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Why you should buy an Apple iPad 2…

It’s been the worst kept secret in the technology world, but now we know exactly what Apple boss Steve Jobs had up his sleeve with the iPad 2.

The successor to the original iPad – a game-changing gadget that technology companies across the world have tried to imitate – is due out in just two weeks.

Mark March 25 in your diary because it’s going to be a busy day. Not only will it see the arrival of the Nintendo 3DS, the Apple iPad 2 will be placed on British shelves and be taken off again by eager buyers, as fast as they can be stacked.

So what’s new about it and why should you be excited? Well, for a start, if you never snapped up the original iPad, then there’s very little reason not to join the party this time around.

FAST + THIN + LIGHT

For a start the iPad 2 is thinner, faster and lighter than the previous model. It’s a third slimmer at 8.8mm,
down from 13.4mm and has dropped two pounds in weight.

Apple promise this won’t compromise battery life and claim the iPad 2 can still manage up to 10 hours of use – depending on the conditions – from one single charge.

There’s also a white version for the very first time, which will please any iPhone 4 owners who never managed to get a white one of those.

At the San Francisco launch on Wednesday, Apple boss Steve Jobs took to the stage to announce the impending release, despite his ill health and battle with cancer.

His appearance proved just how important this launch is for Apple. In his introduction, Jobs pointed out how the original iPad changed the post-PC era and he’s right. He’s correct that all of Apple’s competitors ended up playing catch-up. Many launched tablets trying to replicate the home computer, rather than advance it.

But it’s also fair to say, for owners of the first iPad, the iPad 2 doesn’t offer as big a leap up as many would have hoped to persuade them to buy a replacement.

LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION

Plenty will buy one though, attracted by the doubling of speed in its processor, nine times faster graphics performance and the introduction of two video cameras.

The one on the rear can be used to shoot films at 720p, which can then be edited on the iPad 2 thanks to the new iMovie app. The one on the front is for video calls via FaceTime to other iPads, iPhone 4 devices, the latest iPod touch model or
an iMac or MacBook.

There’s also now a gyroscope enabling 360 degree movement controls, the introduction of Photo Booth and the dual-core A5 processor for a blistering performance.

And with more than 65,000 iPad specific apps now available, there’s proof that these little pieces of software are the main reason to own Apple’s tablet device over the competition.

Steve Jobs said: “2010 turned out to be the year of the iPad. We sold almost 15m in 2010 in just nine months, that’s more than every tablet PC ever sold.”

He added: “While others have been scrambling to copy the first generation iPad, we’re launching iPad 2, which moves the bar far ahead of the competition and will likely cause them to go back to the drawing boards yet again.”

BETTER VALUE FOR MONEY

The cost of the Apple iPad 2 stays the same as before meaning the device is still keenly priced but with much more on offer for the money this time around.

For newcomers to the tablet world, the Apple iPad 2 is sure to be top of the shopping list, especially now it’s more female friendly with a sleeker design and the addition of colourful Smart Covers. There’s also more than 65,000 iPad specific apps to attract them too.

For those deciding whether to trade up and replace their original iPad, well, there’s plenty of people already ahead of you in the queue. Just check how many second-hand ones are now for sale on eBay – so Apple has obviously struck gold yet again!

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