The new iPad up for preorder today, starting at $499

Eager to pick up the newly-announced (and oddly under-named) iPad? Well, preorders are available right now, following some online store downtime. Pricing starts at $499 for the Wi-Fi-only model ($599 for 32 GB, $699 for 64 GB), going up to $829 for the full-blown 64 GB LTE model ($729 for 32 GB, $629 for 16 GB). Carrier support in the U.S. will be  provided by AT&T and Verizon.  Canada's three major carriers, Rogers, Bell and Telus feature prominently, so expect the new iPad up north soon as well. Launch date is March 16, which is just a little over a week away.

If you haven't been following, the new iPad has a 2048 x 1536 display, 4G LTE connectivity, a quad-core graphics processor, and an upgraded 5 megapixel camera with similar gubbins as the iPhone 4. It's under a millimeter thicker than the iPad 2, but otherwise has the same form factor as before.

Right now, the only Apple Store is understandably having a rough time loading, but keep hitting it, since stock is bound to run out quickly. Be sure to check carrier sites if you're in the market for the LTE model. Anyone chomping at the bit to get one of these?

Simon Sage

Editor-at-very-large at Mobile Nations, gamer, giant.