Apple has pushed the button on its online store, allowing you to pre-order a new iPad 2 a full 40 minutes ahead of the publicly announced time.

In what’s likely to cause chaos with those who’ve set their alarm rather than staying up, we’ve been able to access the order page and select one for order with zero problems.

However, being an early bird may make no difference as the site is currently stating that all iPad 2 models will be dispatched in 2-3 weeks.

This could be a gitch, or it could be that Apple aren’t planning on shipping out online orders straight away – let’s hope it's the former.

UPDATE: Although the iPad 2s are being listed as available, Pocket-lint is having trouble actually checking out - an error message keeps appearing at the end of the process. Either we've so far bought three new iPad 2s, or it hasn't been opened for sales yet.

Has anybody else had this problem?

UPDATE 2: Now the site doesn't even get to the payment screen before melting. And all this for a 2-3 week wait, why do we bother?

UPDATE 3: While some have had joy by turning on 1-Click ordering for their account, it seems even that is fraught with trouble. You can't even access your own account now, as we've explained in our other iPad 2 launch night (morning) piece.

UPDATE 4: At 2.19am, our payment finally went through.

A very faint and feeble "woo-hoo". Goodnight all. Or good morning, to be precise.

Now just a 2-3 week wait.

Thanks Tom.

Apple iPad 2: specs and details