So the iPad 2 has been announced. But how does it differ from the original iPad?

The two devices are pretty similar in many ways, so we thought we'd do a straight-down-the-line comparison of the raw specs to see what's been enhanced for the iPad 2.

It's time for an iPad 1 vs iPad 2 fight!

iPad vs iPad 2: Processor

The iPad introduced the first spoils of Apple's 2008 acquisition of semiconductor company P.A. Semi. The Apple A4 is an ARM Cortex-A8-based core clocked at 1GHz. It's a fully-integrated system-on-a-chip (SoC), that was rumoured to be manufactured by Samsung for Apple.

The iPad 2 introduces the A5, a dual-core chip based on the new ARM Cortex-A9 design. That's the same basic architecture as the other dual-core tablet processors such as the Nvidia Tegra 2. The A5 is clocked at 1 GHz but as is the way with the dual-core ARM design, there is no added power consumption.

iPad vs iPad 2: Graphics

Like the iPhone 4, the iPad and iPad 2 both have an Imagination Technologies PowerVR SGX-based graphics chip. Apple is promising nine times better graphics for iPad 2 versus the original iPad. However, whether this will actually manifest itself in use is interesting. The iPad used a PowerVR SGX 535 chip. The new chip is thought to have four pipes, but can that produce a 9x increase?

iPad 2

iPad vs iPad 2: Memory

Like the original iPad, the iPad 2 comes loaded with 16GB, 32GB or 64GB of what is presumably still Toshiba-manufactured flash storage. The original iPad had just 256MB of RAM, but with other tablets coming out at 1GB, Apple will have boosted this. 512MB is likely, but Apple won't want to shout about the amount if so because of the other tablets - it's not cited on the official spec sheet.

iPad vs iPad 2: Display

As well as matching the memory of the original iPad, the iPad 2 also has the same screen. It's a 1,024 x 768 9.7-inch LED-backlit display with fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating.

New ipad

iPAD 2: Same screen, this time with FaceTime

iPad vs iPad 2: Communications

As we know, there will be two versions of the iPad 2, the more expensive of which will pack 3G capabilities in addition to Wi-Fi. There's also Assisted GPS and the digital compass from the original iPad alongside the accelerometer found in all iOS devices. Unlike the original iPad, the iPad 2 also has the three-axis gyroscope found in the iPhone 4 and latest iPod touch.

iPad vs iPad 2: Buttons and other hardware

Like the iPhone, all iPads have an ambient light sensor, but you don't get the proximity sensor the iPhone uses when it's close to your face to turn off the screen – not that you need it. As well as the standard dock connector, volume control, Home button and sleep/wake button straight off the iPhone. With the other switch, iOS 4.3 on iPad 2 gives you the option of a mute control or screen orientation lock depending on what you specify.

iPad vs iPad 2: Size and weight

Not surprisingly, this one's where the difference between the two pieces of hardware is most in evidence - especially in terms of thickness, which is down to 8.8mm from 13.4mm. The iPad 2 is now thinner than the iPhone 4. Interestingly, the original iPad with 3G carries a weight premium of 50g over the standard Wi-Fi model but now the iPad 2 drops the extra weight down to just 12g.

Apple ipad

ORIGINAL: The original iPad is set to be discontinued, but is cheap while stocks last

iPad

Height: 242.8 mm
Width: 189.7 mm
Depth: 13.4 mm
Weight: 680g for Wi-Fi model, 730g for the Wi-Fi and 3G model

iPad 2

Height: 241.2 mm
Width: 185.7 mm
Depth: 8.8 mm
Weight: 601g for Wi-Fi model, 613g for the Wi-Fi and 3G model

iPad vs iPad 2: Battery life

Again this is an area where the two iPads don't differ. Both offer up to 10 hours of surfing the web on Wi-Fi, watching video or listening to music while there's also a month of promised standby time.

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Liked this? Then check out Apple iPad 2: 12 things you need to know

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