Apple’s iPad mini event – although the company has unveiled other products today as well, including the unexpected iPad 4 – is underway in California, and the 7.9-inch iOS 6 tablet is now official.

Despite’s Apple’s best efforts to keep the device secret, iPad mini reports have hit the web since way back in 2011, intensifying in frequency this year. The iPad mini will be Apple’s main weapon in the budget friendly tablet niche, where so far the Amazon Kindle Fires and the Google Nexus 7 are kings. And the mini version of Apple’s flagship tablet is expected to be quite a competitor for Android and Windows tablet, but also to the larger iPad.

So what’s the iPad mini going to offer buyers? Don’t expect high-end features like the ones found on the iPad 3, but do expect it to feature Apple’s iconic design and build quality.

Moreover, Apple is clearly pushing its tablet lineup as an educational device, as the company has released new iBooks and iBooksAuthor versions today, while presenting the impact the iPad has had on education so far.

As for what’s underneath the hood, in addition to apps, here’s what you get:

  • 7.9-inch display with 1024 x 768 resolution and 162ppi (no Retina Display)
  • Size: 7.2mm thickness
  • Weight: 0.68lbs
  • A5 processor
  • 512MB of RAM (not confirmed yet)
  • 16GB/32GB/64GB memory
  • 5-megapixel rear-facing camera
  • FaceTime HD front-facing camera
  • 10-hour battery life
  • Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth
  • 3G/4G LTE support (via nano SIM cards)
  • Lightning connector
  • iOS 6 with Siri

We’ll be back with comparisons between the iPad mini and the main Android budget tablets out there. Meanwhile, let us know whether you’re buying the device or not.

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