It's official: the iPad is coming on April 3

So, that March 26 date the rumor mill spit out was incorrect—but not all that far off. Apple has officially set the date for the retail debut of its "magical and revolutionary" slate device, and it turns out U.S. customers will be able to pick up the iPad at Apple retail stores on Saturday, April 3.

Apple will also start taking pre-orders from its website starting on March 12. The April 3 launch date only covers Wi-Fi-enabled versions of the iPad, whose 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB flavors will sell for $499, $599, and $699, respectively. Folks willing to shell out the $130 premium for 3G connectivity will have to wait until "late April" for those variants to arrive.

What about our friends in other nations? "All models of iPad will be available in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland and the UK in late April," says Apple, adding that it will announce international pricing some time next month. The company plans to release the device in additional countries later this year, but today's press release contains no additional specifics—just some more adjectives.

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