When, where, and how to buy Apple's new iPads

Here's everything you need to know about picking up a new iPad Air or iPad Mini with Retina Display.

James Martin/CNET

Lines are likely to begin forming shortly for Apple's new iPads. The company unveiled two new models at a special fall press event in San Francisco on Tuesday. The iPad Mini with Retina Display now includes a faster processor, improved graphics, and a high-resolution screen, and the larger iPad also received an improved design and a performance boost.

The biggest change is the addition of a Retina Display to Apple's smaller and more affordable tablet. The iPad Mini has a 7.9-inch 2,048x1,536-pixel-resolution display, the same 64-bit A7 processor as the iPhone 5S , an M7 motion coprocessor, and improved graphics performance.

The larger iPad is redesigned to be thinner, lighter, and more powerful than its predecessor. The tablet, now known as the iPad Air , is 20 percent thinner than the fourth-generation iPad, has a 43 percent smaller bezel, and weighs only a pound, compared with the iPad 4, which weighs 1.4 pounds. Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of marketing, called the iPad Air the "lightest full-size tablet in the world."

The device includes the same 9.7-inch Retina Display as before, but it is now equipped with the company's 64-bit A7 processor, M7 motion coprocessor, and improved graphics.

Both the iPad Air and new iPad Mini feature a 5-megapixel rear camera, a 1.2-megapixel front-facing camera, Bluetooth 4.0, dual microphones, MIMO wireless technology for Wi-Fi speeds up to 300Mbps, and are rated with up to 10 hours of battery life.

Here's how you can get your hands on Apple's latest tablets as soon as possible:

When and where

Apple
The iPad Air will be available in Apple's online store at 12:01 a.m. PT on November 1. The device will also be available in the company's brick-and-mortar locations nationwide at 8 a.m local time that day. Apple will offer the larger iPad starting at $499 for the Wi-Fi-only model with 16GB of storage. Models with 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB of storage can be had for $599, $699, and $799, respectively.

4G LTE versions of the iPad Air start at $629 for the 16GB model, and 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB models will be offered for $729, $829, and $929, respectively.

Apple didn't announce a release date for the iPad Mini, instead noting that it will be available "later in November." The Wi-Fi-only Retina Display model will start at $399 and come with 16GB of storage, $70 more than the original iPad Mini when it was first announced last October. The 16GB 4G LTE version will start at $529. Models with 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB of storage in both Wi-Fi-only and 4G LTE configurations can be had at increments of $100.

Oddly enough, Apple will be keeping the more than 2-year-old iPad 2 around for another year. The device is available now with the Wi-Fi-only model costing $399, or a 3G model for $529. Both models include 16GB of storage.

Last year's iPad Mini will also be sticking around. The smaller tablet is available for $299 for the Wi-Fi-only 16GB model, or $429 for the 4G LTE version with 16GB of storage.

James Martin/CNET

Carriers
All four major carriers in the United States -- Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile -- plan to carry both the iPad Air and new iPad Mini.

AT&T will offer both tablets with three different data plans: 250MB of date per month for $14.99, 3GB of data for $30, and 5GB of data for $50. Verizon is offering 1GB of data per month for $20, 2GB for $30, and 5GB for $50. And Sprint is offering 1GB of data per month for $14.99, 3GB of data for $34.99, and 6GB of data for $49.99.

Continuing its "uncarrier" initiative, T-Mobile will be giving customers 200MB of data each month for free. Those looking for more can sign up for one of the carrier's larger plans: 2.5GB of data per month for $30, or 4.5GB of data per month for $40.

T-Mobile on Wednesday announced that customers can purchase a new iPad from the carrier with no money down . The iPad Air will be offered for $26.25 per month for 24 months, while the new iPad Mini can be had for $22.08 a month for 24 months.

Retailers
In the past, retailers such as RadioShack, Target, and Best Buy have offered Apple's tablets. We expect the iPad Air to be offered in these retail stores on November 1, starting at 8 a.m. local time, as well.

Walmart on Thursday announced that it will be offering the iPad Air in-stores on November 1st for $479, $20 off the regular price. The company has also launched a trade-in program at Walmart and Sam's Club locations that will give customers up to $300 store credit for their current tablet. A similar program was also announced by Best Buy earlier this week. The company is offering up to $200 in the form of a Best Buy gift card for older iPad models. Best Buy's program runs until November 9th.

This post will be updated as more release information becomes available.

Update:This post has been updated with new information.

About the author

Dan Graziano is an associate editor for CNET How To. His work has appeared on BGR, Fox News, Fox Business, and Yahoo News, among other publications. When he isn't tinkering with the latest gadgets and gizmos, he can be found enjoying the sights and sounds of New York City.

 

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