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iPad-Mini-08.pngDespite some early reservations by critics and consumers alike, the iPad Mini is now doing brisk business, to the point where it's now in short supply in some regions. Already looking to the future, Apple are now thought to be planning a successor for the smaller tablet, an iPad Mini 2 packing in a high resolution Retina Display.

Sources in China claim that AU Optronics, Apple's supplier of 1024 x 768 panels in the current iPad Mini, have been told to prepare for mass production of 7.9-inch 2048 x 1536 by the second half of 2013.

That would lead to a device with a staggering 497 ppi.

Though criticised for not bringing the Retina Display to the iPad Mini in its first form, there may be more than just shrewd business behind Apple's descison. Technology may be holding back the hi-res handheld tablet, with AU Optronics only now achieving high resolution breakthroughs with IGZO (indium gallium zinc oxide) components. The Sharp-developed technology however has only publicly hit resolution highs of 1280 x 800 so far.

via: SlashGear / DoNews

Apple iPad Mini vs Google Nexus 7 vs Amazon Kindle Fire HD
Apple iPad Mini officially revealed: Specs, features, pricing and release date!

air_ipad2-104755.jpgApple are thought to be considering ditching Intel's processors from their future computers in favour of their own mobile processors, a new report has revealed.

Sources "familiar with the company's research" have told Bloomberg that the Cupertino tech giants believe that their mobile processors will one day be powerful enough to power their iMac and MacBook computers.

Though such a move is unlikely to happen "in the next few years", Apple's processors are already coming on leaps and bounds, with the current full size iPad (4th generation) housing an A6X processor twice as fast as its A5X predecessor, letting it comfortable display super-high resolution Retina Display graphics and increasingly demanding 3D gaming apps.

"Apple is a trendsetter, and once they did their own chip many others may pursue a similar path," said analyst Sergis Mushell of Gartner Inc.

However, such a move may come at the cost of performance, suggested Mushell:

"If mobility is more important than functionality, then we will have a completely different environment than we are dealing with today."

Via: Bloomberg

iPad-Mini-vs-top.jpgResearch firm IDC has just revealed findings on the Q3 tablet market share. And while Apple's iPad still sits on top of the pile, Samsung are leading the charge of growing Android tablet sales.

Though maintaining pole position with 50.4% of the tablet market share for Q3 2012, Apple's iPad share is down from 59.7% in the previous quarter.

However, Samsung's share has rocketed by 325% to 18.4%, likely sparked by the Note 10.1 tablet, and soon to be propelled further by the Nexus 10.

Likewise, ASUS's Android tablet sales saw an increase of more than 240%, a large portion of which would certainly go down to their Google Nexus 7 tablet, as well as their consistently impressive Transformer range.

According to IDC, total tablet shipments hit 27.8 million during Q3 2012. That's almost a 50% increase year-on-year, and a 7% rise against the previous quarter.

For more on the current tablet market, visit IDC for the full breakdown of their findings.

ifixit-ipad-mini.jpegNo sooner has the iPad Mini been put on sale than it's been torn apart by gadget fans looking to discover its every secret. We've already had the iFixit team gauge how difficult it'd be to carry out DIY repairs on the diminutive tablet (conclusion? very difficult), and now component value estimators IHS have ripped the slate apart to figure out exactly how much it costs for Apple to put together.

Despite carrying a $329 price tag (£269 in the UK), the iPad Mini costs just $188 (£118) to make. $80 of that total is display, while upping the storage to 32GB costs just $15.50 in manufacturing parts, and just $46.50 for the 64GB storage amount.

So, Apple are skimming a fair amount of cream off the top of their manufacturing costs with the retail pricing of the iPad Mini, but it's hardly surprising. You don't become the world's most valuable company without an aggressive pricing strategy, and the manufacturing costs of course do not factor in Apple's likely-huge marketing and R&D costs.

The IHS report also reveals further details on whose individual components make up the whole that is the iPad Mini. Samsung make the A5 processor powering the device, , with LG and AU Optronics handling the display, Hynix Semiconductor providing flash memory chips and Broadcom dishing out the wireless chips.

Via: AllThingsD

ifixit-ipad-mini.jpegGetting an iPad Mini today? Then you'll also want to invest in a protective case and some insurance for it, as the latest iFixit tear-down has shown Apple's newest tablet to be just as difficult to repair as its predecessors.

Though a damaged screen should be a difficult but possible DIY fix due to the glass panel not being fixed to the display, any internal damage to component are almost impossible to fix, due to elements being soldered together.

