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1/18/2011
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Eric Ogren
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iPad 2 Speculation Mounts

As we inch closer to the first anniversary of the original iPad's announcement, reports on what features will make it to the iPad 2 begin to pile up.

As we inch closer to the first anniversary of the original iPad's announcement, reports on what features will make it to the iPad 2 begin to pile up.Everyone who owns an Apple iPad probably has a laundry list of features they'd like to see on the next version of the iPad. My own list includes items such as Bluetooth 3.0, front/rear-facing cameras, higher resolution display, more storage capacity, and so on. Some of these features just might make it to the final product, as reports have begun to suggest what we'll actually see when Apple makes its next big iPad announcement.

The iPad 2 will likely be unveiled by Apple in the next 30 days, and will make its retail debut in late March or early April. How will it differ from the original? Well, the device itself will be a bit thinner, but it will keep the same 9.7-inch display. There's debate about what resolution the newer display will offer. Some reports claim that it will double the original iPad's resolution of 1024 x 768 to a whopping 2048 x 1536. It won't be the same Retina Display used on the iPhone 4, but it will offer a massive pixel count.

CrunchGear is skeptical about this resolution. CrunchGear says there's no content available for a screen of that resolution. However, doubling the resolution is exactly what Apple did when upgrading from the iPhone 3GS to the iPhone 4. It's possible, though, that a screen of that resolution would make the iPad cost more than a laptop. Personally, as long as the iPad 2's display has even a few hundred more pixels than the original, I'll be happy.

Other possible features include a slot for SD memory cards. Based on leaked images of the device itself and cases, it looks like there is a notch in the design that's about the size of an SD card. This would be a fantastic addition to the iPad for several reasons: 1. It could allow users to access more content than the internal storage allows; 2. Users could more easily transfer video from HD camcorders and then edit via an iPad version of iMovie; 3. It would negate the need for the separate SD card reader add-on, which lets users port photos from cameras.

The iPad 2 may also include two cameras, both front- and rear-facing. The original iPad was widely critiqued for not including cameras, which could be used for FaceTime video chatting. It would be an amazing misstep for Apple to leave out cameras on the second version of the iPad.

Last, it is believed that the iPad 2 will make use of a dual-core CPU, possibly a version of the A4 successor, the A5. With both the Motorola Xoom and RIM PlayBook gunning for the PlayBook later this quarter, Apple will need to beef up the specs of its tablet product.

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