by Anton Shilov
03/02/2011 | 01:44 PM
Apple, a leading consumer electronics company, on Wednesday unveiled the second-generation iPad tablet. The new device got higher performance central processor, improved graphics, two cameras as well as support for high-definition video output. The iPad 2 also got thinner and lighter, yet, it retained pricing and starts at $499.
Apple iPad 2 is based on custom A5 1.08GHz system-on-chip that has two ARM processing cores providing two times higher compute performance as well as a new PowerVR SGX543MP graphics engine that is said to be nine times more powerful compared to that in the A4 SoC. The iPad 2 is equipped with 9.7” multi-touch IPS LCD screen with 768x1024 resolution; 16GB, 32GB or 64GB of flash storage; Wi-Fi 802.11n, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR and 3G (select versions only) connectivity. The product is 9.5” (24cm) in height, 7.31” (18.6cm) in width and has 0.34” (0.86cm) thickness. Apple iPad 2 weighs 1.35 pounds (0.61kg). The tablet PC runs iOS 4.3.
The iPad 2 addresses a number of issues with the original iPad. For example, the novelty includes two cameras, a front-facing 640x480 camera for video conferencing, and a rear-facing camera that captures 720p HD video. Additional iPad 2 features include 3-axis gyroscope, magnetometer, accelerometer; HSUPA support for enhanced 3G upload speeds on iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G on AT&T, and HDMI video mirroring that lets users mirror their iPad screen on an HDTV using an optional adaptor or even playback up to 720p movies on 1080p screens.
“With more than 15 million iPads sold, iPad has defined an entirely new category of mobile devices. While others have been scrambling to copy the first generation iPad, we are launching iPad 2, which moves the bar far ahead of the competition and will likely cause them to go back to the drawing boards yet again,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s chief executive officer.
Even though Apple iPad 2 addresses some of the drawbacks of its predecessor, the device still cannot be called a substitute for a personal computer. It does not support USB or any other mainstream input/output ports, it does not have a high-definition screen, it does not support Adobe Flash and has a number of other drawbacks. Still, with massively increased performance and additional capabilities it is only a question of time before Apple as well as third-party software designers will create applications that bring tablet PCs onto the whole new level.
Apple iPad 2 is available in black or white, features models that run on AT&T’s and Verizon’s 3G networks.
iPad 2 with Wi-Fi will be available on March 11 for a suggested retail price of $499 for the 16GB model, $599 for the 32GB model, $699 for the 64GB model. iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G will be available for a suggested retail price of $629 for the 16GB model, $729 for the 32GB model and $829 for the 64GB model. iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G compatible with the Verizon network will be available in the US only for a suggested retail price of $629 for the 16GB model, $729 for the 32GB model and $829 for the 64GB model.