Apple’s second-generation tablet can now be ordered online, and is hitting store shelves later today.
The iPad 2 has much in common with its predecessor, but adds front- and rear-facing cameras, and is thinner, lighter, and faster.
This model is debuting with iOS 4.3 running on an Apple A5 1GHz dual-core processor. The original has just received an upgrade to iOS 4.3, but uses the A4 1GHz single-core chip. The latest device also has twice as much RAM.
The screen size and resolution hasn’t changed: 9.7 inches and 1024 x 768 pixels. The size and weight of the iPad 2 have decreased, though — from 1.5 lbs down to 1.3 lbs. and the thickness has gone from 0.5 inches to 0.3 inches.
Its front-facing camera allows users to make FaceTime video calls to other Apple devices, and a version of Skype that supports this model is expected shortly.
There are versions of this tablet with just Wi-Fi, as well as ones that include support for AT&T’s 3G network or Verizon’s 3G network.
Pricing and Availability
Apple is not increasing the storage capacity of the iPad 2, and neither is it increasing the price.
Customers are able to choose from a version with 16 GB of storage capacity for $500, a 32 GB one for $600, or a 64 GB version for $700. Those who choose to add 3G capabilities need to add $130 to these prices.
This new model is replacing its predecessor. The original iPad is available at some retailers while supplies last for $100 below its previous prices.
Brighthand‘s sister site TabletPCReview is extensively covering the launch of the iPad 2, and will be publishing a review of this new model in the next couple of days.
In the meantime, the site has already produced articles comparing this device to its predecessor and to the Motorola Xoom Android OS-based tablet: