Apple iPad 2 launches

Yes, it's true, the Apple iPad 2 is here (almost) and it's real - and as this morning's leak claimed, it's not a huge revolution from the original iPad, but it is a heck of a lot faster and sexier.


It's about one third thinner at just 8.8 - that's smaller than any smartphone, including the iPhone 4 - and weighs just 1.3 pounds. It'll ship with iOS 4.3, which features a faster browser and 'home sharing' of media with other iOS devices.


Hardware wise, it's stepping up to the dual-core plate with a new A5 processor and and a GPU for graphics performance up to nine times faster. The dual-core processor will also aid low-power performance so that the impressive battery life of the original iPad will be maintained.


And yes, we have video calling. iPad 2 will feature both front and rear cameras for picture taking and picture calling - well, at least if you want to use FaceTime, the Wi-Fi only video calling app that only works with other FaceTime users (that's owners of the iPhone 4, iPad 2 and new MacBooks).


An HDMI port - what, a connector to the outside?! - will even allow you to hook your iPad 2 up to a handy HDTV or monitor to watch your iTunes movies or simply use the tablet on the big screen.


Meanwhile, in the small-but-awesome tweak category, it will pack an anti-reflective screen so you won't need to further blur that non-high-definition display with a glare sheet.


The iPad 2 will ship on March 11 (UK availability March 25), in black and white. Prices will be exactly the same as the original iPad when it launched.

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