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iPad mini 4G out now on pricey EE contracts, 3G available too

EE is flogging the iPad mini with a 4G connection! It's very expensive though, and you'll be waiting up to 35 days for delivery.

EE, the UK's first 4G network, has started flogging the iPad mini with a speedy LTE connection. But you may need to put several major organs on eBay to afford it.

The cheapest way to get the iPad mini from EE on a contract deal is to pay £149.99 for the tablet itself, then £25.99 per month for 24 months on top of that. That gets you the 16GB iPad mini, and 3GB of data.

Added together, that makes a total cost over two years of £773.75, which I think you'll agree is rather steep. Expect to pay more if you go for a higher-capacity tablet, or opt for more data -- you can see EE's range of tariffs here.

Moreover, it's not certain that you'd get your mitts on the treasured iPad mini in time for Christmas, as EE says, "Please allow 35 days for delivery." That applies to the fourth-generation iPad as well, which also goes on sale today, at similarly high prices if you want 4G speeds.

If you want to pay less cash but desperately need an iPad mini, non-4G networks will also be flogging Apple's tiny tablet from today. Orange and T-mobile have both kicked off sales, as has numerical network Three, which is offering the 16GB mini for £59 up front, plus £29 every month for two years.

That offer gets you a hearty 15GB of data every month, and in total comes to £755 over two years. That's slightly cheaper and gets you way more data than EE's offering, but it's still a lot of cash to splash.

Three also does a one-month contract data plan that gets you 10GB for £15, but you'll need to pay £369 up front to get the 3G-capable iPad mini itself.

Whichever way you slice it, Apple's tiny tablet is going to cost a lot if you want mobile data. Remember folks, if you can stomach the upfront cost, a rolling one-month contract will generally be cheaper and means you're not tied in to an extremely long deal.

Will you buy the iPad mini 3G or 4G? Perhaps you'd rather see a Nexus 10 or Nexus 7 nestled under your tablet-tree this yuletide? Let me know in the comments, or on our Facebook wall.