Apple iPad 2 hits U.A.E, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and eight more countries today, China to follow on 6 May

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The Apple iPad 2 is now on the shelves in 12 new countries. The new wave started with Japan yesterday and was followed by Hong Kong, Macau, India, Malaysia, Philippines, South Africa, Israel, Turkey and UAE the Apple slate today – on 29 April. The iPad 2 is also available online via the respective Apple online stores (where those are available).

The release date for Japan got pushed back from the first wave, due to the natural disaster that occurred there. But the country is now getting the new iPad 2 and queues were formed in front of Apple retail stores from day one.

The new iPad offers a thinner body, dual-core A5 processor, better graphics performance and a design overhaul.

Key features

  • 9.7” capacitive IPS touchscreen display with a resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels; oleophobic coating
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n connectivity
  • Optional 3G connectivity (data only)
  • Optional GPS with A-GPS support
  • Apple A5 SoC – 1 GHz dual-core ARM Cortex A9 processor, PowerVR SGX543MP2 graphics
  • 512MB RAM
  • iOS 4.3
  • 16/32/64GB of onboard storage
  • Weight of 601 grams (607 grams for the 3G version)
  • Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
  • 10 hours battery life
  • Accelerometer, compass and three-axis gyro-sensor
  • Compatible with every iPhone app without any modifications
  • The cheapest version costs less than an unlocked iPhone
  • 0.7MP auto-focus camera, 720p video recording at 30fps
  • VGA secondary camera capable of Facetime calls
  • Impressively slim 8.8mm waistline
  • Four and five-finger gestures (locked by default, but easy to enable with a Mac and a $5 app)
  • 1080p TV-output with the Apple Digital AV Adapter (purchased separately for $39), 720p video streaming
  • Magnetic Smart cover ($39 or $69)

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Main disadvantages

  • iTunes required for uploading content
  • No Flash support in the web browser
  • Poor still cameras – though, really, this thing isn’t meant for taking candids
  • No standard USB port
  • No kickstand – it cannot stand on a table without the help of a dock stand or a Smart cover
  • Non replaceable battery
  • No stereo loudspeakers
  • No GPS receiver for the Wi-Fi only version
  • No memory card slot
  • 3G model uses micro-SIM, instead of a regular size SIM
  • iPhone apps designed for HVGA resolution squander screen real estate or look pretty bad uspcaled

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