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A total of 15 million Apple iPad units were sold during the first nine months of its release, according to Apple CEO Steve Jobs. That’s more than the total number of all other tablet PC sales combined.

But Apple seems bent on dominating that market further. Less than a year after the first Apple iPad was released, here comes a thinner, lighter and superbly faster upgrade: the Apple iPad 2.

On March 2, 2011 Steve Jobs unveiled the second version of the popular iPad tablet computer. We’ve not personally seen the Apple iPad 2 yet, so we’ll just rely for now on the reviews of those who have tested the unit.

From CNet Reviews:

The second-generation iPad from Apple is thinner, faster, lighter, and whiter, but not a radical departure from the original. Pricing is also holding steady, starting at $499 for a 16GB Wi-Fi-only model, up to 64GB with 3G (provided by AT&T or Verizon without contract) priced at $829.

Having had a few minutes with the iPad 2, I can say that it is every bit as stunning as the original. The first thing that struck me was the iPad’s weight loss. It’s still not Kindle thin, but the lighter design should make the e-book crowd happier and prove to be a distinct advantage over bulkier competitors, including the recent Motorola Xoom.

The second thing that registered with me is the feel of the device. The back now flattens out at the middle, allowing it to better stay put when placed on a table. In fact, with its lighter weight, it feels less susceptible to being dropped.

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Of course, the banner feature for the iPad 2 is the addition of two cameras, which can be used for recording video or stills. The camera on the back is located in the upper-right corner, recessed onto the tapered edge to avoid scratching.

From Engadget:

This thing is insanely fast. We’re not joking — it’s blazingly fast. Everything the iPad 2 does feels like it’s on turbo.

The design feels great in your hands. Sleek, super thin — much nicer to hold than the previous version. Definitely has more of a magazine than book feel. Everything is tight and solid.

Even software made for the first generation device feels better here. Safari is definitely sped up. Games looked great on-screen, though obviously there are no updates to the resolution of screen technology here.

From TechRadar:

Apple has somehow managed to shave off an extra third of the original iPad’s thickness and it certainly shows.

Indeed, the Apple iPad 2 is just 8.4 mm thick; for people with the iPhone 4, that means that the latest tablet is actually thinner than your phone.

Of course, another difference is the weight – and although 0.2 of a pound (90g) sounds infinitesimal, it makes a considerable difference.

iPad 2 is also a bit of a tablet beast under the hood.  That’s largely due to a new A5 dual-core processor from Apple – an all-in-one offering with heavily beefed up graphics capability and twice as fast as a CPU.

In fact, Steve Jobs promised us that the new Apple iPad 2 is nine times more powerful in the graphics department that its predecessor.  The extra boost of speed is noticeable in the time it takes to open apps. There is still a delay, of course, but it’s much reduced – and the already responsive touchscreen seems a little zippier as well.

Apple iPad 2 – Technical Specifications

  • Price: Wi-Fi-only: $499-$699 ; Wi-Fi+3G: $629-$829
  • Colors: Black and white
  • Display: 9.7 inches (25 cm) multitouch display
  • Resolution: 1024 × 768 pixels at 132 pixels per inch (ppi)
  • Weight: 601 g (Wi-Fi) ; 613 g (WiFi + 3G)
  • Height: 9.5 inches (241.2 mm)
  • Width: 7.31 inches (185.7 mm)
  • Processor: 1 GHz Dual-core Apple A5
  • Storage: 16 GB ; 32 GB ; 64 GB
  • Wireless: Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n), Bluetooth 2.1+EDR
  • Back camera: Video recording, HD (720p) up to 30 frames per second with audio; still camera with 5x digital zoom
  • Front camera: Video recording, VGA up to 30 frames per second with audio; VGA-quality still camera
  • Battery life: Up to 10 hours of Web surfing, video and music use

Sources: Apple, CNet, Engadget, TechRadar

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