Apple's new second-gen iPad, announced today, isn't a dramatic upgrade to the original tablet, but it has some distinctly useful new features for travellers.
#1 Easier presentations on projectors/TVs
The first-generation iPad had the ability to connect to a projector or computer monitor via adaptors sold separately by Apple, but this didn't always work, as apps had to be reworked to support it, and not all app developers did.
The "video mirroring" feature being introduced in iPad 2 will allow much more straightforward presentation of what you see on the iPad screen, simply replicated on the external screen.
It's much more like what you'd be familiar with most corporate laptops.
#2 Hook it up to your hotel TV to play movies
Again, the first-gen iPad had the ability to do video output, but the only way it could be connected to a TV was via a VHS-quality analogue TV cable. In an era of flatscreen LCD and plasma TVs with full digital HD HDMI connectors, this seemed an odd omission in the iPad.
Apple now offers an iPad-to-HDMI connector that allows the iPad to be connected digitally to a flat-panel TV, for big-screen movie and TV show playback.
The iPad can output video at up to full-HD 1080P (obviously, with the caveat that the video you're playing on the iPad would need to be 1080P, and your TV would have to be 1080P compatible too.)
#3 Better performance with maps on the go
Apple's iPhone made mapping on smartphones popular, with its excellent implementation of Google Maps.
Under the hood, it uses a raft of sensors to allow the maps app to locate your current position quickly and accurately, such as GPS, WiFi location, accelerometer, and compass.
The first generation iPad had some of that technology, but the new model also gets a three-axis gyrometer, which allows rapid tracking of movement in all directions.
This will be particularly helpful for 'augmented reality' apps which let you hold the iPad up and see pointers to interesting places nearby.
Of course, you couldn't have augmented reality apps without the next point on the list...
#4 Front and rear cameras
One of the obvious omissions in the first-gen iPad was a camera of any sort, which was annoying given how good the big screen would have been for video chat while travelling.
The new iPad fixes that, with the introduction of a front-facing camera for Apple's FaceTime video chat, and a rear-facing camera for use with augmented reality apps, or simply taking photos and video with a huge 25cm viewfinder!
#5 The original iPad is now cheaper
It's not strictly a feature of the iPad 2, but Apple has dropped its prices dramatically on the original iPad while it presumably tries to clear stock before the March 25th introduction date.
The discount is up to a third off the basic Wi-Fi 16GB model, and around 20% off for the higher-end 3G models.
If you've been holding out on buying an iPad until you saw what was in the second-gen version (and you've found the second-gen feature-set underwhelming) this makes the first-gen iPad an even better buy.