5 Things To Know About The iPad Mini

The iPad Goes 'Mini'

Apple has already asserted its dominance over the worldwide tablet market, where, according to analyst firm IHS iSuppli, its iPad currently accounts for a whopping 70 percent of all sales.

But, the Cupertino giant vowed Tuesday that it's not taking its foot off the gas, this time targeting the up- and-coming 7-inch tablet market with its new iPad mini.

Taking direct aim Google's Nexus 7 and Amazon's 7-inch Kindle Fire HD, the iPad mini will become globally available on Nov. 2. Here are five things you need to know before waiting in the wings.

It's Smaller

This one's probably a no-brainer, but as its name not-so-subtly suggests, the new iPad mini is smaller than all other models of Apple's flagship tablet.

Specifically, the new device touts a 7.9-inch display, compared to the 9.5-inch display native to the four other iPads in Apple's line-up. That said, Apple stressed that the new device still offers 35 percent more screen real estate compared to competing 7-inch tablets on the market today. Apple's Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller said during an event Tuesday that rival makers of smaller-sized tablets have "failed miserably" in their attempts to deliver the same robust functionality of full-sized tablets in smaller packages, simply stretching smartphone apps to fit in a larger screen.

It's Thinner And Lighter

Shaving down on screen size let Apple make the new iPad mini especially thin and light. The new tablet weighs in at a super-light 0.68 pounds and measures just 0.28 inches thick, letting it beat both Google and Amazon in the race toward thin-and-light.

Google's Nexus 7 and Amazon's Kindle Fire HD, by comparison, are both approximately 0.4-inches thick, weighing 0.75 pounds and 0.87 pounds, respectively.

Its Display Is A Downgrade - Sort Of

Apple did have to sacrifice one specification in order to cut the iPad down in size: screen resolution.

Rather than support the same industry-leading Retina display found in the third- and fourth-generation iPads, the iPad mini shares the same pixel count with the original iPad and the iPad 2, which is 1,024 by 768.

It Uses The New Lightning Dock

Both the new iPad mini and fourth-generation iPad feature the same Lightning dock that Apple debuted with the iPhone 5.

Some Apple fans considered the new dock a headache, as it requires an entirely new set of compatible accessories or, at least, the purchase of an adapter. The dock features an 8-pin connector rather than the same 30-pin connector found in all prior iPhone and iPad models and, according to Apple, allows for faster data transfer rates.

Its Price Tag Is Heavier Than Expected

In the slew of reports speculating what the new iPad mini would bring to the tablet table, many estimated the price to be around $250. Turns out, the new device is selling for more than that -- and more than the competition, as well.

The iPad mini will be available in three separate, Wi-Fi-enabled models, including a 16-GB version for $329, a 32-GB version for $429 and a 64-GB version for $529. Wi-Fi models equipped with both Wi-Fi and cellular support will start at $459.

Google's Nexus 7 and Amazon's Kindle Fire HD sell for a more modest $199.