Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs who’s currently on medical leave has introduced the highly-anticipated Apple iPad 2 at iPad 2 event in San Francisco. According to Apple, the next-generation iPad 2 is 33% thinner (8.8mm) and up to 15% lighter than its predecessor, with up to 2x faster CPU and up to 9x faster graphics compared to first-generation iPad. In order to bring your tablet experience to a next level, the new iPad 2 adds a new powerful dual-core A5 processor, dual camera with FaceTime video calling support and built-in 3-axis gyroscope for advanced gaming experience, based on the latest iOS 4.3 platform that offers enhanced AirPlay, faster Safari mobile browsing performance and new iTunes Home Sharing.

“With more than 15 million iPads sold, iPad has defined an entirely new category of mobile devices,” commented Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “While others have been scrambling to copy the first generation iPad, we’re launching iPad 2, which moves the bar far ahead of the competition and will likely cause them to go back to the drawing boards yet again.”

iPad 2

Key features of Apple’s iPad 2:

  • Low-power advanced 1GHz dual-core Apple A5 processor
  • Up to nine times faster for the graphics performance
  • 9.7-inch LED-backlit multi-touch display with IPS technology
  • 1024-by-768-pixel resolution at 132 pixels per inch (ppi)
  • Fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating
  • Support for display of multiple languages and characters simultaneously
  • Dual camera – Rear camera for capturing 720p HD video at 30fps and VGA front-facing camera
  • Facetime support
  • Photo Booth app for manipulating photos
  • iPad side switch control allows users to mute audio or lock the screen rotation
  • Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR and Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n) connectivity
  • Built-in 25-W-hour rechargeable lithium-polymer battery offers up to 10 hours of battery life
  • HDMI Video Mirroring (optional adapter is needed)
  • Gyro, accelerometer, and compass
  • Instant on from sleep – iPad does not shutdown anyway
  • Stream music, photos, and video wirelessly to your HDTV and speakers via AirPlay-enabled speakers or Apple TV on a Wi-Fi network
  • Print email, photos, web pages, and documents from iPad via AirPrint over Wi-Fi
  • Built in 30-pin dock connector port, 3.5-mm stereo headphone minijack, speaker and microphone
  • Two variants of stylish classic color – black and white
  • Optional iPad Smart Cover

Dimension of iPad 2 Wi-Fi model is 9.50 inches (241.2 mm) x 7.31 inches (185.7 mm) x 0.34 inch (8.8 mm) (H x W x D) with weight of 1.33 pounds (601 g), while iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G model has similar size, but heavier weight, which is 1.35 pounds (613 g) for AT&T GSM version and 1.34 pounds (607 g) for Verizon CDMA version.

The new sleek iPad 2 that offered in 2 models – iPad 2 with Wi-Fi and iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G, will be available through online store, brick-and-mortar Apple retail stores, Verizon, and AT&T beginning March 11, 2011, followed by 26 more countries to get iPad 2 tablet on March 25 – Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and United Kingdom.

No pre-order is available though. Consumers able to start buying from Apple Online Store from March 11 with free shipping or buy in store on Apple Retail Store starting at 5:00 p.m. on March 11.

iPad 2 with Wi-Fi only model is available in 3 variants of internal memory storage – 16GB, 32GB and 64GB, are priced at $499, $599 and $699, respectively. While iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G model adds more $130 compared to iPad 2 Wi-Fi, which are $629 (16GB), $729 (32GB) and $829 (64GB).