The iPad 2 will go on sale this Friday at 5pm in stores, and at 1am if you're ordering online, and surprisingly will be about £30 cheaper than the first iPad was when it launched, starting at £399.
The lower pricing will likely tip many potential buyers who were
undecided over the edge, making the first day hectic. It also makes the cheapest iPad 2, the
16GB Wi-Fi only version, a massive £100 cheaper than the cheapest 32GB Motorola Xoom -- the first competing tablet running Android 3.0 Honeycomb, which is due out in early April for £499.
Here's the pricing breakdown: the 16GB iPad 2 will cost you £399, the 32GB model will cost £479 -- so that's only £20 less than the Xoom -- and the 64GB version will cost you £559.
If you want to use your iPad 2 away from a Wi-Fi connection, you'll need to buy the 3G version. These models are £100 more expensive across the board, at £499 for the 16GB model, £579 for the 32GB version and £659 for a 64GB capacity model. A 3G Xoom will set you back £599.
Although Apple promised the iPad 2 wouldn't be more expensive than the first model, we weren't expecting the second-generation model to be cheaper than the original iPad was when it launched. You can still buy the first iPad at Apple's online store, but it's not looking like such a great alternative any more -- it's now only £70 cheaper than the thinner, lighter, faster, camera-laden iPad 2.
If you want an iPad 2, we strongly suggest leaping into action. The desirable tablet sold out very quickly when it went on sale in the US, so we'd advise either staying up to order online at 1am on Friday, or joining a queue on Friday afternoon. Also check out retailers such as Currys or PC World, which will probably have smaller queues than the official Apple stores.
We also know how much the magnetic cover will cost -- £35, or £65 for a 'rich leather' version. That doesn't strike as quite so much of a bargain. The new iMovie and GarageBand apps also get a price -- they'll set you back £2.99 each. Having played with both, we reckon that's a reasonable investment.
Will you be buying an iPad 2? Let us know in the comments, and in the meantime check out our in-depth review of the new Apple tablet and the rest of our exhaustive coverage on our iPad 2 complete guide.