With competing tablets drawing near, Apple had much to prove with their announcement of the iPad 2. The company largely stays the course set by the original iPad, making significant changes to its exterior while keeping most of its functionality the same.

Faster, Stronger
With its A5 dual-core chip, Apple crammed a lot of processing power into the iPad 2. Apple says the graphics processor also is nine times faster thann its predecessor. While speed was rarely an issue with the first iPad, increased performance will be key in the iPad 2, which will need to support video chat.

Thinner, Lighter
Thirty-three percent thinner and 15 percent lighter than its predecessor, the iPad 2 represents a significant design departure from the original iPad. Size and weight changes, however, did not alter the device's screen size, which is still 9.7 inches. Battery capacity, too, wasn't sacrificed, and still hovers at 10 hours.

Ebony and Ivory
Considering the near-mythical quality of the white iPhone, which appears briefly only to disappear into the mists soon after, the announcement of a white iPad 2 felt unlikely. And yet Apple announced it, revealing that it would be available with its black counterpart on launch day. Surely, a white iPhone can't be far behind.

AT&T and Verizon
Unlike the original iPad, which was only available on AT&T's GSM network, the iPad 2 is joined at launch by support from both AT&T and Verizon. This owes to the device's special Qualcomm chip featured originally in the Verizon iPhone, which allows Apple to create a single iPad model compatible with both GSM and CDMA networks. That's a major, money-saving move.

Double Vision
Whereas the original iPad featured zero cameras, its successor features two. Of all the speculation into the iPad 2's potential features, the iPad 2's camera functionality felt the most sure. Via FaceTime, iPad 2 owners can have video conversations with users of the iPhone, iPod touch, and Apple computers. Both cameras run simultaneously, allowing users to show off what's happening in front them as they talk. 

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