iPad 2 specs announced by Steve Jobs today at Apple event

Apple CEO Steve Jobs briefly emerged from his medical leave and walked on stage to standing ovation Wednesday to unveil the second-generation of the popular iPad, which will go on sale March 11 in the U.S. (March 2)
Compiled by Justin bank
Washington Post staff
Wednesday, March 2, 2011; 4:21 PM

Apple announced the release date for their iPad 2 in Palo Alto, California today. Rob Pegoraro was there liveblogging the event and ran down a few of the new product's specs:

The iPad 2 weighs 1.3 lbs., down from the original's 1.5 lbs. It comes in two colors, black and white--and, Jobs says, "well be shipping it in white from day one." Versions will support AT&T and Verizon's 3G mobile broadband from day one too.

"We have the same legendary 10 hour battery life... with all this extra stuff in it and dramatically thinner." And the pricing remains unchanged, starting at $499 for a 16 gigabyte model.

The iPad 2 ships March 11 in the U.S., in "at least 26 more countries" on March 25.

Jobs lists some upcoming accessories. A $39 HDMI output cable (so you can plug an iPad into an HDTV without buying a dock).

A "smart cover" case that magnetically graps the iPad to protect the screen--and wakes the iPad when you open it, then folds up to prop up the device. It comes in a choice of colors and with either a polyurethane (Jobs notes that they make spacesuits out of polyurethane) or leather exterior, with a microfiber lining on the inside the clean the screen. The former costs $39, the latter $69.

Melissa Bell argues that the star of the show wasn't any kind of new gadget. Rather it was the appearance of iconic Apple co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs who returned from medical leave:

Forgot all the speculation over the iPad 2, the big news from Silicon Valley was Steve Jobs's appearance at the launch. Jobs took the stage to a standing ovation, and shares of Apple, which had been flat, climbed as much as 1.4 percent, Reuters reports.

"He looks thin -- but not more so than he did at September's press event -- but upbeat," The Post's Rob Pegoraro reported from the event.

Jobs's black turtleneck and jeans combo has been as much a part of the Apple press events as the black stage and glowing screen. However, Jobs's faltering health, from a rare form of cancer, had people speculating about whether he would show up for the event. After taking medical leave from the company, he's made few public appearances.

"Didn't want to miss today," he said, strolling onto stage.

All this news about the newest iPad does not mean that the first generation model should be dismissed completley. As Hayley Tsukayama noted:

Cheapskates, seize the moment. Sure, you could buy the shiny new 16GB iPad 2 for $499 once it goes on sale March 11. Or you could pocket an extra C-note and get the original model for $399.

Apple, which announced the second-generation of its iPad tablet on Wednesday, has slashed the price of its predecessor, undoubtedly hoping to clear out the older stock.

More from Washington Post:

iPad vs. iPad 2: What's new in the latest Apple tablet

iPad 2: Will you buy it?

Live: Apple's iPad 2 introduction

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