The dust has settled on the streets around the Yerba Buena Center, the venue Apple selected to pull the white sheet off the iPad 2 Wednesday. Tim Cook sat in the front row of the audience, as Steve Jobs took the stage to present the all important iPad – responsible for 17% of Apple’s revenue last quarter. The unveiling went as expected, except maybe for Steve showing up, and now a lot of us are anxiously waiting for March 11th to arrive.
Apple streamed the event, and as usual Steve did a great job of walking us through the changes to the iPad. There weren’t any surprise features, and that disappointed some. I for one, think it would have been a mistake for Apple to mess with a product that’s doing as well as the iPad is. Refining the iPad, and adding a few well thought out features, e.g. the cameras and upgraded processor, was a smart move on Apple’s part.
The improvements include:
- A 1GHz dual-core A5 chip, which will make the iPad 2 nearly twice as fast as the origina iPad
- 2 cameras, 720p video recording at 30fps from the rear-facing camera
- 1080p HDMI output
- The iPad 2 is 33 percent thinner than its predecessor, and a slim 8.8mm
- Both white and black options, and an improved shell
- Ships with iOS 4.3 installed, which offers all kinds of cool improvements
A lot has been written about the iPad 2 and Apple’s announcement. Scoble weighed in on the iPad 2 vs. the Motorola Xoom, HP’s TouchPad, and the RIM PlayBook. He even wrote an iPad lovers review of the Motorol Xoom post. The iPad 2, in Scoble’s opinion “wins big time.” Engadget did a nice job with their iPad 2 first hands-on post. And Engadget rounded-up the best selection of Apple’s press pictures and videos, one embedded below.
The rumors and speculation that preceded the unveiling were fun to follow as usual. Devin Coldewey did a great job with his iPad 2 Rumor Roundup post over on CrunchGear – fortunately the high-resolution display didn’t materialize – that would have been tough on developers. Fortunately, iMovie and GarageBand for the iPad did materialize and the iPad thinned out and lost some weight.
I for one am looking forward to getting my iPad 2 next week. I think Apple made some smart improvements, enough to make 2011 another iPad year. A number of good Android tablets are available now, and more are coming this year, but it’s Apple’s software ecosystem that’s the real barrier to entry competitors are going to be banging their heads agains for years to come.