Apple To Ship Wi-Fi iPad On April 3rd; 3G + Wi-Fi Model In Late April

Apple helped us all get over everything we had just seen at CES by introducing an all new product in their notoriously tight product line, but few details were available at the event for consumers who were ready to buy now. We broke down the pros and cons of the iPad, which is the first major tablet PC to garner mainstream attention in the new decade, and now Apple is ready to break down some numbers themselves.

According to a new press release from the California-based company, the iPad will be available in the United States starting on Saturday, April 3rd. That's only for the Wi-Fi models though; the 3G (AT&T) + Wi-Fi models will not ship until "late April." We're actually kind of perplexed by the ship date. A Saturday seems like a strange day to make a flagship product available given that it would receive far more coverage during the week, but we're guessing that Apple either knows that the media will cancel their weekend plans to cover the launch or that April 3rd is the absolute earliest that the first batch of iPad units will be available. Given the buzz around the product, we doubt that Apple is keen on shipping them any later than they have to.

Starting a week from now, on March 12, U.S. customers can pre-order both the Wi-Fi and 3G + Wi-Fi models from, or they can reserve a Wi-Fi model at an Apple retail store. Will you be one of those who commits before even getting the chance to play with one? Or are you taking things more slowly to see if it is really worth the hype?