Apple unveiled a redesigned version of its popular iPad tablet to the world on Wednesday.
Company CEO Steve Jobs took the stage in San Francisco to make the presentation, while drawing a standing ovation for making an appearance outside of his medical leave announced earlier this year.
The new iPad 2 will be thinner, faster and handle graphics better than its older sibling, released just last year, and be available for shipping on March 25 in Canada. Our neighbours to the south will get their hands on the new device on March 11. The word on local Twitter feeds was buzzing Wednesday afternoon with Winnipeggers already scheming to make a road trip to Minneapolis to be one of the first adopters.
The guts of the device feature an A5 chip, which boasts dual-core processors capable of delivering graphics nine times faster and double the CPU speed. Like its earlier model, the iPad 2 will still hold its 10-hour battery life capabilities.
Apple also gave customers what they were asking for from the beginning — a front-facing camera. The device also includes a rear-facing camera, similar to the visual setup on the current iPhone 4.
Engineers shaved off a few millimetres from the physical design, making the iPad 2 33% thinner at 8.8 mm over its older 13.4 mm model. The new design makes for a lighter product at only 1.3 lbs.
The iPad 2 will be optionally available in white, giving customers the choice to ditch the standard black model for a brighter body.
Price point stays the same as previous models at $499 U.S. for the entry level 16 GB WiFi version. The maxed out version with 64 GB of storage on WiFi and 3G will run you $829 USD. Specific Canadian pricing wasn’t immediately available.
Other features include HDMI video out, and a newer version of iOS (4.3), capable of handling FaceTime, iMovie and GarageBand.
Apple also revealed an accessory cover for the iPad 2, which only covers the screen as to not hide the beautiful design. The polyurethane case will run you $39 and be held on via magnets to auto-align it. The iPad 2 will wake up when the case is opened and go to sleep when it’s closed. A leather version of the same case will retail for $69.