Apple pins a Retina display onto the next iPad mini

Summary:The iPad mini is getting a much-needed face lift -- with a price hike.

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It had to happen eventually, but there have been serious doubts that Apple wouldn't be able to deliver an iPad mini with its trademark Retina display this year .

Those suspicions can now be put to rest.

But Apple leadership kept eager beavers waiting as long as possible, drawing out the suspense by focusing on Mac OS X Mavericks, iOS and other software updates for the first hour of its invite-only presentation in San Francisco on Tuesday morning.

Albeit not exactly surprising, Apple senior vice president Phil Schiller admitted to the audience that the most requested feature for the sized-down iPad was a Retina Display -- and that's exactly what is on the way.

The next-generation will be outfitted with a 7.9-inch Retina display with a 2,048 by 1,536 pixel resolution.

That notable upgrade is going to cost consumers though, bumping up the starting price to $399 for the 16GB Wi-Fi only version, available in black or white when it rolls out at some point in November.

By comparison, the new 9.7-inch iPad Air will start at $499, while the iPad 2 somehow lives on at $399 too.

For customers who don't necessarily want to pay that much, Apple is keeping the first-generation Mini around, cutting the starting price to $299. Super-savvy shoppers might already know that refurbished models have already been priced at $279 for awhile now, meaning those prices could drop for an even better deal soon.

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Otherwise, this is a fairly standard upgrade for the iPad mini brand across the board.

Additional features include the A7 chip, boosting the graphics power up to eight times faster and the device overall four times faster. The battery life stays put at roughly 10 hours.

Ending the debut on a far-less glamorous note, Schiller also introduced some new standard covers for the iPad Mini, starting at $39, as well as a case that starts at $69.

Images via CNET

Topics: Mobility, Apple, iOS, iPad, Tablets

About

Rachel King is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in San Francisco, covering business and enterprise technology for ZDNet, CNET and SmartPlanet. She has previously worked for The Business Insider, FastCompany.com, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State. Rachel has also written for MainStreet.com, Irish Americ... Full Bio

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