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iPad 2 screen revealed?

The site 9to5Mac claims to have acquired the actual display that will be part of the next-generation iPad.

A tale of two screens, the dark version.

Everybody's curious to know what the new display on the next iPad will be, and 9to5Mac claims to know what it is.

We don't know how the screen ended up in the hands of 9to5Mac, but the site says, "We have been able to acquire what we believe is an iPad 2 LCD, fresh out of China. At this point, we cannot tell if the resolution is higher (or "Retina") but it is definitely higher quality in terms of its build. The iPad 2's display is also lighter, and over a mm thinner than the current iPad's display with a smaller surrounding frame. This is a dream for a product designer like Jony Ive, who now has some more tapering options for what looks to be a significantly lighter iPad 2."

According to a part number listed on the alleged "new" display, you're looking at the LP097X02-SLN1, which a 9to5Mac reader purports is the LG Phillips 9.7-inch XGA 1,024x768 H-IPS display. That 1,024x768 resolution is the same as the current iPad's screen resolution and not a super-high-resolution display.

While we can't confirm whether this is or isn't the iPad's new screen, it does fall in line with the rumors that have been floating around suggesting it will simply be a lighter, thinner, slightly improved version of the existing screen--and not the huge leap (in terms of sharpness) that we saw when Apple made the jump to the Retina display on the iPhone 4 and iPod Touch 4G. In theory, this new display might also be more energy efficient, allowing Apple to eke more battery life out of the next iPad.

It's also worth noting that this type of H-IPS display allegedly offers better off-axis viewing and slightly better contrast. Additionally, it will most likely have some sort of antiglare treatment similar to the one integrated into the Nook Color's screen, which is also an LG display. The current iPad screen does have some glare/reflection issues and Apple wants to improve that aspect of the screen as Amazon touts the readability of the e-ink display on the Kindle.

Apple has not announced when it will release the next-generation iPad, but it will most likely arrive in early April, right around a year after the original iPad launched. Many speculate the official announcement for the new product will come in early March.

More: And the iPad 2 display rumor of the week is...