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iPad 2 Specs, Speculation and Release Date Rumors

by Paul Strauss
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CES and MacWorld are just around the corner, so it’s time for all the rampant speculation to start heating up about what exciting new gadgets are coming out in 2011. Among the rumors, many signs are pointing to the release of a refreshed version of Apple’s iPad (aka the iPad 2), and here’s what I’ve been able to surmise.

ipad2_steve_jobs_photo

After scouring the web for the various rumors about the iPad 2, these are my best guesses of what we’ll see in the iPad 2 when it is announced:

  • Front-facing 640×480 camera with FaceTime chat support
  • High-res camera on the back (resolution unknown, probably the same 5MP as the iPhone 4)
  • Dual-core CPU based on A9 ARM Cortex platform at 1GHz per core (likely to be branded “A5” by Apple, just to confuse consumers)
  • Improved sound, with a larger speaker on the back left corner of the iPad
  • Addition of a 3-axis gyroscope to improve gaming and interactivity
  • RAM increase from 256MB to 512MB
  • Screen size will remain at 9.7-inches – no 7-inch or smaller version plannes
  • Possible increase in screen resolution, leveraging “Retina display” tech from iPhone 4 (I have my doubts on the ability to do this on a cost-effective basis yet)
  • Slightly reduced body size and a flat back instead of a curved one (time to buy some new cases)
  • MicroUSB port to meet European regulations on mobile device chargers
  • Announcement likely to come at MacWorld Expo between Jan. 26 and 29th, with the iPad 2 shipping sometime in February or March 2011.
  • Pricing likely to remain the same as 1st gen models

Several of the rumors (rear camera, speaker cutout and size change) are reaffirmed by this video of a supposed “Crystal Case for iPad 2nd Generation” in the works in China:

As is always the case with rumors and speculation, there’s a chance I could be completely wrong, but check back here at the end of January, and let’s tally up how many I got right.

It all sounds great to me, but what I really want – and know we won’t get – is an SD card slot, 4G data network, and Flash support.

[sources: MaxConsole, Ubergizmo, iLounge and Device]

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