Apple CEO Tim Cook and his cohorts have taken to the stage tonight to officially announce the iPad mini. As expected, the tab is a diminutive version of its bigger brother, with a few new tricks up its sleeves to boot. Read on for the full details.
The iPad mini is a shrunken iPad in more than name only. The display is a 7.9-inch Retina Display number, which sizes the tablet to compete with the likes of the Google Nexus 7 and the Amazon Kindle Fire. And it’s got a crazy 1024×768 resolution.
In terms of build and design, the iPad mini borrows something from the new iPod touch. The bezel is very thin around the sides, and the whole thing is just 7.2mm thick, and 0.68lbs in weight. That’s half the weight of the iPad, and the thickness of a pencil. And yes, it’s got it’s own Smart Cover
As you’d expect, the iPad mini comes pre-loaded with iOS 6, which brings with it features like Passbook, the much-maligned Apple Maps and Siri.
All that’s powered by an Apple A5 chip – the same as is in the iPad 3. That comes with 1GHz of RAM. Just as well, as gaming is one of the things that Apple’s really pushing with the iPad mini. Make no mistake, this is a device for content consumption, more than content creation.
Specifically, the iPad mini will be poised to take some of the wind out of the Kindle’s sales in the run up to Christmas, and Apple is pushing hard on its reading capabilities with iBooks – it’ll be better suited to that than the current iPad, too, given it’s built to be held with one hand. iBooks has been bumped up, as such – now offering book updates and a continuous vertical scrolling option.
The cameras on the iPad mini are a 5-Meg iSight number on the back and a FaceTime HD beauty on the front. Connectivity is handled by WiFi or 4G LTE.
The reason the fully-sized iPad is able to offer such an impressive battery life is because batteries make up the bulk of its innards. Does the smaller iPad mini suffer for being smaller? No: Apple claims that the battery life on the mini will push 10 hours, too.
So, on to the crucial details: price and release date. The iPad mini will come in just a 16GB flavour. The price for that is $329 (which converts to £206, but will actually be £269) for the WiFi model, and the iPad mini will be available to pre-order in the UK on October 26th, and will ship on November 2nd.
Oh, and it’s got the Lightning connector, too. This goes along with an updated version of its bigger brother, which gets an A6X processor and the Lightning connector. So there you have it: the iPad mini… The tablet that Apple said it’d never make. Is it everything you’ve been hoping for?