It's the second Apple product this year to come with a DIY warning from the gadget-fixing site, with the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display considered by the experts at the site to be on of the hardest laptops ever to fix manually.

The teardown also reveals some info an the iPad Mini's components. Despite reports that Samsung and Apple were now longer to partner for Apple device components, iFixit's iPad Mini had a Samsung display. Sharp and LG are both said to have provided displays for the line too.

Confirming Phil Schillers claims, the iFixit team discovered stereo (not mono) speakers onboard, as well as the same dual-core A5 processor as the iPad 2.

Via: iFixit

Apple iPad Mini vs Google Nexus 7 vs Amazon Kindle Fire HD
Apple iPad Mini officially revealed: Specs, features, pricing and release date!

iPad-Mini-03.pngIt's been success after success for Apple product launches in recent times, with the iPad 3 selling three million units in the first three days of sale, and the iPhone 5 being shifted a whopping 5 million times in its opening weekend.

However, analysts are expecting are slightly more muted response to the launch of the iPad Mini, which hits stores today. Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster (who has a knack for getting these figures more-or-less correct), predicts 1.5 million iPad Mini's to be sold during the opening weekend, around half as many as the full size iPad 3 managed at launch.

Not that Apple should be too worried; Munster is expecting the iPad Mini to be a slow burner that'll pick up sales in the run-up to Christmas and beyond.

"We believe that over time that will change, and consumers will gradually realize the benefits of the smaller form factor iPad, which will drive adoption," Munster said, "although it may not take form in lines for tomorrow's launch."

A few factors may contribute to the slow start for the smaller tablet. Firstly, Hurricane Sandy which has devastated the East Coast of America has forced many Apple stores to close, hurting potential launch sales. Secondly, the wait for the LTE enhanced version of the iPad Mini, launching mid-November, could put prospective buyers off. Lastly, there's the increased marketing push from Amazon and Google for the Kindle Fire HD and Nexus 7 respectively, with Apple's tablet for the first time entering a product category where others have already established themselves, as well as potential canibalised sales through the launch of the more powerful iPad 4 on the same day..

Time will tell is Apple's slow-and-steady approach proves fruitful, or if the analysts slightly gloomy outlook proves premature.


Apple iPad Mini vs Google Nexus 7 vs Amazon Kindle Fire HD
Apple iPad Mini officially revealed: Specs, features, pricing and release date!

rotten apple.JPGApple have been asked to rewrite and republish their court-ordered apology to Samsung after their first half-hearted attempt was deemed unacceptable and "non-compliant" by a UK court.

Having lost an infringement case relating to Apple's accusation that the Samsung Galaxy Tab range copied the iPad design, Apple were ordered to publish an apology on their website to soothe damages caused by the public case.

Apple did this, but in a way the courts felt was unsatisfactory.

For starters, the apology was hidden away behind a tiny hyperlink on Apple's homepage, written in a tiny font size.

The content of the apology was also considered questionable, with Apple seen to be accepting the UK courts decision while simultaneously referring to German and US courts which had ruled in the Cupertino company's favour.

Apple's prank-like post seems to have backfired now however, with a new post required that must produce the apology in full on the homepage in an 11-point font size, as well as making their apology more clear.

Apple have argued that they would require 14 days to do this, but the courts have ruled that it must appear online within 48 hours, should the iPhone makers wish to avoid further penalties.

Via: Guardian

stereo-ipad-mini.jpegDespite hosting an official launch event for the iPad Mini, there were still a few questions left unanswered by Apple at the tablet's launch.

One such question was whether or not the iPad Mini had a stereo speaker unit or just a mono one, an uncertainty capitalised upon by Amazon with a blow-by-blow spec comparison between the iPad Mini and Amazon Kindle Fire HD, inevitably in favour of their own product.

The speaker mystery at least however has now been cleared up by Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller. Replying to an email direct from a customer called "Alex" who was concerned about the speaker quality on the new tablet, Schiller gave a simple three-word emailed response: "It is stereo".

Additional sources, including The Verge's Joshua Toplosky, have since independently verified the inclusion of stereo speakers.

In the UK, iPad Mini Wi-Fi will sell for £269 for the 16GB model, £349 for the 32GB model and £429 for the 64GB model. Pop £100 onto the end of each of those prices if you want a version with a 4G connection.

In America, the iPad Mini is starting at $329 for the 16GB Wi-Fi only model, a 32GB iPad Mini is $429, with the 64GB version available for $519. If you're after LTE connectivity, add $130 to the price of each model.

Wi-Fi only models will launch on November 2nd. Models with a cellular connection will land two weeks later. Pre-orders kicked off on October 26th.

