Apple iPad 2: Heads Up Buying Guide

Since the official announcement of Apple’s iPad 2 last week, we have brought you a specification listing roundup, price guide along with information of carriers Verizon and AT&T, we have tried to gauge what your thoughts are towards the new version and of course whether you will be hot footing down to your nearest store on Friday March 11 to pick one up.

We thought it only fair to give you a heads start by putting together some information to help you in your buying mission. To start the ball rolling, we have to point out firstly that unlike last year, pre-orders of the tablet have not been an option this time round, the only way of picking up an iPad 2 on Friday will be to camp outside one of its many retail stores and brave the weather along with however many other people, or failing that you could order it online. Indications are already showing that this year’s generation will be more popular than last year’s so advice is to get online as quick as possible.

Mashable have reported that the iPad 2 will be available via Apple.com early Friday, indications showing sales will commence at 12.01 AM PT on March 11. As Mashable pointed out, East coast buyers will have to log on from 3 AM to stand any chance of getting one. On the other hand if you prefer to get yours from a retail store, opening times will be from 5.00 PM. Just to make you aware, that the sought after tablet can also be purchased from Target, Walmart, Best Buy and Sam’s Club, which may be the safest route to take as it were, as these stores will be less crowded.

If you are lucky enough to get your hands on one of these, then shipping is expected to take place more or less straight away, with users hopefully receiving tablets as early as next Monday, although realistically Tuesday is the safer option. Apple have promised “fast, free shipping,” using of course FedEx or UPS.

As we pointed out yesterday, carriers for the tablet device will be the big red Verizon and of course AT&T. We gave you a sneaky listing from AllThingsD that will give you an indication of prices. When you come to order your tablet, it will be available in black or white in either WiFi or WiFi + 3G. We have to point out that reports are suggesting that although AT&T haven’t made it abundantly clear as to whether they will be carrying the tablet on Friday, strong indications are pointing to the 3G models being available from both carriers at Best Buy and Walmart. Head on over to Mashable for a price and model listing.

Tips from Mashable include: Order online if you really have a size or color in mind, there’s no guarantee that by the time you finally enter a retail store, that they will have your preference. As they pointed out, try to keep away from Apple stores in the Austin area as the South By Southwest conference will be underway meaning more people in the area. Check on various social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook or location based Foursquare for up to date information on how busy particular areas are, and lastly try to be patient and wait another day until Saturday to pick one up.

So of course we have to ask, will you be getting an iPad 2, will it be in store or online, and which model?