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The critics who lament that Apple is all out of surprises were certainly wrong today, as Cupertino quietly began accepting orders for its refreshed iPad mini with Retina Display in the wee hours of Tuesday morning.
Apple announced Tuesday the immediate availability of its new iPad mini with Retina Display, a significant upgrade to the original model featuring a pixel-perfect 7.9-inch screen and upgraded internal components.
The announcement comes as a bit of surprise, considering that most Apple watchers expected the company to deliver the latest iPad mini closer to the end of the month, and for once, rumors of its debut today surfaced only hours ahead of Apple actually pulling the trigger.
Available in space gray or silver and starting at $399 for 16GB Wi-Fi only, the iPad mini with Retina Display is now available from Apple's online store as well as AT&T, Verizon Wireless, Sprint and T-Mobile US retail stores and authorized resellers.
Curiously, the press release doesn't mention walking into an Apple retail store to buy one, although customers can purchase online and pick up in-store via Personal Pickup. However, we couldn't find a single store in our region with that option available, so your luck may vary.
More than just a spec bump from the original model, the iPad mini with Retina Display features the same 64-bit, A7 processor found in the iPhone 5s and iPad Air, along with faster Wi-Fi and expanded LTE connectivity.
Okay, so who's buying one?
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter