Apple’s New iPad 2: Thinner, Lighter, Cameras and More

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Apple’s Steve Jobs (yes, Steve Jobs) took the stage today at the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco to announce the iPad 2.

Shall we dance? Let’s…

Specs

The iPad 2—that’s its official name—sports a 33% thinner design and weighs 0.2 pounds less than the original iPad. There’s also a dual-core 1GHz processor, optional AT&T and Verizon models, front- and rear-facing cameras, same 10-hour battery life, and it’ll be available in white or black.

Pricing

Pricing will be the same as the previous models: $499, $599 and $699 for 16GB, 32GB and 64GB Wi-Fi models, respectively—$629, $729 and $829 for the comparable 3G-equipped models.

The iPad 2 will ship on March 11, 2011.

Accessories

Apple will sell a $39 HDMI connector cable that allows you to hook the iPad 2 up to your TV and watch full-resolution 1080p video. The cable is reportedly compatible with the original iPad, the iPhone 4 and the latest-generation iPod Touch, too.

The tablet will also be able to utilize a new “Smart Cover” protector—a magnetically-attached screen cover with microfiber lining that can be folded into a stand similar to the original, but won’t be as bulky or cumbersome.

Software Enhancements (iOS 4.3)

Apple will be rolling out version 4.3 of iOS on March 11, which will use technology from the Safari web browser found on Mac computers to double the speed of Javascript-heavy web pages on the iPad 2.

iTunes home sharing—playing videos and music files from your home computer on the iPad 2—is on board, too, as is improved functionality of Apple’s AirPlay technology.

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