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How to Tell What iPad Model You Have
Knowing exactly what model of the iPad you have (original iPad, iPad 2 or iPad 3) is important when looking at hardware to use with your device, software you want to run on your device and even protective cases for your device. There are various physical quirks associated with each model that can help you determine what iPad model you have in a matter of minutes without having to turn your device on.
The original features flat and not rounded sides, similar to the iPhone 4 / 4S. The device was shipped with iOS 4, but is upgradeable to iOS 5.1. Model numbers for the original iPad are A1219 for the original iPad with Wi-Fi only, and A1337 for the original iPad that also supports 3G connectivity; the model number is included in the information on the lower half of the back of the device. The original iPad models are also a half-inch thick, which is nearly double the size of the iPad 2 and iPad 3. Also, if you flip the device over and look in the lower-left corner on the back of the device, there's no holes for a built-in speaker, which are visible in this location on the iPad 2 and iPad 3, but are instead located to the right of the 30-pin connector port along the lower edge of the device, similar to where the speaker is located on the iPhone 4 / 4S.
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The most noticeable difference between the original iPad and the iPad 2 is the inclusion of front- and back-facing cameras. On the front of the iPad 2, you'll notice a small circular hole directly above the center of the top of the screen; this is the location of the front-facing camera. If you turn the device over, you'll notice a slightly larger hole in the upper-left corner representing the location of the back-facing camera. The iPad 2 is also significantly thinner than its predecessor and features a curved edge instead of a flat edge. As a result, the speaker holes are located in the lower-left corner of the back of the device and not along the bottom of the device. iPad 2 model numbers include: A1395, A1396 and A1397.
Telling the difference between the iPad 2 and the iPad 3 is the real trick. The spot for the rear-facing camera on the back of the iPad 3 is roughly double the size of the space allocated for the rear-facing camera on the back of the iPad 2. Also, the iPad 3 is very slightly thicker than the iPad 2, but it still boasts the same curved edges. Additionally, model numbers for the iPad 3 don't start with an "A"; instead, they either start with MD3 or MC7. Beyond that, the iPad 2 and iPad 3 are, physically, incredibly similar.