iPad Mini with Retina screen suddenly available — until it sells out

iPad Mini with Retina screen
iPad Mini with Retina screen has a display with pixels so small, you can't really see them at all.

The eagerly awaited iPad Mini with Retina screen is available Tuesday, says Apple. The Mini is essentially a miniaturized version of the iPad Air: Same design, same camera, same processor. The screen is smaller, but it's got the same number of pixels, making it even more sharp than its big brother. Though at $399 the Mini is priced higher than its predecessor, it's anticipated to sell out, due to a shortage of display panels.

While we haven't officially reviewed the Mini, there's definitely a lot to like (besides the price). It's available in silver and white or "space gray" and black, and you can get 16GB, 32GB, 64GB or 128GB internal storage, at hundred-dollar increments. As per Apple's usual iPad pricing, 4G connectivity comes for $130 more (so yes, you could end up spending $829 for one of these), but carriers will provide service for the 4G iPads with no contract. T-Mobile even offers some service for free

iPad Mini with Retina screen showing iPhoto
iLife and iWork apps, including iPhoto, shown here on the new iPad Mini with Retina screen, are now available free to anyone who buys a new iPad or iPhone.

If you do find the new Mini to be a bit spendy, the older Mini is still for sale, marked down to $299 for the 16GB version, but be warned, the screen on the old Mini is noticeably poorer in quality, because of the visible pixels. It's all about the Retina, baby.

You can order them through Apple's online store, or pick them up at Apple's brick-and-mortar stores or through cellular carriers and some Apple-authorized retailers. But if you have been hankering for this one, don't hesitate, because chances are they'll soon be sold out.

Update: Some Apple stores are reporting scarce quantities, or are saying that there will be more coming later on. If you're trying to lock one down, the best way is to order it online, for delivery sometime next week or the week after. If you need one as soon as possible, call around and run, don't walk, to the nearest store, because, despite what Apple said in its press release, there doesn't seem to be an easy way to order for pickup at this point. 

— with additional reporting from Devin Coldewey 

Wilson Rothman is the Technology & Science editor at NBC News Digital. Catch up with him on Twitter at @wjrothman, and join our conversation on Facebook.