These are the improvements:
- 33% thinner than iPad
- 0.2 lbs lighter than iPad
- includes 2 video cameras for Facetime
- newer, faster dual core processor.
- Now comes in two color choices: Black or White.
- They've kept the same WiFi/WiFi+3G pricing model as before.
- WiFi+3G models are for AT&T or Verizon.
- Same battery life as previous model, ~10 hours.
- WiFi+3G model includes GPS.
- mirrors up to 1080p HDMI video out capability with Apple Digital AV Adapter (sold separately).
My currently philosophy is that for Apple's consumer iOS devices, the first revision is usually sufficient; the second generation is usually bug fixes, but it's not until the 3rd or fourth generation that an upgrade becomes necessary if you have a first-gen device. Case in point: the iPhone. I had a first generation iPhone; with the unlimited data plan and EDGE, (and being crippled by AT&T), I didn't see much reason to upgrade to the 2nd generation iPhone 3G; were it not for the misfortune of cracking my iPhone screen just a few weeks before the 3GS announcement, I likely would have not upgraded to a 3GS. The iPhone 4, with the high resolution screen was definitely worth upgrading for, although there are definitely times where I do wonder if a good Android phone on T-Mobile would be better for my lifestyle.
The iPad 2 will be available next week in the U.S. on March 11 at 5pm at the Apple Store; it does not appear as if they will be taking pre-orders until then.