Following Wednesday, March the 2nd’s Mac event we have now seen the unveiling of the new iPad 2 from Apple. It is exactly what the majority of commentators were expecting though some will be disappointed that there wasn’t a greater leap forward in screen technology. In a sense this is a lot like the iPhone 3G and 3GS models. The new iPad is, as Apple so loves to do, thinner and lighter, coming in at a very svelte under 600 grams, almost half what the lightest netbook would weight and 450 to 500 grams more than a smart phone, on a ten inch screen device that’s impressive. Thinner means very thin, with a width of only 8.8 milimetres, less than the iPhone 4 which is 9.3 mm. It is also now available in white as well as black and is expected to be released at the same prices as the original iPad, again putting intense pressure on the competitors to match the combination of specifications and Apple quality at the very competitive price.
Powering the device is the Apple A5, a dual-core 1 GHz chip that revs up the tablet’s processing to the point where it can deal with 1080p video, a strong selling point and something that will become a big factor in consumer’s minds when HD TV and entertainment makes it more common to expect to stream high resolution media from one device to another. The graphics core is significantly faster than its predecessor, which combined with the improved processing performance and the addition of a six-axis gyroscope as seen in the iPhone 4 it is bound to take mobile gaming to new heights. On the display front is the one area where the device hasn’t changed as much as some thought, with some commentators claiming it would be double the resolution of the previous iPad just as the iPhone 4 doubled resolution to make the move as seamless as possible for app developers.
The other most recent mobile tech release that has been making waves is the Motorola Atrix, the new top end smart phone running on Android that attempts to explore some interesting new ideas about how we use smart phones. It runs a dual core 1 GHz chip like the new iPad, the new top-end standard for mobile devices along with 1 GB of memory and a powerful graphics core as well as a smart 540 by 960 display. What is unusual about the Atrix is the way it has been designed to integrate with two of the add on devices available for it: it has a streaming media dock which is not a new thing but the second device is essentially a dumb netbook, lacking in a processor, that your Atrix plugs in to and loads a new operating system to let you use your phone as a netbook, complete with a ten inch screen, full sized physical keyboard, like a super Blackberry phone, touchpad and a desktop OS in addition to a larger battery in the webtop which can recharge your Atrix. It remains to be seen if this sort of device catches on for other mobile phones, it seems unlikely as the weight and astonishingly the price of the webtop do not differentiate it from getting a full netbook instead.