iPad 2

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iPad 2

Apple formally announced the iPad 2 in a San Francisco event March 2, ending months of speculation about the features of its next-generation tablet.

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Hardware

The 9.7-inch iPad 2 includes a built-in three-axis gyroscope, like the iPhone 4 and latest version of the iPod Touch. It is also 33 percent thinner than the original iPad, which makes it slimmer than the iPhone 4.

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iOS 4.3

The company is also tweaking the iPads software with iOS 4.3, which includes a speedier JavaScript engine, iTunes home sharing for wireless streaming from PC to iPad, improvement tweaks to Airplay, and built-in Photobooth.

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A5

The iPad 2 features a new chip, the A5. Apple hopes its next-generation tablets dual-core processor will put it on even footing in consumers minds with new and upcoming tablets such as the Motorola Xoom, which boasts a good deal of processing firepower.

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Sales

Apple CEO Steve Jobs claimed during the iPad 2 unveiling that Apple has sold some 15 million iPads to date, giving it the lions share of the burgeoning consumer tablet market.

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Customers

Apple claims some 200 million accounts for its three online storefronts (iTunes, App Store, iBooks).

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FaceTime

Like the iPhone 4 and the newest iPod Touch, the iPad 2 boasts FaceTime video-conferencing.

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Cameras

Both front- and rear-mounted cameras can record video, with the rear one capable of 720p and 30 frames per second.

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Photobooth

The iPad 2 will also include Photobooth, with all the usual face-twisting effects.

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Smart Cover

Apple is offering a "smart cover" for the iPad 2, complete with magnets to grasp and auto-align over the screen. When opened, it will wake the device; when closed, it will put the tablet to sleep.

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Video Mirroring

Via an Apple Digital AV Adapter or Apple VGA Adapter, users can project their iPads screen onto an HDTV or projector.

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Pricing

The iPad 2s pricing structure will mirror that of the original iPad.

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