Today, Apple announced the next generation of the iPad. The iPad 2 is the next stage in Apple’s tablet evolution, and the device boasts a significant redesign from its predecessor.

There’s a lot that’s new about the iPad 2. It’s thinner, lighter, and 2x faster than the original iPad. It also borrows elements from the iPhone 4, including dual cameras for FaceTime.

Let’s take a closer look…

Availability

Before you go into anaphylactic shock, yes, the iPad 2 is also available in white. The white iPad 2 will be available for purchase from day one. (Unlike the white iPhone 4, which still isn’t available.)

From Apple’s press release,

Pricing & Availability
iPad 2 with Wi-Fi will be available on March 11 for a suggested retail price of $499 (US) for the 16GB model, $599 (US) for the 32GB model, $699 (US) for the 64GB model. iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G will be available for a suggested retail price of $629 (US) for the 16GB model, $729 (US) for the 32GB model and $829 (US) for the 64GB model. iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G compatible with the Verizon network will be available in the US only for a suggested retail price of $629 (US) for the 16GB model, $729 (US) for the 32GB model and $829 (US) for the 64GB model. iPad 2 will be sold in the US through the Apple Store.

Pricing is staying the same from the original iPad. You won’t have to wait that long to get your hands on this sexy device. Walk into an Apple store next Friday after 5 PM to pick one up. (Or you can just order online.)

Specs

The iPad 2 has dual cameras for FaceTime video chat, iMovie and PhotoBooth.

Inside, the iPad 2 uses Apple’s blazing fast A5 chip to deliver up to 9x faster graphics performance. Battery life hasn’t suffered either; the iPad 2 boasts 10 hours of battery life.

The iPad 2 will also allow for HD mirroring to an external monitor with Apple’s new HDMI adapter. In the past, users have had to jailbreak their iDevice for screen mirroring.

You can read up on all of the iPad 2’s tech specs here.

Accessories and Software

Apple designed a new Smart Cover for the iPad 2. The design works with a magnetic strip in the iPad that wakes the device to and from sleep when the cover is used. The Smart Cover looks amazing, and the choice of color and material for the screen cover are extensive.

Check out more about Apple’s Smart Cover here.

In conjunction with next Friday’s iPad 2 launch, Apple will be releasing iOS 4.3 for all GSM-based iDevices on March 11th. Apple made it clear that 4.3 would only be coming to the GSM iPhone, so Verizon users will have to wait a little longer. (I foresee a pattern here.)

Read our iOS 4.3 article to learn more about Apple’s 4.3 announcement.

Joshua Topolsky of Engadget has posted a hands-on video of the iPad 2:

Engadget also has a great photo gallery of the iPad 2 from Apple’s demo room at today’s event.

Check out iDB’s sister iPad blog for more iPad goodness. ziPad Blog will be updated regularly with iPad news.

We realize that iDB doesn’t usually cover things that aren’t related to the iPhone, but the iPad 2 is just too cool to not mention.

Will you be buying an iPad 2? Let us know what you think of Apple’s new tablet in the comments!

  • james016

    Any ideas about the amount of RAM?

    • EmperorXavier

      good question i wanted 2 know the same thing

  • feelthepain444

    Just for people here in canada, its gonna be available only on march 25th…

  • jolitzdv

    ‘love it! definitely will buy one!!!

  • javierE186

    I’m not into the iPad craze, but if I were, I wouldn’t get the iPad two. Why you may ask?, well just think about it, rumors say their might be another iPad coming in the fall (although this is probably not true). Even so, other rumors say that the iPad3 is the real thing to get all jizzed in your pants about. So i rather just wait for the 3 (most likely next march) and then go crazy over t like everyone else.

    P.S. now that this is finally out we can go crazy on iPhone 4g/4gs/5 (pick your poison) rumors xD

    • neal

      i’m thinking the same thing.. on the iphone that is… i’ll bypass the iphone 4 to get the 5 or 4gs…

  • Vincent

    Does IPAD2 need a jail break?

    • William

      what do you mean?
      For folks who like to use iDevice as it is, they Never have a need to jailbreak.
      But for jailbreakers, what can I say? They probably won’t buy an iDevice until it’s jailbreakable.

      • Z

        Or they will buy the device and wait for the jailbreak =)

  • Fojam

    Not buying one until a full fledged finder.app, downloader for safari, and the ability to get apps outside of the appstore is released.
    Oh wait… You can do that with jailbreaking! Fuck you apple

  • WTF put a phone in it.

    No phone? laaaaaammmmmmeeeeoooooooooooo

    • Pirates Suck

      Yeah, I think your name says it all. WTF is wrong with you? That’s just what my tablet needs! A phone! That way, I can hold a huge tablet up to my head like a numb nutted phucktard…. Idiot…

    • Pirates Suck

      Wait… While I’m at it, let me put a phone in my laptop so I can get that old-school clamshell look……… And lose the WTF, Marc Maron would not be amused with your idiocy…. Or maybe he would…

  • PRO_TOO

    Does this hd mirroring may come to the iPhone 5? I would love to see that!!

    • Douglas

      I bet it will be on iPhone 5. I think that it is also possible on iPhone 4… Who knows?

  • marcoarrossi

    where can i see steves event i missed?

    • William

      apple.com

  • Oh man, that white one is so darn pretty. Still won’t be trading in my mark 1, especially since the 3rd one’s coming out in September!

  • MJ

    It seems iPad 2 is carrier locked unlike the original one.

  • greytone

    I’ll pass. I’ve been wanting a tablet lately but I’m thinking of getting an Archos instead.

  • Goofygreek

    My money is waiting for it. An the hdmi connection is awesome.

  • babeh

    still no sms heh, no flash, no phone, no
    Airplay wifi for presentation with projector?, no usb direct plug for keyboard or flash disk?

    • You..were expecting this?
      for your informtaion you can text on the iPad (get an app for it)
      there is flash for the ipad (if you’re jailbroken)
      and you can call (Skype)

      the presentation thing with project would be cool though..gotta give ya that one

      usb direct plug for keyboard or flash drive? ……this is apple.

  • Thanks for giving information for everyone

  • Z

    Simply said – awesome! That’s exactly what my parents needed over any lap top!

    Great article too!

  • Pat

    New iPad 2 is more than you dream it about.

  • TeamBreezy

    CANT U DIRECTLY CONNECT YOUR USB TO OPEN WORK????

  • Rob Mitchell

    Why wait until the fall to get a different version? Six months after that there’ll be another version set to go out, are you going to trash the new one you just got to get a newer one? When does it stop!