The Apple iPad 2

Ladies and gentleman the wait is over. It's the second coming. Not the big one that's talked about in the Bible, but the second coming of the iPad. That's right - it's now official, the iPad 2 is here.

And it was Steve Jobs himself who turned up to unveil it over in California. "We've been working on this product for a while now," he said. "And I didn't want to miss it."

And Jobs put pay to the slight-tweak rumours by describing it as an "all new design" that is "completely new" and is "dramatically faster".

And that's because of the new A5 chip that is dual-core (twice the speed of the original's CPU speed apparently) and a new graphics engine that is 9x faster.

It also has the same 10-hour battery life as the original despite being 33 per cent thinner at 8.8mm (thinner than an iPhone 4) and weighing 0.1lb less at 1.3lbs.

And yes, it does pack two cameras; one at the front and one at the back and, guess what? It'll be available in black and white - from day one.

And the pricing will match what is currently on offer with the original iPad. It'll start shipping on 11 March in the US and 25 March in 26 more countries including the UK.

Laughing off the iPad's "magical" tag, Jobs also had a dig at Apple's competitors when it came to the original's pricing and wasn't shy in naming names who he thought had failed in the tablet market since its launch (mainly Samsung). He even stood in front on the Honeycomb logo with the number 100 underneath it - a definite swipe at the lack of dedicated apps for Google's new tablet OS.

So Apple is obviously confident that the next-gen iPad can emulate the success of the original. Only time, and the length of the queues outside the Apple Stores on launch day, will tell if it is.



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