Apple iPad 2 Introduction: 10 Features That Define This New Model

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2011-03-02 Print this article Print

News Analysis: Apple's iPad 2, introduced as expected on March 2, delivers nearly all the features that were glaringly missing from the original model. These new features will continue to define what buyers want in a tablet computer.

It took awhile and rumors that ran rampant prior to its announcement were everywhere, but the iPad 2 has officially been revealed. The device boasts a slimmer design, a heftier processor and a new version of iOS 4 to boot. By any measure, it looks to be a fine alternative to any other tablet on the market and could perform just as well at retail as its predecessor.

But amid the flurry of news that came from Apple's March 2 event, some might miss the key features that have helped define the iPad 2. Sure, there's a new iteration of the device, but what makes it special? What makes it important? And perhaps most importantly, what makes it worth a person's hard-earned cash?

After much speculation and prognostication over the past several weeks, the answers came out of the March 2 announcement.

Read on to find out about some of the key features that will come to define the iPad 2 when it launches in the United States on March 11.

1. The dual-core processor

One of the central updates to Apple's iPad 2 is the dual-core A5 processor. According to Apple, the update will deliver twice as much processing power as its predecessor, which should mean substantial improvements in all the apps on the tablet. Admittedly, other tablets, including the Motorola Xoom, come with a dual-core processor. But now that Apple's tablet does as well, those competitors can't point to an improved chip as an advantage for their own devices.

2. The apps

According to Apple, it now has over 65,000 applications designed for the iPad in its App Store. That is extremely important to the success of the company's tablet. Third-party applications help extend the functionality of devices. Considering Apple has the app market wrapped up by a wide margin-it claims Android 3.0 Honeycomb-based devices only have 100 apps available to customers-it will be difficult for competing tablets to make decisive inroads into the iPad's market dominance.

3. Built-in 3G on AT&T and Verizon

One of the key problems with the first-generation iPad is that it only allowed users to connect to the Internet while on the go over AT&T's 3G connection. If they wanted to connect to Verizon's network, they needed an additional product, like the MiFi 2200 Hotspot. Luckily, the iPad 2 comes with the ability for users to connect to either AT&T's 3G network or Verizon's 3G network without the need for any other products. It's a luxury that most customers will be happy to find in their iPad 2s.

4. iOS 4.3

With the launch of Android 3.0 Honeycomb, Google has made it clear that it's in the tablet game to win. The operating system, which features several interesting features like full browsing and 3D capability, looks like a winner. Apple announced that the iPad 2 will ship with iOS 4.3. That update will offer personal hot spot functionality with the iPhone 4, FaceTime functionality and an improved browsing experience. It's not groundbreaking. But at least for now, it's what consumers will need to compare to Honeycomb.

Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at

Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

Rocket Fuel