iPad mini with Retina display available now

Apple's iPad mini with Retina display has gone on sale, with the second-generation iOS tablet available for order through the Apple Store online. Shipping in 1-3 business days for the 16GB and 32GB WiFi-only models, at time of writing, and 5-10 business days for the 64GB and 128GB WiFi-only, along with all the WiFi + Cellular versions, the iPad mini with Retina display is priced from $399.Announced in late October, the second-generation mini doesn't stint on the upgrades versus the original. While the iPad Air had significant external changes, most of the differences between the iPad mini and the iPad mini with Retina display are on the inside.

For instance, the 7.9-inch tablet shares the same Apple A7 processor as its bigger sibling, meaning it should be significantly faster than the A5-powered model it replaces. Up-front, there's a new 2048 x 1536 Retina display for higher quality graphics.

As we found in our hands-on with the tablet, that makes a real difference to usability. Gone is any graininess or pixelation, with the slate in fact achieving the same pixel-density as the iPhone 5s, at 326ppi.

iPad mini with Retina display hands-on:

The WiFi-only model is priced at $399, $499, $599, and $699 for the 16, 32, 64, and 128GB models respectively. Meanwhile, the WiFi + Cellular version – which supports LTE across the four major US carriers – carries a $130 premium on top.

Demand for the iPad mini with Retina display is predicted to outstrip supply, and it's unclear when in-store stock will begin to emerge, though that could happen as soon as Wednesday.