Apple iPad 2 (preview)

The new iPad 2 is faster, thinner and lighter than its predecessor, and is powered by an Apple-designed dual-core processo

After months of rumours, Apple's hotly anticipated iPad 2 tablet has finally been unveiled by Apple CEO Steve Jobs.

Read our comprehensive iPad review.

The new iPad 2 is faster, thinner and lighter than its predecessor, and is powered by an Apple-designed dual-core processor called the A5. Apple claims the A5 processor doubles the speed of the iPad 2 and makes graphics processing up to nine times faster. The iPad 2 is 33 per cent thinner (8.8mm), weighs 613g, and will come in both black and white models. Apple says the iPad 2 has the same 10-hour battery life as the original iPad, while it is again offered in six models — three with Wi-Fi and another three with Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity. Both Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi+3G models of the iPad 2 will be available in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB versions.

The Apple iPad 2 also includes two cameras; one facing the front of the tablet, the other rear-facing. The rear camera records 720p HD video and takes still photographs. Both cameras can be used with Apple's FaceTime video chat application, which debuted on the iPhone 4.

The iPad 2 is capable of 1080p Full HD HDMI output if you purchase an optional Apple Digital AV Adapter that plugs into the standard Apple dock connector. The speaker grille on the back of the iPad 2 is now larger compared to the original iPad, but the IPS LCD screen with a 1024x768 resolution remains the same.

Apple also released a new cover for the iPad 2 called the 'Smart Cover'. Described by Jobs as "not a case," the Smart Cover has a magnetic flap that clips onto the side of the iPad 2, and automatically wakes and puts the iPad 2 to sleep depending on whether it is open or closed. It also folds into a stand, and comes in 10 colours, including five in Italian leather.

The Apple iPad 2 will be available in Australia on March 25. Pricing has yet to be announced, but the iPad 2 is expected to cost the same as the original iPad.

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Ross Catanzariti

Ross Catanzariti

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