The whirlwind of excitement and anticipation that precedes a new Apple product’s launch is truly unlike that of any other company. It seemed that with the original iPad barely out of its box, technology enthusiasts the internet wide were already speculating on when its follow up would be released, what it would improve on, and seemingly most importantly, would it have an embedded camera this time?!
Last night at the Yerba Buena Centre in San Francisco these questions and more were answered by a returning Steve Jobs, who announced the new model of its tablet device, the inventively titled iPad 2.
Set for release next week in the US on March 11, and in the UK on March 25, the new device is a honed version of its predecessor. It is thinner by 33 percent and lighter- shaving off a hefty 0.2 pounds from the previous model.
On the technical side of things, the device comes equipped with Apple’s latest operating system, iOS 4.3. Its CPU speed is reportedly 2 times faster, and its graphics are rendered up to 9 times faster. The improved speed that visuals are rendered is likely to benefit publishers, with reduced lag improving the reading experience as a whole.
The new model is also available in two colours, white and black, and both will be instantly available.
As for the issue of a camera, the new iPad 2 comes complete with both front and back facing cameras as well as FaceTime support, that had previously only been available on the iPhone.
As is customary, technology blogs, websites and forums have been keen to pass judgment on the new device and its features. The general consensus so far is that the iPad 2 represents an improvement on the previous model, rather than a complete reimagining of it. ‘Evolution not revolution’ seems to be a popular line trotted out to describe the device.
Whatever the verdict of critics, the iPad 2 is destined to sell in droves. It is available at the same price, so cost is unlikely to deter any potential buyers. It is likely to solidify Apple’s stranglehold on the tablet market, and reaffirm its status as the company that all others should be aspiring to.