As our tweet on Twitter noted earlier today, Apple introduced the iPad 2 today to the world. So what does the new iPad have? Most of the rumored changes were true. It will sport a dual core 1GHz A5 chip; dual cameras; HDMI output (although you will need to buy a special adapter); thin body (only 8.8mm compared to the original 13.4mm); and enlarged speaker grill on the back. What has not changed is the resolution of 1024x768 (which is no surprise considering the cost to implement Retina Display on this size screen); the starting price of $499; and expected battery life of 10+ hours. What has not been officially confirmed is the RAM. The original iPad had 256MB. With the competition introducing 1GB, Apple should also have 1GB.
Another introduction is a new Smart Cover for the iPad 2. Available in various colors and choice of polyurethane or leather, the Smart Cover allows the tablet to be propped up. The back folds into a triangle and will automatically wake up your iPad. Apple themselves designed the cover. It will be available for $39 (for the poly version) or $69 (for leather version).
The device will go on sale on March 11th at Apple Retail Stores, Verizon stores, AT&T stores and other retailers. By keeping the starting price at $499, Apple intends to put pressure on competitors.
As expected, the original iPad gets a $100 price cut to $399 for the 16GB WiFi version. Again, putting on the heat on competitors.