Apple announced the latest iPad today, and while it may not have the ultra-HD screen or SD card slot we'd been hoping for, it's still an improvement over the first iteration of the tablet, both in hardware and software. Chief among those: the new Apple A5 chip, a dual-core processor like the Motorola Xoom's and BlackBerry PlayBook's, and both a front-facing camera for FaceTime chat and a rear-facing camera.
Size: The hardware has been rejiggered in the typical Apple way--ever thinner, in this case whittled down to a mere 8.8mm thick (thinner than the iPhone 4, even) and lighter, down from 1.5 to 1.3 pounds (the Motorola Xoom, in comparison, weighs 1.6 pounds).
Color: White! Everyone likes white things! (As John Mahoney noted, it "totally looks like a picture frame"). The classic black will still be available.
Internals: Apple revealed its latest processor, the update to the single-core A4 chip that is predictably a dual-core chip called the A5. That puts the iPad on relatively equal footing with, well, every other tablet that sprung up in its wake--the Motorola Xoom has a dual-core Tegra 2, and the soon-to-be-released BlackBerry Playbook and HP TouchPad both offer dual-core chips as well (a TI OMAP and a dual-core Snapdragon, respectively). Apple claims the new A5 is nine times faster than the A4, which is kind of a hard number to quantify but at least assures us that the iPad 2 will be noticeably faster than its predecessor. At the same time, Apple says the iPad 2 will retain that legendary 10-hour battery life, despite the new power and new size.
As for other internals, the iPad 2 will come with a gyroscope sensor, just like the iPhone 4--it can be used for better sensing of movement, in concert with the accelerometer. Apple did not mention memory, however, long considered the Achilles' heel of the iPad 1: That tablet came with a mere 256MB, 25% as much as competing tablets like the Motorola Xoom. That inhibits its ability to run multiple programs at once, so we hope Apple just neglected to mention a bump.
Protection: Weirdly enough, the new Apple-made case is one of the more exciting things on display today. "Case" is really a misnomer--it's more of a screen cover, a thin sheet that shields the iPad's screen but not its back. The case, made of either leather or poly cloth, attaches to the iPad with magnets, and can be folded into a stand to hold the iPad 2 either vertically or horizontally. Our favorite part? When the cover is applied, the iPad goes to sleep, and when it's removed, the iPad wakes--automatically.
HDMI-Out: There'll also be an HDMI-out adapter, the first in an iOS device, which mirrors your content on an HDTV. Nice, but pricey at $40, especially when just about every other tablet and phone can do this with a standard miniHDMI port.
Apple is updating their content creation software for the iPad, perhaps to counter the perception that tablets are all about content consumption. That comes in the form of a revamped iMovie and GarageBand, Apple's two excellent programs for video and music editing. GarageBand features virtual touch instruments, which make me uneasy as a musician, but it seems like it could be a pretty impressive mobile recording studio. Both will be available for $5, which is pretty insane considering the depth of those programs. Loath as I am to give up my decades-old, chipped plastic 4-track cassette recorder, the iPad 2 might actually be a superior option.
Otherwise, iOS 4.3 is largely unchanged--Apple says Safari browsing will be faster, and there are some improved AirPlay functionality, but otherwise it's pretty much the same. iOS 4.3 will ship for modern iOS devices (less than two years old) on March 11th, though Apple excludes the Verizon iPhone 4 from this announcement--it's possible that iOS 4.3 will be a little delayed for it, although Verizon iPhone owners are accustomed to waiting.
The iPad 2 will be available in both black and white on both AT&T and Verizon. Both will be 3G--no LTE here yet.
The iPad 2's price is unchanged from the iPad 1--it starts at $500 for the Wi-Fi-only 16GB version, and moves up to the priciest version, a 64GB 3G iPad for $830.
The Release Date
You'll be able to snag the iPad 2 here in the States on March 11th, otherwise known as next Friday. Internationally, it'll see release on March 25th.
Apple will never get my money.
Still no SD or USB port.
and a $40 HDMI ad on card? wtf????
Hey, what a game changer. Almost as good as the Xoom. And it comes in black AND white, lol.
No wonder they had to keep the price down - can't compete on specs. Apple must have been scared of the slew of Android tablets and rushed this thing out. When iPad3 comes out later in the year, they might retake the lead, but by then, a dozen Android tablet makers will soon leave them in the dust as the slew of PC makers did with the Mac. And that still leaves them with cruddy Safari and user unfriendly iOS...
I'm glad I got the first generation iPad, this sounds like a step backwards to me. Though I would like the upgraded processor, the normal tasks done on this machine hardly warrants dual cores. What's with the new cover? The old one was much better, at least I could get a grip on the stupid thing.
And why do all electronic manufactures have to put cameras on their devices. If I want to take a picture I would use a real camera. Do they have a physical kill switch that can disable the camera? And if not can they guarantee that there is no chance that an outside source could activate the camera remotely?
boincman, a piece of duct tape acts quite nicely at disabling a camera.
