Apple unveiled the iPad mini 3 on 16 October (if you blinked you'd probably have missed it), alongside the new iPad Air 2, introducing a new gold colour option and the Touch ID fingerprint sensor beneath the Home button. Here, we bring you everything you need to know about the iPad mini 3 including availability, UK price, new features and how it compares with its predecessor.

Read our iPad mini 3 first look review here.

And our iPad Air 2 first look review here.

iPad mini 3 vs iPad mini 2: What's the difference?

The big question for potential iPad mini customers is going to be: What's the difference between the iPad mini 3 and iPad mini 2? Disappointingly, it's largely similar, with the same screen, the same camera, the same design apart from the new gold colour and even the same specs.

Yep, that's right, the iPad mini 3 doesn't even have the new A8 processor found in the in the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, or the powerful A8X processor found in the iPad Air.

iPad mini 3: Release date

Apple has kicked off pre-orders for the iPad mini 3, ahead of its release alongside the new iPad Air 2 next week. Strangely, there's no actual release date yet for the iPad mini 3, with Apple simply saying that it will be available at some point this week.

At time of writing, you can order the iPad mini 3 from the Apple Online Store, and it'll be dispatched within 2-4 days, so you could get it delivered to you as soon as 22 October. There's no word yet about when the iPad mini 3 will be available in store, but it looks like there'll be no early opening and giant queue outside Apple Stores like there usually is, which is a bit of a departure for the company.

iPad mini 3: Price

As expected, the iPad mini 3 starts at £319, like the iPad mini 2 did before it. There are three configurations available: 16GB, 64GB and 128GB.

Apple is continuing to sell the iPad mini 2 with a new price tag of £239, and two configurations: 16GB or 32GB. The original iPad is now Apple's cheapest iPad ever at £199.

Here's the full pricing list:

iPad mini 3

WiFi only
16GB £319
64GB £399
128GB £479

WiFi plus Cellular
16GB £419
64GB £499
128GB £579

iPad mini 2

WiFi only
16GB £239
32GB £279

WiFi plus Cellular
16GB £339
32GB £379

iPad mini (first generation)

WiFi only
16GB £199

WiFi plus Cellular
16GB £299

iPad mini 3: New features

The only new feature you'll find in the iPad mini 3 is the Touch ID fingerprint sensor. It's disappointing that this is the only new feature, but it's a great new feature nonetheless.

The Touch ID fingerprint sensor on the iPad mini 3 works in just the same way as the one found on the iPad Air 2, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and iPhone 5S. You can use it to unlock your iPad mini 3 without entering a passcode, and also to unlock various apps. You can use it to do your online shopping if the store has Apple Pay, too.

iPad mini 3: Design

As mentioned above, the new iPad mini has the same design as the iPad mini 2, aside from the addition of a gold version in a hue that'll be familiar to some iPhone 5S, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus users.

It has a 7.9in display, housed in a body that is 7.5mm thick (or thin, you might say), 200mm tall and 134.7mm wide. It weighs 311g for the WiFi model or 341g for the cellular version.

iPad mini 3: Specs

The iPad mini 3's 7.9in display has a 2048x1536 resolution at 326ppi. The processor is the same 64-bit A7 chip found in the iPad mini 2. The iPad mini 3 also sports the M7 co-processor.

Apple claims that the iPad mini 3 will last for 10 hours of use on one charge.

When it comes to connectivity, the iPad mini 3 has WiFi (but not the new 802.11ac standard we'd hoped for), 4G (if you opt for the cellular model) and Bluetooth 4.0. There's no NFC in the new iPad mini.

You will get a new Apple SIM if you choose the cellular iPad mini 3, which lets you swap data plans at any time, perfect for keen travellers.

There's no 32GB model of iPad mini 3, with Apple instead opting for 16GB, 64GB and 128GB offerings.

See page 2 for all of the rumours we collected ahead of the ipad mini 3's unveiling.

Read about why it's not a good idea to buy the 16GB version: The problem with Apple's 16GB iPhones and iPads