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How the New iPad 2 Will Definitely Benefit Travelers

March 2, 2011 at 4:29 PM | by | ()

You knew this time would come—the time when we dissect the just-announced iPad 2 to just exactly how, and if, the upgrades will benefit travelers. And, as always, Apple has the mobile tech user in mind, which means great things for those of us who love to whip it out on the plane (the iPad, that is) and play with it until we're tired and ready for a nap.

This second version of the crazy popular iPad will be faster, thinner, lighter, and more customizable than ever. That's just the beginning of the advancements. Here are the ways in which it's improving to help the traveler:

· Accelerometer, Three-axis Gyroscope, and Compass: These are already present in the iPhone 4, and now they're all in the iPad and working together to sense "which direction iPad is heading and how it’s moving." That means major enhancements possible for map apps, augmented reality apps and basically any app that has a moving blip—whether that signifies you or a character in a game.

· Front- and back-facing cameras: Maybe you are sitting in a Paris cafe, enjoying a lovely little iPad read of Le Figaro and it strikes you that this is a perfect moment to preserve for your memories (and Facebook, once you throw on a sepia-tone filter). Use the front-facing camera to quickly snap and tweak a pic of you, contently sitting there in France, and the back-facing one to capture your cafe au lait and post it to CoffeeCupView.

· FaceTime: Those cameras are ideal for more than just snapshots; they're there to enable you to FaceTime chat with people who also have iPad 2s or iPhone 4s. So let's say you're back in that WiFI-equipped Parisian coffeehouse, and you'd like to brag about it to your best friend. FaceTime him/her, easily switch between the cameras to include them in that moment with you, even from thousands of miles away.

Or, for business travelers, liaise with your assistants and colleagues in a manner that lets them know—complete with facial expressions—exactly how you feel about their failing to book you a Biz Class seat on that full flight.

· Video Mirroring: This is really a new feature that's ideal for business travelers who love the idea of conducting a presentation from the ease of their iPad. Or you know, if you just want to view your trip pictures way larger. Buy a Apple Digital AV Adapter or Apple VGA Adapter, plug it into your HDTV or projector, and the latter becomes a bigger version of your iPad screen.

· 10 Hours Battery Life: Even though the iPad 2 has so many improvements, it hasn't lost any battery life. 10 hours is perfect for getting through long-haul flights with a season of 30 Rock or the latest episode of Portlandia queued up, although it falls a tad short with a 14-hour flight between New York and Tokyo.

· Ability to use 3G model on AT&T or Verizon: For those of you who just got the Verizon iPhone 4 and refuse to go back to At&T, or those who refuse to deal with AT&T at all, the iPad 2 can also connect to Verizon's network. Perfect for road trips and those with generous international data plans.

· The Smart Cover: Our friend owns a brilliant iPad stand, but unfortunately the fact that it's all metal and looks like an overgrown compass has caused him to have his bag hand-searched by the TSA many times. The simple new Smart Cover for the iPad 2 provides both protective and prop-up functions without adding bulk, so no need to pack an extra stand when your screen cover easily morphs into one.

Luckily for everyone, we won't be waiting long before taking an iPad 2 off and away; it goes on sale March 11, and prices remain at the old iPad 1 levels:
16 GB WiFi: $499
32 GB WiFi: $599
64 GB WiFi: $699

16 GB WiFi + 3G: $629
32 GB WiFi + 3G: $729
64 GB WiFi + 3G: $829

You can check out more of their tech specs here, at The Apple Store.

[Photos: Apple]

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