By Stephen Schenck | October 23, 2012 1:55 PM
The months and months of leaks, rumors, and speculation may have ruined the surprise a little, but today in California, Apple finally put an end to all our guesswork and the uncertainty that surrounded it, formally announcing the iPad mini.
The iPad mini measures only 7.2 millimeters thick and weighs a scant 10.9 ounces. It has a 7.9-inch display, and like we heard, keeps the iPad 2′s 1024 x 768 resolution.
Apple has equipped the iPad mini with an A5 SoC, keeping with its iPad 2 inspiration, as well as a five-megapixel rear camera and HD front-facer. The tablet contains what Apple calls its thinnest single-cell battery ever, delivering 10 hours of power on a charge.
Worried about the thinned-down bezel? Apple has implemented software to prevent the iPad mini from recognizing stray touchscreen input from your thumb as you hold the tablet.
New pint-sized smart covers are on their way to help new users accessorize their tablets, in a full range of colors.
Of course, the big question about the iPad mini has been its price points. Sure enough, like we heard rumored, the tablet will start at $329 for the WiFi-only 16GB version (no sign of 8GB models). The 32GB and 64GB models are $429 and $529, respectively, and all three versions with cellular radios will go for $459, $559, and $659.
Contrary to previous rumors, the iPad mini isn’t totally replacing the iPad 2, which Apple will continue to sell.
Pre-orders will open up this Friday, and the WiFi versions of the iPad mini will ship November 2. The cellular-enabled versions will be available through AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon.