iPad 2 Officially Announced—Breakdown and Analysis of Apple's Special Event
Interestingly, Apple chose not utilize a live stream for this keynote, which might have given you reason to wonder just how big of an event they were considering the iPad 2 to be. Nevertheless, there were plenty of opportunities to follow along via live bloggers. And now that we finally have word from Steve Jobs himself, how does the new iPad 2 compare to all the expectations and hype going into today's event? Let's take a closer look at what was unveiled for the year of 2011, or the "Year of the iPad 2."
Built for Speed
Apple led off with the most important hardware component found on any computer: the processor. With a custom dual core A5 processor (according to Apple, the first dual core to ship in volume), the iPad 2 claims to possess a twice as fast CPU, and will run 9x faster in terms of graphics. The best part—and this smartly was revealed early on—is that the iPad 2 will maintain the same battery life despite these improvements. This is indeed one of the understated strengths of the original iPad. You don't have to hit to charger as often as you would expect.
Video and Gyro
As expected, the iPad 2 will ship with both front and rear video cameras, thus allowing for integration with FaceTime and for use with a new native app demonstrated later called Photo Booth. The addition of a gyroscope opens up a lot of app development opportunities for tablets in the wild. With both of these hardware improvements, the iPad 2 will position itself more as an interactive device as opposed to a passive one from which consumers simply take content. This is in line with how the Web and Internet have evolved.
Thinner and Lighter
We knew the next generation iPad would be thinner and lighter. During the presentation, it was revealed that the iPad 2 will be 33% thinner (8.8 mm vs.13.4 mm). It was also a nice touch comparing the iPad 2 to the iPhone 4 with the new iPad registering in at 0.5 mm thinner than the phone. It was also a nice touch to use the metric system as comparing the sizes in millimeters produces a larger sounding difference as opposed to comparing in inches. The weights were still given in pounds, and it is worth noting that the 1.3 pound iPad 2 didn't quite break the sub-1-pound mark.