Apple just sent out invites for an event on October 23rd, at which (presumably) they’ll announce the iPad Mini. It’s been ridiculously heavily rumored; current guesses place the screen at 7.8 inches, smaller than the 9.7-inch full-sized iPad but larger than minitablets like the Kindle Fire and Nexus 7 (both at 7 inches even). What’s really curious here is price: the full-sized iPad starts at $500, but the current cheapest iPod Touch–which, at this point, is a very tiny tablet–costs $300. So the logical price for an iPad Mini might be $400, but that’s twice as much as, say, the Nexus 7, which is a very capable device. What will Apple do? Tune in here next Tuesday for the thrilling answer! (Disclaimer: It is not our fault if the answer fails to thrill.)

Oh, here’s a nice mockup of what the iPad Mini might look like, given the current metallic trend amongst the iPhone and iPod Touch.

iPad Mini Mockup