The iPad 2 itself is a faster, stronger, thinner, and lighter version of the iPad. It improves on most of the features of the iPad while not radically changing any of the originals features, making this release pretty much what we hoped for and expected. These updates do a lot to elevate the iPad 2 above any of the announced “iPad Killer” Android tablets like the Xoom or Samsung 10.1. The iPad 2 will be available in 16, 32, and 64GB wifi and 3G versions that work on AT&T or Verizon (not both), the same configurations and price points as the current iPad.

The main changes are in the speed of the iPad 2. The iPad 2 improves on the processor by now including an A5 dual core processor. In addition, the graphics processor has been improved, offering 9x the graphics processing power of the original iPad. Next up, the size of the iPad 2 is now considerably thinner, while remaining the same length and width wise. It now has a flat back and weighs a little bit less while retaining the same 10 hour battery life.

The only real new hardware feature of the iPad 2 is the dual cameras. There is now a front facing and rear camera. These can be used to take pictures, videos, and can be used in Facetime. A welcome addition, but not one that really changes the landscape.

The iPad 2 will be available this Friday. So far we’ve heard that it can be ordered online from Apple.com (no pre-orders though) as well as (starting at 5pm) from Apple, AT&T, Verizon, and Best Buy stores. Other stores will likely announce launch plans this week.

By far the greatest part of last weeks announcements were the new Apple developed iPad apps, iMovie and Garageband. Both look absolutely amazing. We’ll be sure to have full reviews of both as soon as possible. Garageband in particular looks absolutely amazing. Both are priced at $4.99. iMovie apparently only works on the iPad 2 while Garageband will work on the original iPad as well.

You can view the full Apple announcement at Apple.com.

So the question for you, our readers, is the iPad 2 enough for you? Does it have the features you wanted? If you have an iPad, will you upgrade to the iPad 2? We can’t wait to see your answers.

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