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What to Expect from iPad 2

Apple's iPad 2 event starts at 10AM Pacific, so a few thoughts on what to expect.

•An evolutionary improvement, not a revolution. Apple had the revolution with the iPad last year and there are at least two reasons not to expect any major improvements to the new device. First, it just isn't yet economical to put a "retina class" display in a ten-inch device. Second, not one competitor has yet matched or exceeded the original iPad. Motorola's Xoom is the closest -- and it's not all that close.

The new iPad will be thinner, maybe lighter. The new screen won't have more pixels, but it might have improved antiglare. It will certainly have a front-facing FaceTime camera, as Apple strives to put FaceTime into every product they make. Rear camera? I'm less certain. One Xoom reviewer said that taking pictures with a tablet was like taking pictures with a shiny lunch tray. The new version of iOS will have some nice improvements: FaceTime, Photo Booth, and hopefully an improved alert system.

•There will be versions for both Verizon and AT&T cellular networks -- and 4G speed is a real possibility, although I haven't seen that discussed anywhere. Still, with Motorola providing free (but far from hassle-free) 4G upgrades for Xoom buyers, it makes sense for Apple to sell 4G right out of the box.