Via: 9to5Mac

Apple iPad Mini vs Google Nexus 7 vs Amazon Kindle Fire HD
Apple iPad Mini officially revealed: Specs, features, pricing and release date!

The gloves are off in the battle between the 7-inch tablets, with Amazon today posting an advert slamming Apple's iPad Mini on the homepage.

Presented as a direct comparison between the iPad Mini and their own Kindle Fire HD device, Amazon go on the offensive, stating that despite the Kindle Fire HD being 0.9 inches smaller than Apple's device it still has a "stunning HD display with 30 per cent more pixels than iPad mini". According to Amazon, the iPad Mini only sports a "standard definition, low-resolution display".

Posting a pixels-per-inch comparison (216ppi to 163ppi in favour of Amazon's tablet), Amazon claim that you can "watch HD movies and TV" on its tablet, but not on the iPad mini where there's "No HD movies or TV."

Continuing the blow-by-blow spec-by-spec comparison, Amazon's Kindle Fire has "dual stereo speakers", while the iPad Mini has a "mono speaker".

Amazon also claim faster web speeds than the iPad Mini, with the Kindle Fire HD offering, "ultra-fast MIMO Wi-Fi", though Amazon fail to add that the iPad Mini also has Wi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g/n) and 4G mobile broadband speeds.

Perhaps the key comparison though is price, showing the $329 iPad Mini to be far more expensive than the $199 Kindle Fire HD.

Amazon even go so far as to add a quote from tech site Gizmodo, which states that "...your [Apple's] 7.9-inch tablet has far fewer pixels than the competing 7-inch tablets! You're cramming a worse screen in there, charging more, and accusing others of compromise? Ballsy," hammering home the point. hasn't followed suit with a similar advert however, with the great British reserve maintained.

Via: The Next Web

Apple iPad Mini vs Google Nexus 7 vs Amazon Kindle Fire HD

iPad-Mini-07.pngAnd to think the Twitter masses were calling the iPad Mini too expensive! Just a few hours after going up for pre-order in the UK, Apple have already sold out of the £269 entry-level iPad Mini.

Those hoping to get the 16GB Wi-Fi only model of the 7.9 inch tablet are now being told they'll have to wait at least two weeks beyond the initial November 2nd launch date to see their orders fulfilled.

Those after 32GB and 64GB, as well as Wi-Fi + cellular variants can still grab a pre-order that'll be delivered on November 2.

It seems the premium over competitors like the Google Nexus 7 (and £100 over the Kindle Fire HD) hasn't put off consumers, many of whom see the iPad brand as synonymous with tablet devices.


Apple iPad Mini officially revealed: Specs, features, pricing and release date!
Apple iPad Mini vs Google Nexus 7 vs Amazon Kindle Fire HD
Apple iPad Mini: The final nail in Steve Jobs' coffin?

iPad Mini too expensive? Apple don't think so

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Feel the iPad Mini pricing is just a little too steep for your wallet? It's not a feeling shared by Apple, with the Cupertino tech firm's marketing chief Phil Schiller defending the price of the diminutive tablet, saying that it makes buying an iPad "even more affordable".

Launched on Tuesday night at an eventful San Jose showcase from Apple, the 7.9 inch tablet starts a £269; roughly £100 more than seven inch tablet rivals the Google Nexus 7 and Amazon Kindle Fire HD, despite lacking the attractive Retina Display of its larger siblings.

Schiller however remains confident that the tablet offers good value for money, with the iPad Mini offering a premium user experience.

"Others have tried to make tablets smaller than the iPad and they've failed miserably," he stated during the presentation at the event.

"These are not great experiences."

As the cheapest iPad model in their growing range, Apple believe the iPad Mini will be as successful as its predecessors, says Schiller:

"The iPad is far and away the most successful product in its category. The most affordable product we've made so far was $399 and people were choosing that over those devices," he told Reuters.

"And now you can get a device that's even more affordable at $329 in this great new form, and I think a lot of customers are going to be very excited about that."

jobs-ipad-mini.jpg"The 10-inch screen size is the minimum size required to create great tablet apps".

Not our words, but those of Steve Jobs, the late, great Apple leader. Kickstarting the tablet revolution with the launch of the first iPad in 2010, Jobs didn't spare a kind word for tablets in the 7-inch product category.

"No tablet can compete with the mobility of a smartphone, its ease of fitting into your pocket or purse, its unobtrusiveness when used in a crowd," Jobs continued during the 18 October 2010 Apple earnings results conference.