Sometimes it surprises me that a magazine as popular as PopSci still makes so many mistakes. (not meant to be a diss though. i love popsci) Apple did not promise 9x the speed on the processors, but rather 9x the speed of graphics.
boincman, the camera that Apple offers is superior to the majority of camcorders out there(minus the lack of zoom.) It also takes relatively low space, and no battery when not being used.
Also Apple has put a privacy feature on the device to prevent an outside source from getting access to your camera. No need to worry about that.
StankTank, with apps that allow you to remotely activate your camera to see who stole your iphone4 or ipad already out in the app store and similarly functioning iOS malware being distributed to iPhone/pads via unsecured public networks in airports and such everyday. Ther is little hope that any 'privacy' function on the ipad2 camera will actually provide any privcy at all when actually called upon.
I myself have found it fairly easy to get my own apps to run, lock out, or seize control without too much effort on both unmoddified iphone4 and ipads without any input needed from the user. And i didn't even take high school level programming, never mind the years the apple tech put in university.
Me thinks they might be too arrogent to think it possible?? Afterall it's the same reason i leave my house unlocked and keys in my car. I don't believe it's needed to do otherwise.
though living in rural canada and electronic security are two different things, Apple should know better. Hackers will be hackers, and when there's hackers, there will be crackers.
(BTW, if you don't like the idea of identy theft+you, then get an android, i've gotten nowhere with my attempts at controlling my galaxy S remotely.. iPhone4 only took 2weeks)
Check out the full Apple event video here!
So how is this better an an Etch a sketch?
On a more serious note, I am much more happy with my Nook color. The Nook color is on sale for $199 at Ebay sold by B&N reseller.
You can root it to run Adroid and have a fully functional tablet with Android Marketplace. It is even faster than the Samsung Galaxy.
@Thedicktator thats too bad. you are missing out on a great piece of technology. I think many people miss out on a great number of things simply becuase they dont like a name or they know some dork who has one or something along those lines. for the price and what you get there is nothing better. Sure its not perfect. just the best tablet made to date. I thought netbooks were going to be the future, but tables, ALL tables make net books obsolete IMO. I am going to get one of these instead of replacing my netbook.
"I thought netbooks were going to be the future, but tables, ALL tables make net books obsolete IMO."
Actually I am not missing anything. I can do everything with my Nook Color for less than 1/2 the price. Anything else, I'll use my laptop or desktop.
And you are right, I don't like Apple. I used to buy their products because of their innovations but recently Apple turned into another Microsoft. They don't care about their customers and their bottom line is strictly profit.
You're probably saying, what company isn't all about profits? Do they charge you $39 for an HDMI ad'on? Do they charge you for SD card device sold separately? What about support for Flash? Apple is like a communist.
To thedicktaster, you are an idiot. Blaming Apple of being like a communist for NOT making all of its resources cheeper and readily available is by definition the opposite of communism. Perhaps you would rather go with the term Nazi as a more suitable accent to your hyperbolic blather. And yes I misspelled your name on purpose, you, after all you enjoy that kind of baseless juvenile misrepresentation of character , dont you?
As for the rest of you, I have been an avid reader of popsci and a vistor to this site for years but it was not until today upon reading your BS about Apple that I truly felt the need to create an account just so I could tell you all just how short sighted and ignorant you are.
I happen to be of the opinion that apple is one of the single most influential and progressive companies on the planet. I can promise you that had any other company been the innovator of Touch technology, app stores and the like, the landscape of the tech world would be much akin to what it was 10 years ago when other companies WERE the innovators, completely out of reach to the average working person. Not only did the Ipad, The Itouch And the Iphone redefine the phone, the mp3 and the future of the personal computer, they did it at prices that made the highest level of technology available to everyone, with out sacrificing quality.
The only reason that most of us can afford a smartphone , be it android apple or whatever your preference, is because apple drove down the value of lesser technologies by offering its state of the art products at affordable prices.
At the risk of sounding like a conspiracy theorist I cant escape the feeling that some rival companies(not pointing any cheaply animated robot fingers) would enlist people to go from message board to message board launching a smear campaign against apple in a desperate attempt to recast apple as the evil corporation or The Man.
With that being said it would take either an idiot or a liar to look at what apple has done and is doing and then speak thier name in the same breath as any of the other vulture organizations that wait for scraps of apples innovation to fall through the cracks so that they can replicate it and flood the market with half assed versions and unsustainable models.
You see I think that apple ultimately wishes to offer all of their products at greatly reduced prices and improved quality, they make the vast majority of their future projection based on app and content sales from their stores. What I see in this recent flood of androud and blackbery products into the market is a lasr ditch attempt to pressure apple with enough competition that they are forced to lock their devices in at current rates to compensate for the loss of potential customer. Apple is one of the only companies that I have witnessed that makes a policy to decrease prices as demand INCREASES. This is in direct opposition with traditional notions of supply and demand, and is not the business model that you would expect from a company that only cared about its profit margin. I hope that doesnt leave too bad of a taste in your mouth thedicktaster.
Oh and btw, a NOOK color? Are you serious? you must be HIGH!
typical apple fan boy. I bet you eat whatever Apple sh!ts out of its a$$. iDiot.
Do you even own a Nook Color that is rooted? I used both.
every ones so ignorent!!!
