The biggest surprise at Apple iPad 2 launch event was the fact that Steve Jobs was there to present it. Jobs walked out to a thunderous standing ovation and stated, “We’ve been working on this product for awhile, and I didn’t want to miss it.”

The $499 device is thinner than the iPhone 4, twice as fast as the last tablet, camera-equipped, and ships March 11 in the United States and March 25 in 26 more countries. The surprisingly fast roll-out highlights the fierce competition in the tablet market.

The iPad 2 is very much a video device. The resolution is the same, the price is the same and the battery life is the same. The new feature is a front and back facing camera which was not available on the original iPad.

Apple iPad 2 retains the screen size with 9.7-inch LED-backlit display and the company clearly rubbishes the possibility of any 7-inch tablet. It is said to be 33 percent thinner and 15 percent lighter compared to its iPad1.