After months of speculations from various web sites: iLounge, Fast Company, 9 to 5 Mac, Mashable and The Unofficial Apple Weblog The day for Apple to review the punch line to their statement in the invitation is finally here.

Come see what 2011 will be the year of.

At 10:00 this morning (US Pacific Time) Steve Jobs reviewed the new "iPad 2". In short it is faster, lighter and more feature rich than the previous generation. Along with the new iPad Jobs and company also announced the release of Photo Booth, FaceTime, iMovie and GarageBand for the iPad. The latter two will be available at USD4.99 via the iTunes App Store. All of these along with iOS 4.3 will be available March 11th, and the prices of all 6 models remain the same with the new version. iOS 4.3 will be available for iPad, iPhone 4 (GSM), iPod Touch (3G and 4G). The most significant feature; that I look forward to, will be the Hotspot feature. This will allow the iPhone 4 or iPod Touch (3G and 4G) create a WiFi hotspot for up to 5 devices.

Specifications iPad 1 iPad 2
CPU 1GHz Single core Apple A4 1GHz Dual core Apple A5
LCD Screen Resolution 1024 x 768 pixels at 132 pixels ppi
Dimensions (HxWxD) 9.56" x 7.47" x 0.5" 242.8mm x 189.7mm x 13.2mm 9.50" x 7.31" x 0.34" 241.2mm x 185.7mm x 8.8mm
Weight 1.6 lb. (730g) 1.33 lb. (601g)
Colours None
  • Black
  • White
Radios
  • Wi-Fi + 3G model: UMTS/HSDPA/HSUPA (850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz); GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz
  • Wi-Fi + 3G for Verizon model: CDMA EV-DO Rev. A (800, 1900 MHz)
Storage
  • 16GB
  • 32GB
  • 64GB
Sensors
  • Accelerometer
  • Ambient light sensor
  • Three-axis gyro
  • Accelerometer
  • Ambient light sensor
Cameras None
  • Back camera: Video recording, HD (720p) up to 30 frames per second with audio; still camera with 5x digital zoom
  • Front camera: Video recording, VGA up to 30 frames per second with audio; VGA-quality still camera
  • Photo and video geotagging over Wi-Fi

With iPad 2 we also see that the availability of two new accessories for the iPad: Apple Digital AV Adapter and a Smart Cover.

The new Video Adapters joins the other video adapters Apple has for the iPad to support the iPad 2 video output:

  • Apple Digital AV Adapter or Apple VGA Adapter are able to provide video mirroring up to 1080p.
  • Apple Component AV Cable is able to provide video out at 576p and 480p.
  • Apple Composite AV Cable is able to provide video out at 576i and 480i.

Again Apple is doing a progressive roll out of the new iPad 2. Of course the US will get their first shipment on March 11th, with 26 or more countries on March 25th.

Phrase 2:
  • Australia
  • Canada
  • France
  • Germany
  • Japan
  • UK
Phrase 3:
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • Greece
  • Iceland
  • Italy
  • Ireland
  • Hungary
  • Luxembourg
  • Mexico
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland

Unfortunately, this time Hong Kong is not part of the 2nd or 3rd phrase roll out.

Along with the announcement Jobs also wanted to emphasis a message to the consumers (and competitors in this market):

It's in Apple's DNA that technology is not enough. It's tech married with the liberal arts and the humanities. Nowhere is that more true than in the post-PC products. Our competitors are looking at this like it's the next PC market. That is not the right approach to this. These are post-PC devices that need to be easier to use than a PC, more intuitive.

Recommendations

The new iPad 2 is very impressive on paper and it has several cool features, but for someone who already owns an iPad (now 1G) this new version is not a worth while upgrade. Especially if your iPad is less than a year old. I personally will wait and see what the rumored iPad 3 will be like later this year.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z_d6_gbb90I