It’s hard to say which is the bigger news: the fact that Steve Jobs is feeling well enough to be on stage introducing a new product, or the fact that the iPad 2 was just officially announced. During today’s Apple event in San Francisco, at the usual Yerba Buena venue, we found out all there is to know about the iPad’s successor and more!

We were stunned by how much novelty was included in the design, specially under the hood, so here’s the specifications list you’ve all been waiting for:

  • Display: 9.7 inch, LED multitouch screen,  1024 x 768 pixels, 132 ppi
  • Memory: 16/32/64GB
  • CPU: 1GHz dual core Apple A5, system on a chip solution
  • Connectivity: WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n, 3G (WiFi + 3G model only), Bluetooth 2.1, HDMI
  • Camera: back – 720p HD capture @ 30 fps, 5x digital zoom; front – video recording, VGA @ 30 fps, geotagging
  • Battery: Li-Polymer, 10 hours of functioning time
  • Sensors: gyro, accelerometer, ambient light sensor
  • Others: digital compass, assisted GPS

Yes, it’s real, the iPad 2 is a dual core tablet and one that ships earlier than estimated. It will hit the stores on March 11th and we have to mention a stunning fact about the product’s design: it’s thinner than the iPhone 4, at 8.8mm! The new iPad will be available in white and black right from the start, so you won’t have to wait longer for your white version.

Another nifty announcement was the fact that the device comes with the same price as the first iPad, so it starts at $499, for the WiFi-only 166GB version, reaching $829 for the WiFi + 3G iPad 2 with 64GB of storage. We’ve also figured out what the deal with the colourful Yerba Buena facade was: Apple was preparing a new range of colourful accessories for the iPad, called Smart Covers.

These are more than cases, being very thin accessories that dress up and protect the tablet, plus they attach to it via magnets. Smart Covers will be available in polyurethane, for $39, or leather for $69, in lots of different colours. Also announced today was iOS 4.3, with features such as an improved Safari, the JavaScript Nitro engine and home sharing via iTunes. AirPlay was also enhanced.

Last, Apple showed us a glimpse of two incredible apps for the iPad: iMovie, that allows you to perform great video editing, with tons of options and Garage Band, a software that turns the tablet into a recording studio for musicians and the average user. All in all it was a great event and it was a good thing to see Steve Jobs back on the job and taking down competition with a new hardcore product.