iPad 2 – What it needs, and will probably have

An early case for the next-gen iPad 2. Does it accurately represent the next iPad? Only time will tell.

Everybody knows that the iPad 2 will be released in a few months, right? Some of you are probably saying “big deal”, but this is going to be the next top gadget for 2011. What’s going to make it so popular? The momentum from the first iPad.

The iPad has really been taking off. A few weeks ago, it was said that the iPad drove Apple first place for North America mobile PC sales, and third worldwide [source]. This is only going to get better for them, because even large corporations, who are planning on purchasing a tablet computer during the first quarter of 2011, will be purchasing an iPad [source].

So what’s going to make the second generation iPad so popular? Well, nobody (in the general public) knows exactly what it’s going to have, but some of the more obvious features should be coming to it.

First, it’ll be getting a camera, or maybe even two. It’s guaranteed that there will be a front-facing camera for FaceTime calls and more. There may also be one on the back of the iPad, which will allow for avid photography. While a lot of people don’t see a rear-facing camera to be practical, it would be nice to have one, and I think that Apple will definitely put two cameras on there.

Next up, speed. The iPad was the first iDevice to use Apple’s A4 1GHz SoC (system-on-a-chip), which combines the ARM Cortex-A8 processor and the PowerVR graphics processor. The iPhone 4, iPod Touch 4G, and the Apple TV 2 were next to use this chip. While it’s nice and fast, a lot of recent applications could use a faster piece of hardware (such as recent games, albeit they have decent frame rates and look great). One could only imagine how much smoother recent games would play, and how much snappier things would be. Because of this, I believe Apple will be using some sort of dual-core processor (possibly clocked at 1.5GHz per core or higher) and a much more powerful GPU.

How about the 9.7″ display? Anything smaller than that just doesn’t seem very practical, so the screen size will most likely be staying the same, but how about its resolution? The iPhone 4 introduced the Retina Display, which was (and still is) the highest resolution display for its size (960×640). You can’t even see the pixels on the screen, where on every other mobile device, you can. This produces very crisp and clear images. The iPod Touch 4G was the next device to take this display. The iPad’s 9.7″ display has a resolution of 1024×768. The iPad’s screen is nearly 3x larger than the iPhone 4′s, yet its resolution is only a little bit larger. So, Apple will most likely be introducing a much higher resolution display, possibly at 1280×960 or 1400×1050 (and will stay at its 4:3 aspect ratio).

Design wise, nothing will really change. It’ll probably be a little thinner and a little lighter (like Apple usually does with revisions of all of their products).

And finally, ports. The iPad 2 is rumored to have a built-in SD card slot for offloading photos and videos from a camera directly onto the iPad. Some of the leaked iPad 2 accessories suggest that there will be an SD card slot at the bottom of the device, which would be really useful for a number of reasons. Click here to go to a website that has a number of iPad 2 cases, ranging from silicone and hard-plastic cases to a leather folio.

The next iPad isn’t going to a huge revision, but there will be enough changes that would probably make a lot of current iPad users make the upgrade. Personally, I’ll be sticking with my first generation iPad, as it suits my needs just fine, and I could live without the cameras (already have an iPhone 4 with me everywhere).

I’d love to hear your comments. Think this is a decent list? What do you think will be on it? Leave your feedback down below.

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