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Apple unveils iPad mini for $329

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Apple finally unveiled its new iPad mini in a special event Tuesday afternoon. (Source: Apple.com) Apple finally unveiled its new iPad mini in a special event Tuesday afternoon. (Source: Apple.com)

(RNN) - After weeks of rumor and speculation, Apple did exactly what had been rumored and speculated by announcing, among other things, an iPad mini with a 7.9-inch screen.

The entry-level iPad mini with 16GB of memory will sell for $329 (compared to $199 for the competing Android Nexus 7 and the Kindle Fire HD, which have 7" screens). It will be available to pre-order on Friday, Oct. 26 and will ship a week later.

The iPad mini was not much of a surprise – the information and photos leaked before the announcement were accurate.

The smaller tablet is 7.2mm thick, or "as thin as a pencil" as described by Apple senior vice president of marketing Phil Schiller. The new device is about 23 percent thinner than its big brother, and weighs .68 pounds. Its screen resolution is the same as the first and second-generation iPads (1,024 x 768), which will allow all the iPad apps to run on the new machine.

Among the other products unveiled were a fourth-generation iPad – only six months after releasing the iPad 3, which is now essentially obsolete. The iPad 4's processor is twice as fast, features the higher-resolution retina display, better cameras, and faster WiFi that connects to more networks. It starts at $499, and requires the controversial Lightning cord, which has a different connection from all previous Apple products. The thinner design makes the cord necessary.

Schiller also announced a new 13" MacBrook Pro with retina display, which will sell for $1,699, $500 cheaper than the 15" version released earlier this year. The previous generation 13" MacBook pro remains available at a lower price.

The new iMac caused quite a stir because of its much thinner profile. It is 80 percent thinner than its predecessors and comes in 21.5" and 27" configurations.

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