Apple Senior Vice President of Worldwide product marketing Phil Schiller announces the new iPad Mini during an Apple special event at the historic California Theater on October 23, 2012 in San Jose, California. The iPad Mini is Apple's smaller version of the iPad tablet. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) - Apple is revealing a smaller, $329 version of its hit iPad tablet computer, with a screen that's about two-thirds the size of the full-size model.
Apple starts taking orders for the new model on Friday Oct. 26 and will ship Nov. 2, said marketing chief Phil Schiller at an event in San Jose, Calif.
It weighs 0.68 pounds, half as much as the full-size iPad, and is as thin as a pencil,
The screen resolution is 1024 by 768 pixels, the same as the iPad 2 and a quarter of the resolution of the third-generation iPad.
Company watchers have for a year been expecting the company to release a smaller iPad to counter cheaper tablets like Amazon.com Inc.'s Kindle Fire.
Apple is introducing a new 13-inch MacBook Pro laptop that has a "Retina" display, with four times the resolution of the previous model.
The new model follows a 15-inch MacBook Pro with a Retina display introduced this summer, and will start at $1,699. Apple's marketing chief Phil Schiller said it will go on sale immediately.
The old MacBook Pro will still be sold, starting at $1,199.
The new model dispenses with an optical drive and a traditional hard drive. Instead, it uses solid-state "flash" memory. This makes it 20 percent thinner and at 3.75 pounds, nearly a pound lighter than the previous model.
Also announced is a new version of its iMac desktop computer that's one-fifth the thickness of the old model around the edges.
At 5 millimeters around the edges, the new iMac is thinner than most stand-alone computer monitors. It bulges in the back, however. Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller did not say how much.
The new model achieves its severe thinness in part by eliminating the optical disc drive. Apple has been leaving those drives out of its most recent laptop models as well.
An iMac model with a 21.5-inch screen will start shipping in November for $1,299 and up, Schiller said. A 27-inch version will start at $1,799.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)