SAN JOSE, Calif. (TheBlaze/AP) -- As expected, the rumored "mini-me" of Apple's iPad was unveiled during an event in San Jose, Calif., Tuesday. This smaller version of the hit iPad tablet computer has a screen that's about two-thirds the size of the full-size model, and it's as thin as a pencil.
Apple Senior Vice President of Worldwide product marketing Phil Schiller announces the new iPad Mini. (Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Weighin in at 0.68 pound, half as much as the full-size iPad, marketing chief Phil Schiller noted, the iPad mini maintains the same resolution as the iPad 2, although only a quarter of the resolution of the third-generation iPad.
Engadget's live blog reported Senior Vice President of Industrial Design Jony Ive saying, "Our goal was to create a product that can do all the things of the full-size iPad, but pack them in a product that is so much smaller."
"It's not just a shrunken down iPad, it's an entirely new design," Schiller said.
Watch Apple's top execs talk about iPad mini in its promo video here. You can watch the announcement below:
The mini starts at $329 and will begin shipping Wi-Fi-only models on Nov. 2. The company will add models capable of accessing "LTE" wireless data networks later.
Company watchers have for a year been expecting the company to release a smaller iPad to counter cheaper tablets like Amazon.com Inc.'s Kindle Fire.
In addition to the iPad Mini, Apple also updated its traditional iPad and unveiled new Mac computers, including a 13-inch version of a MacBook Pro with sharper, "Retina" display.
The new model follows a 15-inch MacBook Pro with a Retina display introduced this summer, and will start at $1,699. It is expected to go on sale immediately. It is also 20 percent thinner and a pound lighter than the old MacBook Pro, which will still be sold, starting at $1,199.
The desktop iMac slimmed down as well. It is now 5 millimeters around the edges, although a little thicker at the middle of the monitor.
Showing off the thinner iMac. (Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
The new model achieves its severe thinness in part by eliminating the optical disc drive. Apple has been leaving those drives out of its most recent laptop models as well.
The event at the California Theatre came only a few days before Microsoft Corp. starts selling a new version of its Windows operating system, one designed to work well on both traditional computers and tablets. Microsoft is also releasing its own tablet, the Surface, on Friday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.