The iPad Air has been out and about for almost two weeks now, but today it’ll be getting some company on store shelves. That’s because Apple formally launched its latest 8-inch tablet, the iPad mini with Retina display, at midnight last night. The iOS 7 slate didn’t have an official launch date before today, with Apple only saying that it would come sometime later this month.
If its name didn’t make it obvious, the new iPad mini’s biggest upgrade is its higher-res ‘Retina’ display, which now sports the same 2048×1536 resolution as the larger iPads. Internally, it has the beefier 64-bit A7 processor and M7 motion co-processor that are also in the iPad Air and iPhone 5s. It’s largely similar to the last iPad mini in most other facets, but with the better display and stronger chips, that isn’t entirely a bad thing.
If all of that sounds appealing to you, then you can go ahead and pick up the new iPad mini today. Past rumors and Apple’s own statements have suggested that the device may only be available in limited supplies to start, though, so those hoping to get their hands on the new tablet may need to act fast.
Indeed, Apple’s Phil Schiller notes that the company is “working hard to get as many [iPad minis] as we can in the hands of our customers” in the official press release. That release also notes that customers will have to pre-order their new iPad mini through Apple’s online store in order to pick it up in an Apple retail outlet, though major US wireless carriers and other retailers will be selling the device as well.
Either way, a 16GB, WiFi-only model starts at $400 — which is still rather pricey for a small tablet — and 32, 64, and 128GB models are available as well. As expected, Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T and Sprint are selling 4G-enabled versions of the slate too.