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iPad 2 hits US March 11, rolls out in UK on March 25

33% thinner, dual-core A5 processor, but same price

iPad 2 hits US March 11, rolls out in UK on March 25
As expected, Apple used its conference during GDC 2011 to unveil its iPad successor – iPad 2.

In a press blitz surprisingly hosted by Steve Jobs (the Apple CEO having been on leave due to health issues) the firm revealed iPad 2 will hit the US on March 11, before making a leap across the Atlantic to the UK two weeks later on March 25 – which, interestingly enough, is also the date of 3DS's debut.

iOS 4.3 on the way

Sporting iOS 4.3 – itself also due to roll out on March 11 – iPad 2 will feature a dual-core A5 processor, offering twice the speed of the original tablet's CPU and nine times the graphical processing performance.

Unsurprisingly, iPad 2 will ship with two cameras – one rear, one front - with the latter camera designed for FaceTime's first forage on the device.

Bringing it into line with iPhone 4, developers will also be able iPad 2's gyroscope, which adds to the original versions accelerometer.

Horsing about

"What have we learned?" Jobs said at the event, revealing that the device will be available in both black and white models.

"It's a completely new design, and dramatically faster. The first iPad was no slouch."

As well as being more powerful, the new model is also 33 percent thinner than the current iPad – coming in at 8.8 mm thick – which makes it even more slender than an iPhone 4.

The extra horsepower means iPad 2 will also be able to handle HDMI out at 1080p. Those with tight wallets, however, might be less pleased to hear that the bespoke cable required for doing so will costing $39 in its own right.

Pricing for iPad 2 as a whole, however, is to remain static, with the cheapest model – a 16GB wi-fi only SKU – coming in at $499. Jobs made a point of highlighting that, of the six models available, only the $829 64GB 3G enabled version comes in at a price point above iPad's competitors.

With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font.

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