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Image Credit: Jeff Chiu/AP Images

Steve Jobs made a semi-surprise appearance at today’s semi-mysterious Apple presentation to introduce iPad 2, a new version of the company’s tablet device, according to the L.A. Times. “It’s a completely new design. And it’s dramatically faster,” said Jobs, who claimed that iPad 2 features is the first dual core tablet to ship in volume (meaning it has a CPU that’s twice as fast as iPad 1). The new iPad will also have rear and front-facing cameras that can record video. Incredibly, iPad 2 is about 1/3 thinner than the original model — Jobs noted that it will be “thinner than your iPhone 4” — but will have the same 10-hour battery life. And they’ve also added a new color option: chic utopian white.

The new iPad will ship next Friday, March 11, at the same costs as the original iPad: from $499 for the most basic WiFi-only version to $829 for the souped-up 64-gig 3G. (The device will work with both AT&T and Verizon.) After extended presentations on some of the particulars of iPad 2 (including the addition of iMovie and Garage Band to the app store), Jobs wrapped up the presentation with some deep-thought remarks. “It’s in Apple’s DNA that technology is not enough,” he noted.

PopWatchers, are you excited about iPad 2? In sequel terms, will this be Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan (better, sleaker, cooler), Iron Man 2 (pretty much the same as the first one, not that there’s anything wrong with that), or Fantastic Four 2 (awful, but so shiny)?

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