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Apple unveils small, but expensive 7.9-inch iPad Mini, fourth generation iPad

iPad 3 Screenshot - 1125024

As expected, Apple today unveiled a completely new iPad Mini at a media event held in San Jose. While the size of the new iPad directly competes with some of the smaller tablets on the market, the suggested retail pricing is still far from Apple's main competition - Amazon's Kindle Fire and Google-branded Nexus 7.

The brand new 7.9-inch tablet is 23% thinner and 53% lighter than the third generation iPad, and features a Multi-Touch display, FaceTime HD and iSight cameras. The long-rumored tablet boasts a new aluminum and glass design that is just 7.2 mm thing and weighs only .78 pounds.

“iPad mini is every inch an iPad. With its gorgeous 7.9-inch display, iPad mini features the same number of pixels as the original iPad and iPad 2, so you can run more than 275,000 apps designed specifically for iPad,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “iPad mini is as thin as a pencil and as light as a pad of paper, yet packs a fast A5 chip, FaceTime HD and 5 megapixel iSight cameras and ultrafast wireless―all while delivering up to 10 hours of battery life.”

The iPad Mini's screen is said to offer 35% more screen real estate than 7-inch tablets and up to 67% more usable viewing area when browsing the web — a clear advantage over some of the other smaller tablets on the market. The iPad Mini also utilizes the dual-core A5 chip to provide responsive graphics and a faster experience.

Apple also revealed today a new fourth generation iPad featuring a 9.7-inch Retina display. This includes a new Apple-designed A6X chip that delivers up to twice the CPU performance and up to twice the graphics performance of the A5X chip. Other new features include a FaceTime HD camera, twice the Wi-Fi performance when compared to previous iPad models and support for additional LTE carriers worldwide.

Both the iPad Mini and fourth generation iPad come with the recently released iOS 6 and support for the Lightning connector that is smaller and more durable than the 30-pin connector.

The iPad Mini with Wi-Fi models will be available in black and slate or white and silver on Friday, November 2. Within a couple of weeks, Apple will begin shipping the iPad Mini with Wi-Fi and Cellular on AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon. Below is a price breakdown depending on the model:

  • 16 GB model - $329
  • 32 GB model - $429
  • 64 GB model - $529
  • 16 GB with Wi-Fi + Cellular - $459 
  • 32 GB with Wi-Fi + Cellular - $559
  • 64 GB with Wi-Fi + Cellular - $659

The fourth generation iPad with Wi-Fi models will also be available on Friday, November 2, in black or white. Onc eagain, the models with Wi-Fi and Cellular for AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon will be offered in a couple of weeks. Below are the suggested retail pricing:

  • 16 GB model - $499
  • 32 GB model - $599
  • 64 GB model - $699
  • 16 GB with Wi-Fi + Cellular - $629
  • 32 GB with Wi-Fi + Cellular - $729
  • 64 GB with Wi-Fi + Cellular - $829

Additionally, the iPad 2 is now available for $399 for the 16 GB Wi-Fi model and $529 for the 16 GB Wi-Fi and 3G model.

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Matt Liebl You can follow Senior News Editor Matt Liebl on Twitter @Matt_GZ. He likes games, sports, musicals, and his adorable dog, Wrigley. And his wife.
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