Apple introduced its new iPad 2 today at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, California by none other than the master presenter himself, Steve Jobs. He mentioned that he could not let this historic announcement go by without showing up at the show, which is interesting because this presentation was a lot less historic than the iPhone coming to Verizon…. in my opinion anyway. Back to the iPad as it were, never owning an iPad myself and only drooling over it at my local Apple store I can only describe from my experiences with the first gen iPad and what I have seen online so far with the new machine.
When the most impresive thing to stand out to you when you see a new product is the cover, that should be a strong indication that the rest is not going to blow you away. That said, the new smart cover as they called it was quite an impresive piece. It magnetically connects to the iPad from the left side only and puts the iPad to sleep when covered. Once you lift the cover the iPad comes alive, and you can even use it as a stand for when typing.
Now for the main event, which is why everyone is gathered here today. Available on March 11th in either White or Black, Wi-Fi and 3G, and ATT or Verizon, the iPad 2 is lighter (1.30# compared to 1.50#) than its predecessor as well as a few new bells and whistles to tempt any Apple fanboy’s palette:
- Rear- and front-facing cameras for recording video, taking photos, and FaceTime video chat (Yawn, nothing inovative there but it was needed to keep up with the game of Tablets).
- The new iPad also has a new A5 dual-core processor which offers up to 9 times faster graphics processing. Apple said the faster speeds of the new processor will not have any greater power consumption than the previous A4 processor.
- A new accessory cable will also offer mirrored HDMI video out to HDTVs for 1080p high-definition output. The $39 cable allows users to charge their iPad while using the video out feature. (I would have liked to have seen this available without the cable, say bluetooth… that would have been impressive)
- The new iPad 2 is one-third thinner, 33% as Apple totes on its site, than the first-generation model, just 8.8 mm thick, even thinner than the iPhone 4, which is quite impressive when you think about it.
- I was also shocked to find that it will be available at the same starting price of $499 for the entry-level 16GB Wi-Fi-only model.
I would like to say that I was overwhelmed by this product and blown away at what was presented, but to be honest I was not. That is why Apple has Steve Jobs and what Steve Jobs does best… makes you want this thing because of his amazing presentation skills. Makes you anticipate it with all the buzz and chatter, not revealing too much and then, wham!, comes out with it. Eventually I will own my own and sing its praises all day and every day because I am a Mac Whore at heart, a convert if you will… and that just about is what owning an Apple product does for most people when they get their hands on one.