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Apple announces iPad mini 3 with Touch ID for $399, keeps first-gen iPad mini for $249

Apple's diminutive iPad will also receive an update this week, the company announced Thursday, in the form of the iPad mini 3, which features a Touch ID fingerprint sensor and new gold color option starting at $399.

The company has also expanded the iPad mini lineup by continuing to offer the first-generation model, lacking a Retina display, for $249. And occupying the $299 space will be the iPad mini 2.

The entry-level iPad mini 3 will feature 16-gigabytes of storage for $399. Upgrading storage capacity in the iPad mini 3 will run $499 for 64 gigabytes, while 128 gigabytes will cost $599. In addition, a new gold color option will join silver and space gray, and LTE-capable models carry a $130 premium.

The home button of the iPad mini 3 now features a Touch ID fingerprint sensor Just like on the iPhone, it can be used to unlock the iPad, authorize iTunes and App Store purchases, and enable security with third-party apps.

Touch ID will also integrate with Apple Pay when shopping online on their tablet, allowing users to securely authorize purchases using their fingertip.

While the iPad Air 2 was updated with a beefier A8X processor and the M8 motion coprocessor, the CPU in this year's iPad mini 3 remains identical to the iPad mini 2: An A7 CPU coupled with the M7 motion chip.

Preorders for the iPad mini 3 and iPad Air 2 will begin on Friday, and the units will begin shipping next week.