Apple unveils latest tablet - 33% thinner, new 'dramatically faster' A5 chip, with HDMI output

iPad 2 graphics ‘nine times faster’ than first device

The new iPad features a new custom-built chip that makes it run twice as fast as iPhone 4 and iPad, says Apple.

Apple offered first official details of the device today during one of its customary spring press conferences in San Francisco.

The second generation of iPad will launch in the UK on the same day as Nintendo’s 3DS, March 25th. It lands in the UK and a number of other countries two weeks after a March 11th USA roll-out.

The device is 33 per cent thinner than the previous model and is built on a new chip, the A5.

The A5 is a dual core processor, making it twice as fast on CPU performance as the A4 chip found in the iPad and iPhone 4. Its graphics capabilities are nine times faster than previous models.

CEO Steve Jobs, who took a break from his personal leave to host the event, said the new platform was ‘dramatically faster’ with the new chip.

iPad 2 also now features built in front and back cameras, and better motion-sensors. It also retains the original’s 10 hours battery life – despite the added features and smaller form factor – and even offers HDMI output via a special dongle.

Apple said the device would be priced in the exact same tier of pricing as the original iPad.

"Add all these features up, and we think 2011 is going to be the year of iPad 2," said Jobs.

Apple said it is also soon offering another updated version of its iOS, v4.3 – the firmware update appears starting next week.

The new firmware "sets the bar pretty high for developers" Jobs added.

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