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WASHINGTON (WUSA) -- With pre-sales of the iPad Mini underway, Apple wades into an already big market for small tablets. Will it shoot to the top of the sales charts, or could another tablet - one with a smaller price tag - better suit your needs?

When Apple unwrapped the iPad Mini, it entered a market that's already pretty packed.

"You already had a lot of really good choices and what we've got now is Apple coming in to a space that's kind of between those 7-inch tablets, You already had a lot of really good choices and what we've got now is Apple coming in to a space that's kind of between those 7-inch tablets, and the full-size 10-inch or so tablets," said Paul Reynolds, Consumer Reports Senior Electronics Editor.

The first major distinction between Apple and the Mini crowd is a slightly bigger screen: 7.9 inches versus 7 inches for the rest. The second difference is the price. The Kindle Fire HD, The Barnes and Noble Nook HD and the Google Nexus 7, are priced just under $200. Apple's iPad Mini costs $329, which is $170 less than the most up-to-date full-sized iPad.

Those looking to sync the Apple products they already own or who simply desire Apple's cache may be willing to spend the money. For others, it may send them elsewhere.

Among the others, the Kindle and the Nook are seen as lacking in apps compared to their Apple and Android competitors, while the Nexus 7's weakness is said to be music and movies.

But 'tis the season for consumers to start their tech wish lists.

"Competitors are going to get into this space, which is going to mean more choices for consumers," said Reynolds.

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