Apple drops big fat iPad 2 launch hint

Apple has dropped the first and only 'official' hint that it will be launching the next generation iPad in a matter of days.

Press invitations to a special event have been arriving at the in-boxes of the great and the good of the tech world but no further details have been offered beyond the giant 2 and an image of what appears to be the current model of the pioneering tablet.

The event, which is being held at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco in exactly one week on March 2nd.

Apple may also use the event to announce a major update to the iOS operating system and to roll out the much-predicted update to the MacBook Pro range of premium laptops.

As always, this is all conjecture mixed with a fistful of wishful thinking on behalf of the bloggerati, and nothing will be set in stone until Steve Jobs strides stagewards.

Despite his current ill health, we'd be willing to bet Jobs will make an extra effort to be at the launch, even if he doesn't do the full presentation alone.

We'll be here blogging away live if you weren't one of the chosen few to get an invite, and don't have access to a Mac or an iOS device which will almost certainly be the only way you'll be able to watch the live stream if recent events are anything to go by.

The next generation of the pioneering proddable PC is expected to arrive sporting dual cameras, a more powerful CPU, better connectivity in the form of a Light Peak derivative, improved sound - thanks to a larger on-board speaker, a lighter chassis, possibly constructed from a carbon-fibre composite and a thinner bezel, minus the 'home' button as our artists impression suggests.

Our best guess at what the iPad 2 might look like.