Second-gen iPad may feature better display, video calling

Having already predicted the arrival of a second-gen iPad early next year, the rumor mill is now going into detail about the upcoming slate's features. DigiTimes, which bases its story on an Economic Daily News report, says Apple has five features up its sleeve for the new iPad: "video phone, better mobility, USB port, new display technology and 3-axis gyroscopes."

Features one, four, and five are pretty self-explanatory. Apple already implemented a fancy gyroscope, a high-DPI display, and a front-facing camera in the iPhone 4, so similar improvements in the iPad 2 make sense. I even pointed out last time that a higher-resolution display would be a useful addition, since the current iPad's 1024x768 panel looks a little old-fashioned next to the iPhone 4's Retina display.

Talk of better mobility and USB connectivity is a little more vague, especially since DigiTimes doesn't really go into much detail. (All it says is, "The USB feature will allow the device to be more connection friendly.") I can hazard some guesses, though. First, the current iPad requires a $29 adapter to connect to a digital camera; a standard, built-in USB port would remove that problem and help make the iPad more usable as a laptop replacement. As for the better mobility, that could simply mean longer battery life. Perhaps Apple will also make the second-gen device thinner and lighter—the current iPad does feel a little heavy at 1.5 lbs.

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