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So what's it all about?

The slim, black device resembles a larger version of Apple's iPhone.

  • It features a 9.7in (24.6cm) display with a touchscreen Qwerty keyboard.

  • Powered by a 1GHz Apple A4 chip, the iPad weighs just 1.5lb (680g).

  • It includes a speaker, microphone, accelerometer, compass, Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity, and promises a 10-hour battery life.

  • iPad can run any of the iPhone's apps (applications), downloaded from the iTunes store -- allowing users to synchronise their existing apps.

  • It can also be used as an electronic reader -- eReader -- and Apple has signed up with a host of large publishers, including Penguin, Macmillan and HarperCollins.

  • Prices will start from $499 (f356) for the 16GB, WiFi-only model. Models with 3G mobile connectivity will cost an extra $130 (f92), with the high-spec 64GB model costing $829 (f590).

  • The WiFi version of the iPad will be available in two months and the 3G model in about three months.