ipad in useNow that we’re only a week away from Apple’s iPad 2 launch event, rumors surrounding the tablet are finally coming into focus. At this point, we can expect the iPad 2 to feature a thinner design, hardware upgrades and front and rear cameras, a source tells the gadget blog Engadget.

Missing on that list is the often-rumored high-resolution display for the iPad 2, as well as a Secure Digital card slot for expanding memory. A source that Engadget describes as being “dead right on specific Apple plans”, says that engineering issues led Apple to drop the features.

If true, the news means the iPad 2 will feature the same 1024 by 768 resolution display as the iPad 1, which pales in comparison to the sharper resolutions found on competing tablets like the Motorola Xoom (which has a 1280 by 800 display). It also keeps the iPad 2’s display from rendering text and images as well as the iPhone 4’s incredibly sharp “Retina Display.”

The iPad 2 is expected to run Apple’s new dual-core A5 chip, which will likely make its way to the iPhone 5 as well. It will have more RAM than the original model (512 megabytes), and at this point it’s pretty certain that the tablet will have front and rear cameras. Apple may also use the iPad 2 launch event to show off some new features in iOS 5, the next major version of its mobile operating system.

The lack of an SD card slot may work against the iPad 2, as competing tablets often include it as a standard feature. It allows users to plug in their own memory cards to expand the storage on their tablets. The iPad 2 may seem overly restrictive in comparison. But of course, that won’t stop Apple from selling a ton of them.

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