Apple CEO Steve Jobs took to the stage yesterday to launch the company’s new iPad 2, the thinner, lighter and more powerful version of the popular tablet computer.

Although press and analysts were excited about the new product, headlines around the world have focused on Jobs’ presence at the event, with shareholders seemingly happy to see him back in action.
The launch was simply a break in his sick leave, Jobs told the audience, athough he declined to comment on his health or his long-term plans regarding a return to work.
However, he said the project had been in the works for a while and “I just didn’t want to miss today”.
· The iPad 2 features a new design that is 33% thinner and up to 15% lighter than the original iPad, while maintaining the same 9.7-inch LED-backlit LCD screen and up to 10 hours of battery life.
· It also features Apple’s new dual-core A5 processor for fast performance and graphics.
· In addition, the new model includes two cameras — a front-facing VGA camera for FaceTime and Photo Booth and a rear-facing camera that captures 720p HD video.
The iPad 2 runs on  iOS, which lets users browse, read, and see everything just by touching the screen.
The new device is available in black or white.
A new development is the Smart Cover, in a range of colors. The covers clip on to the front of the device magnetically. Removing it turns the device on, replacing it puts the iPad to sleep. When not in use, the Smart Cover doubles as an iPad stand.
The iPad 2 will be available on 11 March in the US.