Summary:

The iPad 2 is official: as thought, it’s faster and thinner than the original version.

Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the new d…

iPad 2
photo: Engadget

The iPad 2 is official: as thought, it’s faster and thinner than the original version.

Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the new device Wednesday. It is about the thickness of the iPhone 4, about one-third as thick as the first iPad. Graphics performance was improved by about 9 times over the original, and a new dual-core chip called the A5 powers the device.

Two cameras are on the iPad 2, one facing the front and one facing the rear. They can capture video as well.

Apple will ship the new iPad 2 next week and it will be available in two colors–black and white–for the same prices as the original iPad, starting at $499. It will run on both Verizon and AT&T’s 3G network when it ships on March 11.

Apple also developed a series of “smart covers,” thin covers for the iPad screen that attach via magnets and come in a variety of colors. When the cover is lifted away from the screen, the iPad automatically wakes from sleep mode, and the cover can also be folded up to act as a stand for the device.

Users can still expect 10 hours of battery life on the device despite the more powerful hardware, Apple said.

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