The guessing is over and the second-generation iPad is here – at last. Steve Jobs made a surprise appearance to announce the iPad 2 at a full (to overflowing) Apple event. He started by saying: “We’ve been working on this product for a while, and I didn’t want to miss it.”

After a short description of the success of iBookstore, the $2 billion paid to developers and the 100 million shipped iPhones, Steve Jobs started to talk about the iPad 2 features – and they are: the new A5 dual core processors, which provide up to 2x faster CPU and up to 9x faster graphics.

Rumors about the front-facing camera were cleared up one month ago by WSJ quoting people-in-the-know, but the rear-facing camera remained a rumor until a short time ago when a Chinese website leaked photographs of the back of the second-generation iPad. The front-facing camera is a VGA-quality still camera, allowing video recording up to 30 frames per second with audio, while the back camera is an HD video camera, allowing you to record HD (720p) video up to 30 frames per second with audio.

The new iPad is now thinner than the iPhone 4 – it is 8.8 millimeters thin compared with the 9.3 millimeters of the iPhone 4 (the first-generation iPad measures 13.4 millimeters deep). Another improvement with the iPad 2 is the weight, which has now been reduced to only 1.33 pounds.

Everybody is still waiting for the white iPhone 4, but according to Steve Jobs it is not going to happen soon, because all the white painting material was used to develop the second-generation iPad – which will be available starting from March 11 in two colors – black and white.

Before he unveiled the ‘Smart Cover’, Steve Jobs went on to say:

We did a case for the original iPad. It worked pretty well, but we went to all the trouble to make this beautiful design, but then covered it up with the case. We thought we could do better than this with the iPad 2. It’s magnetic and perfectly designed for your iPad. Wake on open, sleep on close, the Smart Cover is exactly what it was missing from the list of accessories. While it adds minimal weight and thickness, the microfiber lining cleans the tablet’s screens. And it is available in multiple colors in Polyurethane or leather, $39 and $69 respectively.

Now, you know what you are getting with the iPad 2 – was it worth the wait?