The new iPad goes on sale Friday (March 16) at 8 a.m. Want the new iPad but you are too lazy to stand in the line or hate getting your tablet later than others? Well then, how about buying the cheaper iPad 2 instead? It all boils down to your needs and preferences. You might just find out that you don’t need the new iPad, or, the iPad 2 could be less advanced than what you would prefer.

With the new iPad pre-order shipping delayed to March 19 or even later (though some will get it on the 16th because they pre-ordered early), many potential iPad owners could now be in disarray as to what should they do next. There are three choices available, either wait out the delay, stand in line in front of Apple stores and other retail stores to get your copy of the new iPad, or pick up an iPad 2 instead.

The new Apple iPad is a computing powerhouse for a tablet. Is that what you want? Or the iPad 2? Let’s break down the specifications for you.

Apple announced the new iPad as “resolutionary” due to its super high Retina resolution display. The new iPad is not the first tablet capable of full 1080p HD content playback, but it is the first to deliver 2048x1536 resolutions, which is something only seen in expensive computers. Apart from the high resolution, the new iPad is rocking a new Dual Core A5X processor, Quad Core GPU. The new tablet also packs Bluetooth 4.0, WiFi Wireless N, 4G LTE on both AT&T and Verizon, and the latest version of the operating system, iOS 5.1, and a 5-megapixel iSight camera. A bigger battery should give users a cool 10hrs of unadulterated fun.

On the matter of the iPad 2, it is less powerful, but cheaper, and capable of doing what most people want it to do, let’s take a look.

The Apple iPad 2 is the granddaddy of tablets, the one tablet that rules them all. Unlike the new iPad, when the iPad 2 was first unveiled, it didn’t do more and try to reinvent the wheel. It just did enough to keep pace with rival tablets, and yet, it came out on top nonetheless.

Under the hood lies a 1GHz Dual Core A5 processor, 9.7-inch ISP LCD display that only manages to push 1024x768 resolution, 512MB RAM, WiFi, Bluetooth, 3G, back and front facing camera, and a 6600mAh battery that is able to work the iPad 2 for 10hrs. This device will also be getting the iOS 5.1 update, putting it on par with the new iPad in terms of software. It’s also cheaper than the new iPad. Apple dropped the price of the 16GB version to $399, $100 less than the 16GB version of the new iPad.

If you’ve made your choice to buy the iPad 2 instead, then the best place to buy it right now is from the Apple Store. You can get the 16GB WiFi version brand new for $399, while the WiFi + 3G version goes for $529.

However, if you want it cheaper, Apple is selling refurbished iPad 2 devices. Wi-Fi for $350 (16GB), $450 (32GB), and $550 (64GB). If you want Wi-Fi + 3G, it will cost $480 (16B), $580 (32GB), and $680 (64GB).

Take your pick.

(reported by Vamien McKalin, edited by Surojit Chatterjee)