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iPad 2 Launching Today In U.S.

The next iteration of Apple's "magical" iPad tablet is launching tonight in U.S. retail stores, bringing with it more powerful computing capabilities that could give gaming on the device a boost.
The next iteration of Apple's "magical" iPad tablet is launching tonight in U.S. retail stores, bringing with it more powerful computing capabilities that could give gaming on the device a boost. The iPad 2 is launching at 5 p.m. local time at retail outlets, and was available to order starting at 1 a.m. PT this morning on Apple's online storefront. The 16GB wi-fi model sells for $499, the 32GB model sells for $599 and the 64GB for $699. The iPad 2 with wi-fi and 3G sells for $629, $729 and $829, respectively. Apple has partnered with both AT&T and Verizon for the device's 3G-enabled models. The iPad 2 has a new design that is 33 percent thinner than the original iPad and around 15 percent lighter, according to Apple. The device also has a 9.7-inch LED-backlit LCD screen, dual-core A5 processor, a front- and rear-facing camera, accelerometers and up to 10 hours of battery life. It also adds HDMI video output of up to 1080p resolution, allowing games and apps to be displayed on a big screen. Major game companies as well as small developers already support Apple's line of iOS devices. Geremy Mustard, technical director for Epic Games subsidiary and Infinity Blade developer Chair Entertainment said in a statement, "The iPad 2 is a huge leap up in processing power from the first iPad, and is more powerful than the impressive iPhone 4. The whole operating system will feel even more responsive and smooth." Alongside the launch of the iPad 2, publisher Electronic Arts is discounting its iPad-optimized games by 70 percent on the App Store this weekend. Other game makers are also slashing prices in conjunction with the iPad 2 launch. The new iPad launches in the UK on March 25, opposite Nintendo's 3DS. The original iPad sold around 15 million units between its launch in April 2010 through December, according to Apple.

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