A number of rumors and possible hardware leaks over the weekend are starting to give us a clearer picture of what the iPad 2 might look like and its possible specs. Before the weekend, we'd already heard the next-gen iPad will have a redesigned case with a flatter backside (similar to the iPod touch), and the new iPad is rumored to be shipping in early April, one year after the original's release to market. The next-gen iPad is also supposedly shipping with front- and rear-facing cameras.
Engadget scored an exclusive over the weekend with a well-placed source who confirmed the iPad 2's shipping date, cameras, and case redesign. Their source also claims the iPad 2 will have an SD slot; if true, it will almost certainly be for data transfer and not for expanding the iPad's built-in storage. The iPad 2 may also feature a dual GSM/CDMA chipset that will allow Apple to manufacture a single, unified iPad line for use with CDMA carriers (Verizon, in other words) and GSM carriers (almost everyone else in the world).
Engadget also hinted at a "super high resolution" display on the next iPad, and most of the rumors over the weekend have revolved around that display. Developers picked apart iBooks and found multiple pieces of artwork in the program that appear to be designed for an iPad with exactly double the 1024 x 768 resolution of the current model. This would put the iPad 2's screen resolution at 2048 x 1536, for a pixel density of 260 dpi. This is not quite as pixel-dense as the iPhone 4's Retina Display, which at 960 x 540 and 326 dpi is of high enough resolution that most people with average eyesight are incapable of discerning individual pixels. However, a 2048 x 1536 pixel screen also exceeds the resolution of any other Apple portable by a wide margin; the 17" MacBook Pro's 1920 x 1200 screen pales in comparison.