Mar 6, 2011

iPad 2 Review and Price

The Apple iPad 2 is no longer rumour and speculation – it’s real, along with a much healthier Steve Jobs (who presented the second-gen Apple tablet). Here’s what you can expect:

International release: 25 March

Cost: US$499 (Dhs1,800 in UAE-speak, but they’ll probably charge us more)

A5 dual-core chips: two times faster CPU and nine times faster graphics
Same power consumption as A4 with same 10-hour battery life
Rear and front cameras
Sadly, the 9.7-inch screen remains at 1024×768
33 percent thinner: 13.4mm–8.8mm, making it thinner than the iPhone 4
Lighter: 1.5lbs-1.3lbs
White version available
16GB, 32Gb and 64GB
WiFi or 3G

A new type of case called Smart Covers will be available. They are ribbed to fold in multiple directions and magnetically attach to your iPad. They also wake the iPad when you open it and send it to sleep when you close it. Apple’s usual rainbow of colours are available.

iOS 4.3 (free download from 11 March):
Better Safari that runs twice as fast,
Wireless streaming through iTunes Home sharing,
AirPlay improvements to help find your Apple TV with no configuration needed,
PhotoBooth software for the cameras,
FaceTime between most iOS devices (iPhone, Mac, iPad),

New apps:
iMovie for iPad, available 11 March for US$4.99. It utilises multi-touch gestures effectively and allows social sharing with a host of mediums including Facebook, YouTube and Vimeo.
Garageband which utilises 250+ loops, features a great analogue look and tonnes of touch-sensitive instruments that react to the pressure at which they are touched – so a piano or drum kit can be played loud or soft like the real thing.

While the international release date is March 25 – don’t expect it in the UAE or the rest of the Middle East anytime soon. Officially, that is. The UAE has yet to see an official launch of the original iPad – let along this thinner, fancier new model. (Scratch that, the original iPad launched at the end of January – thanks to everyone for the correction).

Still, we do have a thriving grey market, so you can expect to see them pop up in your local tech store, online souq, or Bur Dubai hole in the wall pretty soon after it launches elsewhere.

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