By Ed Oswald | Wednesday, March 2, 2011 at 10:28 am
Contrary to rumors across the Apple blogs, Cupertino opted Wednesday to go for the jugular, completely redesigning the iPad and including a dual-core A5 chip inside, providing about nine times the graphics performance of the original iPad. As expected, the device will ship with front and rear cameras, and will come in at two-thirds the thickness of the original device.
At a thickness of 8.8mm, it is actually thinner than the iPhone 4, a jovial (and obviously healthy enough) Steve Jobs boasted on stage in San Francisco. It would also come in a smidge lighter than its predecessor: 1.3 pounds versus 1.5 pounds for the first one.
And not willing to repeat the white iPhone 4 disaster, Apple says the iPad 2 will ship in two colors — white and black — from day one. It will also bring in more of the technologies from the iPhone that have made it such a successful development platform, such as a built-in gyroscope.
Despite these changes, the price is not changing. $499 would get you in to the base model. Jobs noted that 5 of the 6 iPads sold are under $799, a price point that many recent entrants have seemingly been unable to break without carrier subsidies.
Be ready for this sooner than later: Apple plans to ship the device on March 11 in the US, with international availability in 26 countries coming two weeks later. This seems to be much earlier than rumors had suggested from what I have read (early April seemed to be a popular guess.)
Accessories will include an HDMI out dongle to connect the device to your HDTV — for $39, this thing will pump out 1080p video.