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Apple iPad: available in U.S. on April 3; pre-orders March 12; 3G models late April

Apple on Friday announced that its long-awaited iPad slate tablet computer will be available in the U.S. on Saturday, April 3.
Written by Andrew Nusca, Contributor

Apple on Friday announced that its long-awaited iPad slate tablet computer will be available in the U.S. on Saturday, April 3.

Only Wi-Fi-equipped models will be available on that date. Models with both Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity will be available in the U.S. in April, the company said.

All models of iPad will be available in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland and the U.K. in late April.

Customers can pre-order both models from Apple's online store beginning on March 12.

[Complete ZDNet coverage: Apple iPad]

The 0.5-inch-thick device starts at $499 for a 16GB Wi-Fi-equipped model, with the most expensive version retailing for $829 (64GB, Wi-Fi and 3G mobile broadband connectivity).

The multitouch iPad weighs 1.5 pounds and offers a battery life of up to 10 hours. Along with support for Apple's existing iTunes and App stores, the device will also include 12 new apps designed specifically for the device.

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