Apple iPad 2: 10 Things you need to know

The iPad sequel's most important details

The big new features, changes and details. Get the lowdown on the Apple iPad successor. Say hello to the Apple iPad 2...

The iPad 2. You may well have heard of it. You may have seen the pictures, read the specs and seen our reactions (and if you haven’t then you need to see the link box below), but what does it all mean?

Handily, we’ve picked out the 10 things that really matter about the new iPad – the things you genuinely need to know.

From the cameras to the Smart Covers, thes are the details that really make a difference. Ready to read why this may well be your next tech purchase? Off we go…

iPad 2: 10 Things you need to know:

1. New form factor
The new iPad is 33 per cent thinner than the last. It’s 8.3mm, compared to the original’s 13.4mm. That’s thinner than the iPhone 4. It’s available in black or white from day one of launch. It’s light, too, at 1.3 pounds.

2. Rear camera
The back cam is the meatier option for video, being 720p HD. It works with Facetime and iMovie, which is coming to iPad for $4.99 (approx. £2.99). There’s no flash for the cam though, which is disappointing.

3. Front camera
The front camera links up with Facetime – as you’d expect - or Photobooth, which lets you run multiple cam streams at once with various effects. You can flip betwixt both cams for Facetime purposes, just like on the iPhone 4. It’s a VGA number like on the iPhone 4.

4. Battery life

Despite the faster processor and other factors, Apple insist that the iPad 2 will boast the same 10 hour batter life as its predecessor.

5. Faster processor
The iPad 2’s processor is the all new A5. It’s CPU is two times faster than the previous iPad thanks to a dual-core architecture. Apple maintains that it makes for graphical capabilities which are nine times faster, while keeping power consumption down.

6. iOS 4.3
Improved AirPlay and WiFi sharing via iTunes is on offer, and Apple also states that it’s employed the Nitro JavaScript engine to get a better performance out of Safari web browsing. It’ll also let you use the iPhone 4 as your own personal little MiFi device, creating a WiFi hotspot. Lastly, the mute/rotation lock switch can be set to do one or the other, instead of forcing you to use it as a mute switch. It’ll be available for the iPad, iPod Touch and iPhone from 11th March.

7. HDMI output
Well, almost. This new iPad will be capable of full 1080p HD output thanks to an addition HDMI cable, which goes into the usual iPad port. This means you’ll be able to export your HD films to your TV while keeping the picture quality.

8. Smart Covers
Apple’s keen to get you to buy the new Smart Cover for $40/$70, which snap on to the iPad 2 via magnets and drapes over the screen. It can be folded into a makeshift stand and – as a final touch – wakes the screen when it’s lifted.

9. UK Price
Ready for this? It’s exactly the same as before. The entry price for the iPad 2 in the states is $499, so that’ll be £429, just like it has been here since the original launched.

10. UK Release date
It’ll be in UK stores on March 25th. That’s a pretty quick launch. Get your cash ready, people.