Apple Store comes back online with Retina iPad mini, exclusive holiday offers

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The iPad mini with Retina display went on sale through the Apple Online Store early Tuesday morning in an uncharacteristically soft launch. The news was prefaced by an internal memo that leaked from Apple’s GSX tool. The device is available in the United States, Australia, China (no LTE models yet), Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, and Singapore.

The release comes at an unexpected time. Apple didn’t officially announce the release date ahead of time, saying only that the device would be available sometime this month. In fact, aside from a memo that was released to employees only hours before the tablet went live on the Apple Online Store, there was no indication that it would be released this week at all.

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High-res photos claim to show iPad 5 front panel

Sonny Dickson has posted decent-sized photos of what is claimed to be the front panel of the iPad 5.

The photos are consistent with what we’re all expecting: essentially a scaled-up iPad Mini, with thinner bezels on the sides. The refresh is also expected to use the same film-based touch panel as the Mini, replacing the glass layer in previous full-size iPads, reducing both thickness and weight. We posted photos of what is believed to be the rear casing back in January and the display panel earlier this month. Read more

Review: ZAGGkeys Mini 7 & Mini 9 keyboard cases for iPad mini (+50 percent off!)

ZAGG, an accessory maker that first received a lot of attention for its super-tough invisibleShield screen protector, these days also happens to be making some of the best iPad keyboards around. While ZAGG has big competition from the likes of Logitech and Belkin, its earlier folio and keyboard cover designs have been among our most recommended keyboards for iPad. ZAGG’s latest creations are not only its first dedicated to Apple’s smaller iPad mini, it’s also a new design for the company that helps set it aside from much of the competition.

The first thing that makes ZAGG’s iPad mini keyboards stand out is the company’s decision to sell two models: the ZAGGkeys Mini 7, and a slightly larger keyboard dubbed the Mini 9. ZAGG’s giving you the ability to get a keyboard only 10 percent smaller than a traditional Apple keyboard and built into a solid, good-looking iPad mini case, which something most of the other guys aren’t providing.

Unlike Logitech, Belkin, and others that have gone with the Microsoft Surface-style, magnetic, clip-on keyboard covers, the new Mini 7 and 9 go with a more traditional, folio case design.

First, a few things that are the same about the Mini 7 and Mini 9: Read more