iPad 2 Debuts at Spectacular $499 Price Point and March 11 Ship Date

What’s thinner than an iPhone 4 and faster than a Motorola Xoom? Let’s not play games. Yes, you guessed it. The iPad 2. It’s here, and it’s going to knock your freaking socks off.

Apple iPad 2

Steve Jobs debuted the brand spankin’ new device at Apple today and the first image shown, of course, was the long-envied front-facing camera! Can you say, “Face Time”?

iPad 2 cam

But this additive is only the least impressive to the second generation Apple tablet. Far from an incremental upgrade, this refresh includes Apple’s new dual-core A5 CPU that’s twice as fast as the A4 and has 9X faster graphics capabilities, HDMI-output, a rear-facing cam for 1080p recording, gyroscope, new apps including iMovie and iGarage Band, and a spiffy new Smart Cover that attaches and aligns itself with magnets. Oh, and did we mention it will come in white immediately and ship to Apple Stores in the U.S. on March 11, followed by 26 more countries on March 25? What’s that? You want us to pinch you? We promise, this isn’t “Inception”. iPad 2 is really here and really $499.

iPad 2 A5 Chip

Honestly, there’s so much news this time around, we almost forgot to mention that this will be the first Apple product to debut available with both AT&T and Verizon. This means 3G access for all, people.

What we find particularly amazing about this debut is that the iPad 2 is literally thinner, lighter, and faster without changing the frame or costing battery life. Jobs says the device has been tested thoroughly and remains at 10 hours with over a month of standby. It almost doesn’t even make sense.

iPad 2 thin

Apple is also selling a $39 cord for the iPad 2 for its 1080p HDMI mirrored video output. This will work with some updated and new apps like iMovie and GarageBand ($4.99), and the new Photobooth. At the event, all three of these were demonstrated, making editing films, pictures, and music with your fingers look easy. The iPad 2 will ship loaded with iOS 4.3 which works with these apps and a whole lot more capabilities including better Safari surfing due to its Nitro JavaScript engine.

iPad 2 PhotoBooth
Even if you opt out of the cord, iPad 2 works with Apple’s Airplay to play media on your Apple TV just as easily. Last and definitely not least, Apple came up with one genius compromise for its customers. Remember the landscape lock switch on the iPad that turned into a mute button? Well, now you can select which of those modes you want that button to be set to. Genius.

Make sure to check out the first hands on video from Engadget below:

Get ready to preorder or camp out at your local Apple Store. We have no doubt these are going to fly fast.

Price points:
16GB WiFi = $499/16GB WiFi + 3G = $629
32GB WiFi = $599/32GB WiFi + 3G = $729
64GB WiFi =  $699/64GB Wifi + 3G = $829

For more specs, visit http://www.apple.com/ipad/specs/.

Via: Engadget