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A first look at the iPad 2, up close and personal (video)

Apple launched the iPad 2 tablet computer today, and it looks like another hit. The company has added a lot of new features to the device and still managed to keep the price the same. After today’s press event, we got a close-up look at the iPad 2, and it’s clear that the company has once again set the bar for rival tablet makers to beat.

It’s faster, thinner, lighter, and adds a lot of new features that make the device just about as functional as a laptop computer. It has, for instance, two new cameras — one on the front and another on the back — to enable Facetime video calls. You can also do new apps from the Mac, such as the iPad version of Photo Booth, Garage Band, and iMovie.

You’ll notice from the video below that it has a cool new cover to protect the screen. That cover has micro-fibers in it that help keep the screen clean. If you flip the cover up a little bit, the screen wakes up from sleep mode. You can also fold the screen cover so that it becomes a stand for the iPad 2, so that you can look at it from an angle.

The price ranges from $499 to $829, depending on whether you get more flash memory for data storage and whether you get 3G service in addition to Wi-Fi. It will be available March 11 in the U.S. from Verizon and AT&T.

Check out our hands-on video below for the complete rundown.

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