Welcome to the world, iPad mini!

…and congratulations, tech fanatics everywhere who will soon finally get their hands on the real thing and squash a year’s worth of rumors about the new gadget’s what-ifs.

The actual specs are in, and the new device, which enters a ring of many contenders swinging out similar but less expensive tablets like Google, Amazon and Samsung, is a slight 0.3 inches thick and 0.68 pounds (that’s about 25% slimmer and more than 50% lighter than the precious version of the iPad).

You’ll be able to snatch the mini on November 2 – leaving you just enough time to grab a few of them as holiday gifts (good timing as usual, Apple).

There’s some irony to the story of how the smaller version of the iPad came to be, since before his passing, Steve Jobs denounced the 7-inch tablet as actually being too mini! However, Apple chose to forego the comment, particularly as competing companies began unleashing similarly small tablets (and the fact that these tablets are cheaper, sort of leaves Apple with no choice but to enter the race.

Two models in particular have pressured Apple to come out with the mini – they are Amazon’s 7-inch Kindle Fire HD and the Google’s Nexus 7 – yet, there is worry that Apple will not be able to keep up because of its low price point. However, let’s throw Apple a bone – since this is the first time the company is relinquishing the role of the pioneering trailblazer in order to counter competitors.

As a bonus, Apple has reported that a lower-key upgrade for the full sized, “regular” iPad. Dubbed the fourth generation iPad, the new device will sport a new A6X chip which means it will be juiced with twice the processing power of the third-generation model.

Alongside launch of the iPad mini, there are rumors that upgrades will be available for Apple’s MacBook Pro, iMac and Mac Mini selection of computers.