The specs are pretty close to what was expected. Here are the major differences from the original iPad:
Processor – The new iPad has a dual-core A5 processor. This should give it roughly twice the number crunching power of the previous generation and promote faster app load times as well as better performance for most apps.
Cameras – Both front facing and rear facing cameras appear on the new model, as expected. The front camera is VGA (640x480) and will make Skype video calls and Facetime possible. The back camera is only listed as 720p and seems to be mainly aimed at video, since no megapixel specification is given.
Size and weight – In typical Apple fashion, the new model is thinner and lighter. At 33% thinner than the first generation iPad and 1.3lbs vs. 1.5lbs, it should be noticeable.
Video – Although hard specs are not available at this time, the iPad 2 video chip is supposedly 9x more powerful than its predecessor. This should open up some new options for game developers. It will be interesting to see what happens in this arena over the coming weeks and months.
Carriers – Keeping step with the iPhone4, the new tablet will be available for both AT&T and Verizon – different models, same price.
Gyroscope – The addition of a 3-axis gyroscope will probably be most noticeable in games, using the entire device itself to steer or fly or move something around on the screen.
What hasn’t changed
As we expected, the screen resolution has not changed. The addition of a retina display would have made it impossible to hit the $499 price point on the cheapest model. While other slate tablets have been released with cameras, dual-core processors, Flash compatibility, etc. since the first iPad came out, none have been able to compete on price or features for that price.
Battery life is rated at the same 10 hours as the first model and is still better than anything else out there.
Prices are in line with the older models with the 16GB wifi-only version at $499. 32GB and 64GB wifi models are $599 and $699 respectively, add $130 for the 3G flavor of your choice. As with iPhone refreshes, the previous low-end model will drop $100, making the original wifi-only 16GB iPad $399.