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Thinner, faster, lighter aren’t exactly adjectives designed to populate predawn lines with hopeful buyers.

But the lines did come. Reports of sell-outs peppered retailers across the country this weekend as eager buyers queued around buildings and snaked through shopping malls.

Apple appears to have sold up to half a million iPad 2’s this weekend, according to Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster. That’s an increase over the 300,000 original iPads Apple sold in the first weekend last year. Official sales numbers from Apple have not yet been released for the iPad 2.

The iPad 2 adds front- and rear-facing cameras for video chat, a dual-core 1 GHz processor, nine times the graphic performance and a gyroscope.

The iPad 2 comes in 18 versions. Users can choose from sizes of 16, 32 and 64 GB, between WiFi-only and 3G-connected models usingVerizon or AT&T, and between black and white.