iPad mini 3 lands with Touch ID and a brand-new color

Apple's latest micro machine is looking fly

We weren't 100% confident we'd see it, but the iPad mini 3 has indeed arrived, and it's bringing Touch ID with it.

You could barely have blinked before Apple was done talking about the new iPad mini, but the company laid out its specs before zipping to price and release info.

The iPad mini 3 features a 7.9-inch Retina screen, 5MP iSight camera and an HD FaceTime camera on the front. It can capture 1080p video, standard fare for a slate these days, and houses a last-gen A7 processor.

The biggest change is Touch ID, which will descend down from the iPhone to Apple's tablets. Both the iPad mini 3 and iPad Air 2 feature the finger-reading tech that allows for online purchases and provides an added layer of security.

On the software side, the new iPads will come with iOS 8.1, a decimal upgrade over iOS 8. The software includes features like Continuity, which lets users continue work from an iOS 8 device to an OS X Yosemite machine, and vice versa. The addition of Apple Pay and the return of Camera Roll are also highlights of the OS.

For the first time, Apple is offering its tablets in a gold hue, bringing the iPad mini 3's shade total up to three (gold, silver and space gray).

iPad mini 3 price and release date

The iPad mini 3 price starts at $399/£319/AU$499 with pre-orders getting off the ground Friday, October 17 (October 18 for Australia). It along with the iPad Air 2 will be available in store later next week in numerous countries and territories, including the US, Australia, Canada and the UK.

That's $399 for a 16GB edition. Bumping up to 64GB will put a $499/£399/AU$619 dent in your wallet and the largest 128GB version pulls $599/£479/$739 from your bank account.

Wi-Fi plus 4G editions of the new iPad mini run $529/£419/AU$659, $629/£499/AU$779 and $729/£579/AU$899, respectively.

While the iPad mini 3 flaunts its new fingerprint reader and gold coat, the original iPad mini and iPad mini 2 (formerly the iPad mini with Retina display) are seeing price cuts. The iPad mini will now cost $249/£199/AU$299 and the iPad mini 2 price is settling at $299 (about £186, AU$341).

Check out our hands on video with the iPad mini 3 below:

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

News Editor (US)

As the US News Editor, Michelle (Twitter, Google+) keeps her eye on all things tech with particular interest on phones, tablets and finding out who the people are behind the devices. Any phone that can survive a regular (accidental) drop has her vote for best handset. Michelle previously worked covering local news in the Bay Area and has been with TechRadar since July 2012.