"Given that all tablet users will already have a smartphone in their pockets, giving up precious display area to fit a tablet in our pockets is clearly the wrong tradeoff. The seven-inch tablets are tweeners, too big to compete with a smartphone and too small to compete with an iPad".

And yet here we are today, just over a year since Jobs' death with our very own Apple "tweener", the iPad Mini.iPad-Mini-02.pngAt 7.9 inches in size, it certainly sits at the larger end of the 7-inch spectrum, and while offering more screen real estate than competitors due to its 4:3 ratio (roughly 30 square inches compared to 22 square inches for the 16:10 Google Nexus 7 and 21.4 square inches for the 17:10 Kindle Fire), it's still only two-thirds the size of a full-fat iPad.

Steve Jobs had mused over how to make up the difference, stating that "one could increase the resolution of the display." Apple have failed to do that, with the iPad Mini sitting at the same 1,024x768 resolution as the iPad 2, giving it a lower pixel-per-inch number than rivals the Kindle Fire HD and Google Nexus 7.

Even if they had upped the resolution, Jobs would still have branded such a jump as "meaningless", once even humorously concluding that Apple would have to throw a sheet of sandpaper in with any potential 7-inch tablet they may make "so that the user can sand down their fingers to around one quarter of the present size".

But the post-Jobs era Apple have pressed forward with the smaller tablet design regardless. It's gathering some praise, but a mostly muted response from analysts and consumers alike.

It's not the first time in recent months that Apple have overlooked the design philosophy that Jobs pushed. Jobs had often stated that for a smartphone to fit comfortably in a user's hand, 3.5-inches was the "sweet spot":

"A 3.5 inch handset size is the 'sweet spot' for mobile phone design; big enough to produce detailed, legible graphics, but small enough to fit comfortably in the hand and pocket."

And yet we now have the elongated, 4-inch iPhone 5. It's said to have been the last product that Jobs worked closely on, and it'd be amazing to have seen the discussion that surrounded the jump to a larger screen size, and Jobs' stance on the final decision.
iPhone-5-official-05.pngThere's anecdotal evidence that Steve Jobs had at the very least changed his mind when it came to 7-inch tablets. During the never-ending Apple Vs Samsung patent trial, an email from Eddie Cue, head of Apple's Internet software and services, was presented as evidence that suggested Jobs was warming to the idea of a smaller iPad. Cue wrote:

"Having used a Samsung Galaxy, I tend to agree with many of the comments below (except moving off the iPad). I believe there will be a 7' market and we should do one. I expressed this to Steve several times since Thanksgiving and he seemed very receptive the last time. I found email, books, Facebook and video very compelling on a 7'. Web browsing is definitely the weakest point, but still usable."

But such receptivity never left Jobs mouth in his lifetime, or at least not publicly.

If there was one thing that Steve Jobs really understood, it was great design and how to turn ideas into intuitive products. This is the man whose attention to detail, right down to the way his love for calligraphy inspired font choices, led to the sublime Mac OS, a completely graphical operating system that avoided command line trickery altogether.

This attention to detail, which characterised Apple during Jobs' tenure at the top, now seems to be missing; just take a look at how much wasted space there is in full-screen apps on OS X Mountain Lion, and the dated "paper texture" looks of many Apple-built applications. And then there's the absolute disaster that is Apple Maps, which is as useful a mapping app as drawing a squiggly line on a slice of bread, throwing it in a duck pond and fishing it out ten minutes later after the birds and water have had their wicked way with it.

That's not to say the iPad Mini will be a bad device. Far from it; we expect it to meet the high standards that all Apple's products do, and to be a similar commercial success to the iPhone 5, now estimated to have sold almost ten million units. All this despite Jobs' concerns about screen size.Thumbnail image for Screen Shot 2012-10-05 at 11.38.52.pngBut what's certain is that we have now fully entered the post-Jobs era, where the man's once-infallible opinions count for little.

Apple's continued successes prove that that doesn't spell financial doom for the company.

But what is worrying is that Apple at present don't seem too fussed about innovating. The iPad Mini is chasing a market dominated by Android tablets, one that Amazon and Google's loss-leading approach to hardware seems to have sewn up. The iPhone 5 sees Apple following the market trend towards ever-larger handsets, rather than re-inventing the wheel the way the iPhone once did. And the fourth generation iPad, also revealed last night, seems incredibly cynical, considering it follows just under 8 months after the launch of the 3rd generation "New" iPad. It wasn't new for very long, eh? While Apple don't owe their customers eternal bragging rights, it's easy to understand consumers' frustrations; when early adopters commit to forking out upwards of £400 for a new gadget, you're bound to rile even the most devout Apple fanboys when you relegate their relatively new toys to an understudy role so soon after revealing them.

