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The iPad 2

here's your ipad 2

The iPad 2 is here, and it points to a better tomorrow for tablets. You’ve heard my complaints. We’ve been disappointed before. But with more speed and new powerful apps, the iPad 2 is a hint of what we can expect from tablet computers in the future.  How machines like this affect businesses will vary depending on the industry. Tablet computers have long been an important part of the medical world, but there are plenty of other aindustries world that could benefit from more advanced tablets. Could yours?

Here’s my initial report of the iPad 2, posted Wednesday on my new blog, The Heated Forest:

It seems like it was only a year ago that I was sitting on Twitter, watching the details of Apple’s iPad roll in live. Come to think of it, it was only a year ago. And yet, Apple’s iPad 2 is already here, and ready for consumption.

Apple held an event today in San Francisco announcing the new product at 10 AM, PST.

So what can it do? How is the iPad 2 going to blow you away? Well, if you weren’t impressed by the original iPad, frankly, there’s not much here for you. It’s still a tablet computer based off of Apple’s (now updated) iOS mobile operating system. But it’s sleek, sexy, and it costs the same price.

The first thing you’ll notice is that it’s thinner. It’s 33% thinner than the original product. At 8.4 mm thick, it’s actually thinner than the iPhone 4. And it’s a little lighter too. It weights 1.3 lbs, compared with the original iPad’s 1.5lb weight.

As bloggers have long suspected, the iPad 2 comes with a rear and front-facing camera, so it’s ready for video-chat from the get go.

The iPad 2 also features dual-core A5 processors, meaning graphics will run up to nine times faster, without impacting battery life. A couple additional improvements include a gyroscope, the ability to use the slider switch for muting or locking screen orientation, and HDMI capability, so you can plug your iPad 2 into any High Def television. This, in my opinion, is the greatest thing about the iPad 2.

Oh, and did I mention it comes in white? Unlike the fabled white iPhone, the white iPad 2 will be available at the same time as the black. Both models are shipping on March 11th.

One thing that hasn’t changed at all is the pricing structure. The cheapest model still starts at $499. And, depending on how much storage you want (16, 32, or 64 GB, the same as the original iPad) the 3G models can cost over $800.

Here’s what I’m most excited about: video editing.

Speaking about the new iMovie app, one presenter said, “This is not a toy. You can really edit a movie on this thing.” Not a toy? Edit a movie? It’s like they’ve been reading my mind, or my blog. Just this week I was complaining that tablets were toys and that you couldn’t edit movies on them. It seems like the hardware is catching up with my awesome, unique imagination. Then again, the argument that iMovie is not a toy is in and of itself questionable. But this is a radical beginning. Maybe a little Final Cut Pro action is just around the corner? Maybe…

Since the iPad 2 has a camera, you can click a button and record video directly into your iMovie timeline. Now that’s what I like to see.

And lastly, the iPad 2 will let you share the music, movies, and TV shows that you have in your home iTunes library over Wi-Fi. #winning

Check out Apple’s website for more info on the iPad 2.

So what will happen to all of those original iPads? Might they go down in price? I don’t know yet. But while I wasn’t willing to spring $500 for the iPad, I’d gladly spend under $300 for an older model. Then again, I’m cheap. What about you? You willing to spring $500 or more for the new, thinner, sleeker iPad 2?

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