Apple will retain the prices of 2010's iPad. The Wi-Fi versions start at $499 for a 16GB model and climb to $699 for a 64GB configuration, while the 3G iPads are priced from $629 to $829.
The 3G models will be available for both AT&T and Verizon, which base their networks on competing cellular technologies.
The iPad 2 will ship March 11 in the U.S. and on March 25 in at least 26 other countries, including Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden and the U.K.
Jobs boasted of the iPad 2's new features and components, with the latter including a new dual-core processor -- an Apple-designed chip dubbed the A5 -- that he said doubled the speed of the tablet. Graphics processing, he added, is up to nine times faster.
The iPad 2 includes a pair of cameras -- one facing the front of the device, the other rear-facing, letting users take video and still photographs as well as conduct videoconferencing calls using Apple's FaceTime video chat application. FaceTime debuted last summer with the iPhone 4.
The new tablet is 33% thinner and tips the scales at 1.3 lbs., compared with the 1.5 lbs. of the original, said Jobs, and will come in both black and white models, a first for the iPad.
"Nothing approaches this," said Jobs, who took shots at tablet competitors, including Samsung, at several points during his time on stage. "Our competitors were flummoxed" by the original, he said.
Apple also said it will update the iOS operating system next week to Version 4.3, which will be available for all iPads, the third- and fourth-generation iPod Touch, and the AT&T version of the iPhone.
The latter, which the Verizon iPhone debuted last month, lets iPhone 4 owners create a temporary Wi-Fi hotspot, which other hardware, such as a tablet or notebook, can use to connect to the Internet.
Also in iOS 4.3: iTunes "home sharing," a feature that lets users access their iTunes collections from their Macs or PCs on the iPad.
Apple executives also demonstrated new versions of the company's iMovie and GarageBand programs for the iPad. Both will go on sale March 11 at the App Store for $4.99 each. And Jobs spent five minutes touting new covers for the iPad, pegged as Smart Covers, that morph into typing and video-watching stands.
"We think 2011 is clearly the year of iPad 2," Jobs said near the end of the event.
"Our competitors are looking at this like it's the next PC market," said Jobs. "That is not the right approach. These are post-PC devices that need to be easier to use than a PC."