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Apple launches the iPad 2

Alternative to Microsoft computer hardware and software makers Apple has unveiled the successor to last year’s bestselling iPad tablet, in the imaginatively entitled iPad 2.

The iPad 2 boasts a new design, both inside and out, with a new CPU and imagery options whilst running from a sleeker body with the same 9.7-inch screen and the upcoming iOS 4.3.

Apple's iPad 2 now has a A5 processor, with a dual-core CPU that supplies double the processing power of the first device along with nine times the graphical performance. This is all whilst pulling the same power as the original iPad, with the same 10 hour battery life.

The first iPad lacked any on-board camera, where the iPad 2 as remedied that very issue by providing not one, but two lenses. This latest tablet offering has both a rear HD and front facing VGA camera for utilising the video calling FaceTime app.

Apple's innate design of the iPad has changed too, where the form factor has become much more sleeker. The thickness has been reduced by 33-percent, from a 13.4mm chassis to a 8.8mm thin case - where it is now even slimmer than the iPhone 4. There has also been a slight 15-percent drop in weight, from 680grams to 601grams.

On-board is 1080p HDMI out which was also missing from the original iPad, where many mobile phones have seen this included before the first tablet arrived and since then too.

From the outset there are 65,000 applications for the iPad 2, which now has a cover/case that can be turned into a stand with a built in microfiber cloth that both cleans the screen when not in use and also wakes the iPad up when removed.

The iPad 2 will come in six different versions and in much the same way as the original model, with a WIFI and a WIFI+3G iteration - both of which have 16, 32 and 64GB variants with an arrival date of March 25 in the UK.

UK prices haven’t been released as yet, although the US costs for a guideline alone are $499, $599 and $699 for the WIFI 16, 32 and 64GB models whilst the WIFI+3G costs $629, $729 and $829 – respectively.

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