I am following the Apple event online right now, and the new iPad2 sounds impressive this far. Dual core processor, up to 9 times faster graphics, dual cameras (front and rear facing), gyroscope like in iPhone4 and iPod Touch, 1080p HDMI output, as well as 33% thinner (8.6mm vs 13.2mm) is all very impressive. It even comes in two colors, white has been added. Steve Jobs claim the battery life is still 10 hours, like in the original iPad.
The price will be identical as for the first generation iPad, starting at $499 for the base wifi only model with 16 GB memory. It will be available in the US on March 11, with 26 more countries on March 25. The same day Apple will also release iOS 4.3, not only for iPad2 but for the original iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch. The video conferencing program Facetime will be available for iPad2, so the users can communicate with iPhone4 users using video. For iPhone4 the new iOS 4.3 will also add wifi hotspot functionality.
I played around with the first generation iPad last summer. I liked it, it was a cool gadget, but I have my reservations. I am totally tied into iTunes, and if I want to copy any of my movies over from my collection (which is mainly in the formats AVI (Divx/Xvid) and MPEG, I have to re-encode them or convert them into Apple’s format. Personally I prefer a tablet where all standards work, like mp3, wmv, avi, divx, Flash and more.
Steve Jobs also showed a new cover for the iPad2, which attaches to the front using magnets as well as some other accessories. So it is a cool toy, but not something I can motivate spending that money on right now.