It was rumored that the iPad Mini would be the major highlight of the Apple event. I don't think anybody expected them to announce a new iPad, but he we are with the fourth generation iPad with a faster processor and graphics. Oh, and the iPad Mini is real.
Phil Schiller announced a fourth generation iPad only a little over half a year since the launch of the new third generation iPad. Schiller says that the new fourth generation iPad will feature an A6X processor that's much faster than the previous generation. It will also feature a faster graphics processor than the previous generation for even better games. It will also feature the new lighting connector.
The fourth generation iPad will cost the same as the current third generation iPad. That means the base model will only run you about $499.
The true star of the show, however, is the iPad Mini. Schiller busted out the iPad Mini (that's the actual name) and confirmed pretty much everything the rumors have suggested thus far. The iPad Mini is only 7.2 mm thin and weighs only 0.68 lbs. The display is 7.9 inches diagonally with a resolution of 1024x768.
The iPad Mini is powered by most of the specs that you'll find in the iPad 2. It sports an A5 processor and an HD Facetime camera. It also has a 5MP iSight backside camera. The Wi-Fi if faster with b/g/n connectivity and a lighting connector that's now standard among Apple's products.
Schiller stressed the point that the iPad Mini is a much better choice than other Android tablets. He used Google's Nexus 7 as a comparison. The screen size is technically larger than that of the Nexus 7 which means that there's more screen real estate for Web browsing. All the iPad specific apps on the App Store will run natively on the iPad Mini as well.
The base model iPad Mini will come with 16GB of memory for $329. Pre-orders for the Wi-Fi iPad Mini will start this Friday and begin shipping on November 2. The cellular versions will begin shipping two weeks later.
Check out the rest of the major announcements from our Apple event coverage.