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Apple iPad Tablet News and Discussion

After years of rumors and speculation, Apple's long-awaited iPad is now official. It's half-an-inch thick and weighs one-and-a-half pounds with a 9.7-inch IPS display, described by Apple CEO Steve Jobs as "super high quality."

In all, there will be six models: 16GB ($499), 32GB ($599), 64GB ($699), 16GB 3G ($629), 32GB 3G ($729), 65GB 3G ($829). The first batch will be available worldwide in sixty days (so late March) while the 3G models will start rolling out in ninety (late April).

It sports a ten-hour battery life and packs a 1GHz Apple A4 chip, said by Jobs to be "screaming." The hardware includes an accelerometer, compass, speaker, 802.11n WiFi and Bluetooth 2.1. Accessories include a keyboard that docks on the bottom.

The costlier 3G models will be unlocked, with AT&T offering two contract-less cellular data plans in the United States --250MB at $14.99 a month or unlimited at $29.99.

All iPhone applications, such as games, will be compatible with the iPad, playable in a boxed window or full-screen through pixel-doubling. "It just works," says Apple.

Of course, developers will be able to take full advantage of the larger display thanks to a new iPhone SDK, which will be available today. Among the applications being modified for the multitouch device is Gameloft's previously released iPhone shooter N.O.V.A.

Also on board is gaming giant Electronic Arts, with EA VP Travis Boatman describing the iPad as almost like holding a high-definition display inches from your face. Among the improved iPad games coming from Electronic Arts is racer Need for Speed.

Original: The time for speculation is almost over, as Apple is moments away from potentially revolutionizing civilization with the formal unveiling of its long-rumored tablet.

What little we know so far indicates that the device will run on a modified version of the iPhone OS, with games likely being part of the fabled tablet's various offerings.

We'll be continually updating this post as more details come in, so stay tuned.

Chris Faylor was previously a games journalist creating content at Shacknews.

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