As expected, Apple unveiled a new iPad Mini with an improved display upgraded to "retina" status, and a complement of new colored covers and cases for both the smaller slate and the new iPad Air.

The new little brother to the iPad appears to offer little more than iterative hardware improvements, but they promise to be pretty substantial improvements. The addition of an A7 chip will make it four times faster than its predecessor, Phil Schiller told the crowd, while new Wi-Fi technology will offer double the speed for data.

The other big upgrade is, of course, the addition of a 2048 x 1536 Retina Display to the 7.9-inch tablet, which is perhaps responsible for the fact that the new model will be a smidge thicker and heavier than last year's – by 0.3 mm and 24 grams, to be exact.

The new iPad Mini will be priced starting at US$399 for a 16 GB model in silver or space gray, up from the $329 tag on the original, but that rookie Mini will hang around and remain available at a new price of $299. In addition, a new mini with cellular capability will set you back $529.

Also new to the lineup introduced at today's event in San Francisco is a selection of colorful colors and wrap-around cases for both size iPads – covers cost $39, while cases are set at $79.

According to the Apple website, the iPad Mini is "coming later in November." Pre-orders don't seem to be happening just yet.