Summary:

Apple on Tuesday announced the next generation of its popular iPad mini tablet, complete with an even sharper retina display than the new iPad Air.

iPad mini
photo: Apple

Shortly after announcing the new iPad Air, Phil Schiller took the wraps off the second-generation version of Apple’s popular iPad mini. The second-generation iPad mini is seeing some substantial improvements this time around – in the form of a retina display and Apple’s new 64-bit A7 processor.

The new iPad mini’s 7.9-inch display features 2048 by 1536 pixels, which is the same resolution as the larger iPad Air. That makes it even sharper — 326 pixels per inch for the mini compared to 264 pixels per inch on the iPad Air. And Apple’s A7 processor means the tablet will be just as fast as the iPad Air and the iPhone 5s. It features 10 hours battery life, just like the iPad Air, along with the same faster Wi-Fi and expanded LTE support.

There’s a 5-megapixel iSight camera on the back of the mini, a 1080p FaceTime camera on the front, and it comes in silver and white and space gray and black versions. It’s basically a mini version of the iPad Air. That’s a big step up from the original iPad mini, which essentially features the same guts as the iPad 2. Whereas there was some discrepancy before, now all of Apple’s flagship iOS devices are on a fairly level playing field, from a hardware perspective.

The new iPad mini with retina display starts at $399 for a 16GB Wi-Fi version and will be available starting in November. That’s actually up from $329 for the original version, which is still available and now starts at $299.

Apple also introduced new polyurethane Smart Covers for the iPad mini that will be available for $39, as well as new aniline-dyed leather Smart Cases for $69.

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