SAN JOSE, Calif., Oct. 23, 2012 -- With rumors circulating for months and techies across the world waiting with bated breath, Apple finally announced the arrival of its iPad Mini today at the California Theatre in San Jose, Calif.
The smaller version of the iPad can be held in one hand, is as thin as a pencil -- 7.2 millimeters (about one-quarter inch) -- and features an entirely new design. It also weighs 0.68 pounds, 53 percent lighter than the third-generation iPad.
Light as a pad of paper, the iPad Mini will come in black and white and has a 7.9-inch multi-touch screen. Apple's more than 250,000 iPad-designed apps can be used on the Mini.
"Others have tried to make tablets smaller than the iPad, but they have failed miserably," said Phillip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing. "What does the other platform have? Phone applications stretched up."
The Mini will offer a dual-core A5 chip, Facetime HD camera, 5MP iSight camera on the back, 802.11 a/b/g/n WiFi, a Thunderbolt connector and 10 hours of battery life. It will also come with iOS 6, Apple's mobile operating system with more than 200 features.
Schiller said the Mini was "every inch an iPad."
Starting with 16GB of memory, the Mini will go on sale for $329. It will go on preorder Friday and ship Nov. 2.
"I think if it was just about business, they would have priced it lower," Nilay Patel, managing editor of The Verve, told ABC News today. "I think this was about a demand. 'We are going to make the best product we can make for that size, not for the price.'"
During today's presentation, Apple also introduced several new Mac computers, including a new version of its 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display and a Mac Mini desktop, as well as a fourth-generation iPad with an 9.7-inch Retina display, a new Apple-designed A6X chip and speedier wireless performance.
The MacBook Pro will be 3.57 pounds, 20 percent thinner than the previous version and the lightest MacBook Pro. While it will have no optical drive, it will feature MagSafe 2, Thunderbolt, USB 3.0 and a Retina display.
It will go on sale for $1,699 for the i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and 128 GB solid state drive. The latest version of the MacBook Pro will ship today.
The Mac Mini, with two different size screens, will be sold for $1,299 for the 21.5 inch and $1,799 for the 27 inch.
ABC News' Neal Karlinsky contributed to this story.