Apple unveils iPad 2

By Steve Watts, Mar 02, 2011 3:15pm PST

As predicted, Apple used its event today to debut the new iPad. Most of the rumors about its feature set proved true, including dual cameras (front and back), dual-core processors, a gyroscope, and a thinner, lighter frame.

The new model sports a 1 GHz dual-core processor, which Apple claims provides "up to nine times the graphics performance" to make gameplay "smoother and more realistic." Nine times!

Other new features include an HD camera in back, and a VGA camera in the front to support the FaceTime app. The newly-included gyroscope is built to work in conjunction with the accelerometer and compass in previous models. Finally, this model is about 33 per cent thinner and 15 per cent lighter than last year's iPad.

Apple also introduced a new accessory called the Smart Cover. It's a tri-fold piece of magnetic-lined leather that serves to protect the screen, can wake the iPad or put it to sleep by covering and uncovering it, and can fold to become a keyboard or video stand.

The new iPad goes on sale starting at 5 p.m. on March 11. The WiFi-only versions cost $499 (16 GB), $599 (32 GB), and $699 (64 GB). The 3G models, now available from AT&T or Verizon, cost $629, $729, and $829 for the same space tiers, respectively.

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