After all the rumour and speculation, Apple's "magical" device is here. But what's the iPad 2 really all about? We look at the info, specs and details you'll need to make that iPad 2 buying decision, or if it's not you buying it, an idea of what the tablet is all about so you can understand your friends when they talk about it.
Five key iPad 2 facts to impress your mates
1. It features front and rear-facing cameras so you can take pictures and make video calls.
2. It's available in either black or white, rather than just black like the original iPad.
3. The screen resolution is the same as the first iPad: 1024 x 768 at 132ppi.
4. It's 33 per cent thinner and up to 15 per cent lighter than the original iPad.
5. The iPad 2 has a dual-core A5 processor - purportedly 4x more powerful than the first iPad's A4 chip.
iPad 2 dimensions
Height: 9.50-inches (241.2mm)
Width: 7.31-inches (185.7mm)
Depth: 0.34-inch (8.8mm)
Weight: 1.33-pounds (601g)
iPad 2 key specs
- 9.7-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit glossy widescreen Multi-Touch display with IPS technology and a 1024 x 768-pixel resolution at 132-pixels per inch (ppi).
- Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 3G connectivity (3G model only).
- 16GB, 32GB, 64GB storage sizes.
- Front-facing camera offers video recording, VGA up to 30-frames per second with audio; VGA-quality still camera. Rear-facing camera offers video recording, HD (720p) up to 30-frames per second with audio; still camera with 5x digital zoom.
- 720p video recording capability.
- Dual-core 1GHz Apple A5 processor.
- Up to 10 hours of surfing the web on Wi-Fi, watching video, or listening to music.
- 3.5mm stereo headphone minijack, speakers, microphone.
- Three-axis gyro, Accelerometer, Ambient light sensor.
- GPS on 3G model.
How much does the iPad 2 cost?
The price of the iPad 2 will vary from country to country. However, because it's Apple it's unlikely to vary too much from shop to shop. You will, though, be able to play the currency game if you travel a lot and with Apple care and warranty now global that might just be the news you've been waiting for. Holiday time?
iPad 2 16GB Wi-Fi: £399
iPad 2 32GB Wi-Fi: £479
iPad 2 64GB Wi-Fi: £559
iPad 2 16GB Wi-Fi+3G: £499
iPad 2 32GB Wi-Fi+3G: £579
iPad 2 64GB Wi-Fi+3G: £659
iPad 2 16GB Wi-Fi: $499
iPad 2 32GB Wi-Fi: $599
iPad 2 64GB Wi-Fi: $699
iPad 2 16GB Wi-Fi+3G Verizon: $629
iPad 2 32GB Wi-Fi+3G Verizon: $729
iPad 2 64GB Wi-Fi+3G Verizon: $829
iPad 2 16GB Wi-Fi+3G AT&T: $629
iPad 2 32GB Wi-Fi+3G AT&T: $729
iPad 2 64GB Wi-Fi+3G AT&T: $829
When is the iPad 2 out?
In the US, the iPad 2 is already out. It was released on 11 March. It will be released in the UK on 25 March.
Unless there are delays, it will also be available in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland on 25 March.
Having previously stated that it wouldn't be available until the 25 April in Czech Republic, Apple has since changed it back to 25 March.
Apple also says that it will be available in "many more countries around the world in the coming months."
Where can I buy one?
Apple will be selling the iPad 2 on its website and in its retail stores around the globe.
UK from 5pm 25 March: Apple stores (1am pre-order online), Orange, T-Mobile (online orders), Vodafone and Carphone Warehouse.
US out now: Apple stores, Best Buy, AT&T stores and at Verizon, as well as other retail outlets.
What accessories shall I get?
You'll want a case, maybe the magnetic Apple Smart Cover, which doesn't totally cover the device - merely the front.
Apple also sells a number of other bits of kit to boost and enhance the iPad 2 experience, including a HDMI cable adapter so you can play content on your high definition flatscreen TV. There's also a Bluetooth keyboard to make typing easier, and a docking station so you can charge it without digging around for a cable.
What Apps should I get for the iPad 2?
You might consider installing some new apps too, including Apple's own GarageBand for simple music creation and iMovie for video editing (working nicely with the rear-facing camera). The latter is also exclusive to the iPad 2, with the Cupertino giant not allowing it to run on the original iPad.
Here is our suggestions for the Best must have iPad 2 apps.
Why should I get excited?
The speed and the camera are the key additions from Apple here, and they're enough for you to brag to your friends who've got the original iPad. While there aren't really any apps that take advantage of those elements at the moment, apart from the iPad 2-exclusive iMovie, give it time and there will be.
Why shouldn't I care?
It's not a massive leap over the original iPad and you'll soon see that if you get to play with one.
iPad 2 vs the competition
The iPad 2's nearest competition is the Motorola Xoom, Samsung Galaxy Tab and, of course, the original iPad. Here's how the new tablet from Apple compares to its peers:
What Apple says (the advertising bumph)
"The iPad 2 is the next generation of its magical device for browsing the web, reading and sending email, enjoying photos, watching videos, listening to music, playing games, reading ebooks and much more."
What we say
If you've yet to get an iPad and you're looking to get one, the iPad 2 is the one to get. It's easy to use, it's thin, it's light and it's fast. Whether it warrants an upgrade if you've got the original iPad will come down to whether you think your current iPad is slow or whether you are one of those people that needs new toys when they come out.
Here's some more of our thoughts:
iPad 3 of course. Here's our iPad 3: Specs and features wishlist.