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iPad 2: What's New?

Posted by: , 13:46 AEDT, Thu March 3, 2011

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A roundup of what's new in Apple's iPad 2, from the new CPU, to other hardware and software changes

So by now you should have heard about Apple's new iPad 2, and the question most people will be asking is: what's new?

First of all, it will be faster. The iPad 2 will feature the new A5 dual-core CPU, which Apple's Steve Jobs has promised will be "up to twice as fast" for CPU related tasks, and an amazing 9 times the original iPad's graphical performance. Apple's engineers have made sure the 10 hour battery time hasn't been affected.

The other major hardware changes include a two camera system similar to the iPhone 4, which will allow FaceTime video conferencing - the rear camera has the HD resolution of 720p, while the front camera is "VGA quality".

The physical aspects of the iPad has also changed. It is now slimmer, 33% in fact, and the reduced girth means it is also lighter - 1.3 pounds (590g) versus the original iPad's 1.5 pounds (680g). And it now comes in the colour white as well.

There are also a bunch of new accessories for the iPad 2. HDMI output is now supported, but only via a $39 HDMI connector. The HDMI output will allow everything you see on the iPad to be visible on your HDMI equipped TV. The other major accessory is the "Smart Cover", basically an official case (plastic or leather) for the iPad 2 that also doubles as a stand. It comes in 10 colours and is priced at $39 and $69 respectively for the plastic, leather versions.

In terms of software, two new Apple Mac titles have made their way to the iPad 2, iMovie and GarageBand, allowing the iPad 2 to be used for content creation as well as content consumption. 

As for prices, it's $499 for the cheapest iPad 2 model (16GB, Wi-Fi only), all the way to $829 for the most feature laden model (64GB, Wi-Fi/3G). Sorry wireless fans, no 4G support has been announced. It will be available for sale 11th March (in the US).

The original iPad have all received discounts, with prices now starting at $399.

Will you be buying the iPad 2? Post your answer in our comments section, or in this forum thread:


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