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iPad On Sale Saturday, 9:00 AM

Mar 31, 2010 (07:03 AM EDT)

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Apple on Wednesday e-mailed customers to remind them that its highly-anticipated iPad tablet computer goes on sale Saturday, at precisely 9:00 am in all time zones across the country.

"The Apple Retail Store is the best place to experience iPad," Apple said in the e-mail.

"Have one of our Specialists show you all the amazing things it can do. If you buy one, we'll even help you get set up and running," Apple said.

Apple is promising free setup services for customers who purchase an iPad at one of its Apple Stores. The services includes e-mail configuration, application loading, "and more," Apple said Monday.

In addition to setup services, the stores will offer iPad "workshops" to help users learn more about the tablet-style computing device, which combines the functions of a notebook, e-reader, and portable video and music player.

"iPad connects users with their apps and content in a far more intimate and fun way than ever before," said Apple CEO Steve Jobs, in a statement. "We can't wait for users to get their hands and fingers on its this weekend," Jobs said.

iPads can also be purchased on Apple's Web site.

The iPad checks in at just .5 inches thick and weighs 1.5 pounds. Apple has said the unit's internal batteries should be good for up to ten hours without recharging.

Pricing for the Wi-Fi only version, which features 802.11 connectivity and is available April 3rd, starts at $499 for the 16GB model, $599 for the 32GB model, and $699 for the 64GB version.

The Wi-Fi + 3G versions, available later in April, are priced somewhat higher. The 16GB model is $629, the 32GB model is $729, and the 64GB version is $829.

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