the computing needs of the iPad. (The same processor as the next gen Sony PSP)

3. An improved graphics chip and a hi-resolution retina display for double the resolution of the original iPad.

4. A dedicated SD slot.

5. The Wall Street Journal is saying the iPad 2 will be both thinner and lighter.

6. A dual GSM / CDMA chip set, allowing the iPad 2 to jump between AT&T and Verizon's networks.

7.  A jump from 128 MB of RAM to 512MB or even an optional 1GB.

8.  Near Field Communication (NFC), will give the iPad 2 owners the ability to pay for merchandise by placing their tablet near cash registers.

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