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iPad 2: Fact Vs. Fiction

Ankit Tyagi |
February 26, 2011 | 8:51 p.m. PST

Staff Reporter

Steve Jobs at the Initial iPad Release Press Conference (Photo Courtesy of Creative Commons)
Steve Jobs at the Initial iPad Release Press Conference (Photo Courtesy of Creative Commons)

Apple has recently sent out invitations for a March 2nd event, signaling an update to the extremely popular iPad. 

This tablet computer is primarily used for Internet connectivity, audio/visual entertainment, as well as e-books and periodicals. Apple has sold nearly 15 million units of the original iPad, and is slated to sell millions more with its upcoming model.

There has been much speculation as to how the iPad 2 will differ from the original. Different media outlets have been rumoring about the new product for months, including CrunchGearGizmodo, and others. So what exactly can we expect? Let's take a look.


Without a doubt, Apple will include some basic hardware updates, such as a more powerful processor, most likely their in-house multicore "A5," along with upgrade speakers. This is a very likely update, considering that almost all of Apple's other portable devices are slated to move to this processor. 

Physical Size

Many are expecting the iPad 2 to have a thinner overall profile, and this is a pretty reasonable assumption. Apple typically tends to slim down their products from generation to generation, as seen most clearly in the progression of the iPhone. 

This is also a realistic update because of the potential for new cases. Many case makers have been given size specifications for the new model, and pictures have already been leaked, although removed. 

In terms of screen size, even though rumors have been placed about a smaller, 7 inch screen, it seems unlikely for this to be true. Apple CEO Steve Jobs has gone on record saying that it will not happen, which effectively kills that rumor. 


One of the most likely updates are cameras for the iPad 2, and yes multiple cameras. Apple has been introducing cameras onto nearly all of its portable devices, and the iPad is more than due for one. 

In addition, Apple is hoping to make FaceTime a more unified experience over all its devices. With the recent release of FaceTime for Mac, along with the iPhone 4 and the new iPod Touch front-facing cameras, it only makes sense for Apple to include cameras on the iPad 2. 

Retina Display

Since the release of the iPhone 4, all touch-screen devices by Apple have included a Retina Display that features nearly double the pixel density of the previous models. It is only logical for the iPad to get this display upgrade as well.

The only issue with a Retina Display for the iPad is the processor and battery costs. The upgraded resolution would logically be 2048x1536, double the 1024x768 currently on the iPad, which is more powerful than the majority of laptops and desktop computers. The battery power required to run this would be massive, which raises questions about the ability to keep the iPad as a high-portability device, and not to mention the price of a display with that resolution. 

Some speculators are expecting a cross between the current resolution and the true Retina Display, arguably somewhere around 1280x960 or 1365x1024. This partial upgrade is atypical of Apple, but still a possibility considering the physical costs associated with a true Retina Display.

SD Card Slot

Early on, many people were saying that the new iPad would have an expandable memory slot for an SD card. The rumors were fueled by a leaked image of a case with an opening that appeared to be for an SD card. This rumor has since died down significantly, and the media has collectively decided that it is simply a SIM card slot for 3G data transfer.

Reach Ankit Tyagi here.

Follow him on Twitter @ankittya



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