iPad 2: Fast & Skinny But No USB
You can read about the basic specifications of the tablet here. The CliffsNotes version is that the device is faster, thinner and lighter but hasn't dropped in price any.
Year of the iPad 2? Crazy horsepower Better performance thanks to the dual-core A5 processor has some iPad users salivating. Here's what Brian Lynn, Apple Fanboy and Director of Media Production at UBM Studios likes:
"The dual cameras are huge, but the fact that they are supported by a stronger, faster processor makes all the difference. If the dual cameras were on the iPad 1, with the same processor, we'd see lags and crashing, so knowing that I can use FaceTime, augmented reality apps, iMovie, etc., with an A5 processor is great. The dual cameras are my favorite feature, but certainly the A5 processor makes that way more exciting for me."
The iPad 2 is an evolutionary device for Apple, not one that will revolutionize the industry (again). It does, however, include a few revolutionary features. By adding a front-facing camera, Apple just made two-way cameras table stakes for all other tablet makers. It wasn't the first to add the dual cameras, but it will be the one to make them mainstream. The rear-facing camera can record 720p high-definition content at 30 frames per second (fps) with audio, and the front-facing camera records VGA (video graphics array) video at 30fps. And, now it's FaceTime video chat app will work across iPad 2s, iPhone 4s and Macs.
What will also excite a lot of people more than any of the hardware specs is the fact that the iPad 2 also comes in white and can be wrapped in a new thin Smart Cover built specially to protect the device and to double as a stand.
Out through the indoors The new HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) output on the iPad should allow users to mirror what is on the iPad for watching video, grabbing photos and giving presentations. Eventually, it could allow for a future where the iPad is the main mobile content "godbox" of the household, interfacing with DTVs, set-top boxes and games consoles.
Year of the copycats The missing piece in the iPad 2 launch for some, however, may be a simple way to connect to the iPad. Like the earlier version, it still lacks a USB port or memory card input. This means, for instance, that people who want to play their real-life instrument on the new GarageBand app will need to find a way to connect a digital audio interface to the device or stick with the simulations. [Ed note: Anyone know of a Wi-Fi DAW?]
Such simple issues as available connections may be a deciding factor for some. For, even as Apple derides the Android 3.0 Motorola Mobility LLC Xoom tablet as an iPad "copycat," that device does actually have a USB port.
— The Staff, Light Reading Mobile