@ theDICK yes hes a fan boy but ur a fucking hater... which is ever worse!!! and dont even bother calling me a fan boy cus i dont have a single apple gadget...
ipad 2 is just a pit stop before the big deal... ipad 3!
ipad 2 is just a "slight" (not a good word) improvement over the first and this is just to keep things fresh for anyone that is interested in buying good tablet this year
i guess think of it as a 1.2 its better then the first but its not like u NEED this one if u have the firstone
"sometimes it takes a thousand notes to make one sound" -Buckethead
@ Slunk, IGNORANT by definition is lacking knowledge or understanding... you seem like a nice guy , but at least TRY to spell ignorant correctly before you accuse others of it... otherwise you run the real possibility of becoming the pot, you know, the one that called the kettle black? Perhaps it would be wise of you to become a fanboy of spellcheck.(or a good old fashioned dictionary for that matter)
Now, let's be honest here: how much processing speed do you need on a device that the majority of users have for checking their email, updating their Facebook statuses and playing Plants Vs. Zombies?
To those of you that have recently participated in this long winded group therapy session I say that you all have something in your argument that is right. Sure without apple we would not have the technology we have today, but if you call someone with the knowledge to support an intelligent argument a hater and on top of that turn his fun online name into something that would most likely come out of the mouth of a fourth grader then I say that it is you who knowns not of their surroundings. I do not mean to say that apple is a bad company, just that it's cult-like following of brain dead zombies is insane. They purchase any little shiny piece of technology that apple brands as the future of computing. And lets not forget that we are talking about a "tablet" which in reality is just an over sized screen that yuppies wearing brown flip flops a Urban Outfitters shirt and a fedora tote around under their arm to email their equally obnoxious friends who all claim that their god Steve Jobs has bestow upon them what he hath taken from a future society. Do I sound crazy yet? I better not. I use an apple product every day. And I have found one and only one thing that they are actually good for, digital art. I have the first generation iPod touch is an ancient relic to me that I only keep around because I am still trying to free myself from the oppressive chains of iTunes. So forget the childish name calling, and just accept the facts that apple has helped the technological world immensely, but that it is now ignoring history, and again is running itself into the ground, and I for one want to see it crash and burn. So if you internet nerds will stop the pointless bickering for just a second and think, you will realize that judging a persons entire character on the notion that they misspell a word in a comment on an article about a toy is ridiculous. So if you ever need someone to bitch about at, I ask that it would be me just so I can listen a bit more to your wild ideas stemming from a mob mentality. Hooray for Android, thank you Apple, and feel free to make fun of my name, I know that you will be able to find something funny about hippocow. Lets see you work a dick joke in there. Piss off.
As i am not a apple hater or lover just a gu looking for awesome tech if the ipad offered something other then being a paper weigth i would be all over it. You want a real tablet check out the archos 101 everything a tablet should be home networking hdmi out sd card usb and more not to mention the video play back oh and the uber hardware sorry apple you are falling behind i cant wait till th next gen archos with dual core cpu and android homeycomb! Good luck keeping up everyone else
I also like complete products.. The only thing i like about apple products is they always work a bit better then it's competition and also looks just a bit better. On the other hand they make sure you think their previous product is vastly inferior to the new one, though is it really? Anyway i will wait on the new one, cause this one is gonna suck compared.. Or i will get a cheaper tablet with probably more functions that doesn't work or looks as smooth, but does everything the ipad does and more..
Actually, if you're looking for an alternate to iTunes, there are a few third-party programs that do just about everything iTunes does, plus a bit more. Biggest complaint most people have about iTunes is that once something goes on to the gadget, it doesn't come off of it elsewhere, a problem I've found can be fixed by any of the following: doubleTwist, Floola, and CopyTrans. Better yet, they're all free.
Design flaw #1: When you hold the Ipad landscape-style, your hand covers the camera. Apple would be better off switching the camera with an HDMI out and selling a camera dongle.
To all of you who complain about no usb support on the Ipad, youre screwed. If there was an usb port on the Ipad, hackers would be scrambling to install things like windows vista and linux on the Ipad. Then, Apple wouldn't make any money through the music store and the app store as well as ios in general.
To all of you who think the nook is better then the Ipad, the two have ovious strengths and weaknesses. The nook is centered toward ebook reading with an eink screen, whereas the ipad is centered toward movie watching and playing angrey birds (i.e gaming).
People tend to default to apple because it is the only good tech company. Microsoft is very hard to understand, and has poor quality because they make software that dos'ent work well with their hardware. B&N focuses on books, and amazon focuses on books. I have yet to see a game played on a nook, and that is why apple is great. Instead of having to buy two gadgets such as a cellphone and mp3 player, you buy an iphone. Instead of having to buy a separate gaming console and a ebook reader, you buy an ipad. The ipad costs lots because, well, you get what you pay for. I cant tell if hippocow is talking out of his mouth or a$$, and quite frankly it sounds like the latter.
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When it came out, the iPad was the future of computing, as it was the first tablet to arise (I think.) You make a very valid point there, the only reason I want an iPad 2 is for the music synthesizer apps, the digital art apps, and a couple of games.