I think the easiest way to tell the two apart is the display resolution. You can easily see the pixels in an iPad 2 display,while the pixels in the iPad 3 display are too small to see without magnification.
Here is an excellent thread that explains exactly how to tell which iPad you have.
Last edited by coolstuffs; 08-13-2012 at 02:14 PM. Reason: To correct error in quoting author and suggestion.
The OP of this thread made no mention of not having the iPads in front of him. This possible scenario was postulated by a Kaykaykay,later poster in this thread.Originally Posted by coolstuffs
I think the answers supplied so far in this thread will enable the OP to tell what version he has,whatever his situation.
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The serial and model numbers are on the back of every iPad, as well as viewable in Settings.