One of Steve Jobs' favourite quotes was from ice hockey player Wayne Gretzky: "I skate to where the puck is going to be." Jobs always aimed to be one step ahead of the competition. Whether post-Jobs era Apple sees innovation as just as important as he did going forward remains to be seen.

Apple iPad Mini vs Google Nexus 7 vs Amazon Kindle Fire HD
Apple iPad Mini officially revealed: Specs, features, pricing and release date!

iPad-Mini-08.pngLooking to pick up one of last night's two new 4G packing Apple tablets, the iPad Mini and iPad 4th generation? In a first for UK iPad fans, you can! Both the iPad Mini and iPad 4 will be available on the UK's new superfast mobile broadband network from EE.

But only through EE. And only EVER through EE, unless further models are introduced. That's not due to any exclusivity deal with EE's brand-spanking new 4G mobile data plans, or at least not officially. It's down to the signalling LTE bands used.

The new iPads are limited to 1, 3, 5, 13, and 25 LTE bands, meaning that when the 4G spectrum is expanded for the likes of O2 and Vodafone on the 800MHz and 2.6GHz frequency bands, these new iPads won't be compatible with their 4G networks.

So, if you're after a 4G iPad and you buy one of the new ones, you're setting yourself up to be tied to EE pretty much forever with it. If you're after a 4G iPad on one of the other mobile data provider's proposed forthcoming networks, you'll have to keep your fingers crossed that Apple eventually offer refreshed models.

iPad-Mini-vs-top.jpgreview-line.JPGYears of leaks, rumours, hopes and more than a fair few dismissive remarks on the worth of seven inch tablets from Steve Jobs are over! The Apple iPad Mini has finally been revealed. But in the intermittent years between the launch of the original iPad and today's packed launch event, the tablet space is busier than ever. The 7-inch market that the iPad Mini finds itself in is particularly competitive, with great, low price Android offerings such as the Google Nexus 7 and Amazon Kindle Fire HD.

So which should you be popping into your oversized back pocket? We compare the pros and cons of the Apple iPad Mini, Google Nexus 7 and Amazon Kindle Fire HD in our tech face-off below!

Apple iPad Mini

Picture an iPod Touch in your head, then blow it up to 7.9 inches in size. That's basically the newly revealed iPad Mini, a diminutive iPad or oversized iPod Touch depending on how you look at it. Still built from aluminium, it's dimensions measure 200mm x 134.7mm x 7.2mm, and weighs just 308 grams, making it the lightest tablet on this list. As is standard with Apple mobile products, a single Home button sits on the bottom edge of the bezel, with a video conferencing camera up top. With a thinner bezel on the sides and a curved back, it'll fit nicely into one hand. Being made from aluminium, it'll match the same solid construction standards that make Apple products so darn attractive.

Google Nexus 7

Google's Nexus 7 tablet, built by ASUS, measures 7 inches across. ASUS have impressed us in the past with their Transformer tablet range, and the practice they've put in building their own gear sees the Nexus 7 come together quite wonderfully. Measuring 198.5 x 120 x 10.45mm and weighing 340 grams, it fits nicely in one hand, without being too heavy or unbalanced. A black bezel around the screen gives room to rest fingers, without impeding the size of the actual display. A scratch resistant Corning glass display should go some way to protecting the device from bumps and scrapes, and while its casing is built from plastic rather than the metal build found in iPad models, its black pockmarked back still has a premium feel to it.

Amazon Kindle Fire HD

The Amazon Kindle Fire HD is roughly the same size as the Nexus 7 at 193 mm x 137 mm x 10.3 mm, and a bit heavier at 395 grams. Again, it fits nicely in one hand, but has a slightly wider black bezel than we'd usually hope for. Gorilla Glass protects the screen from scrapes, and though built from black rubberised plastic, the casing still looks good and feels solidly put together.

Apple iPad Mini

Under the hood of the iPad Mini you'll find an Apple A5 dual-core processor, the same as is found in the full size iPad 2, but not as speedy as the brand-spanking new A6X chip in the just-unveiled iPad 4th generation. This should be perfect for watching high-definition video and scrolling through web pages and 2D apps, though intensive 3D gaming apps that run smoothly on the newest full-size iPads may not work at all.

Both Wi-Fi and 4G connectivity is available in the iPad Mini, meaning that even if you're away from a Wi-Fi connection, you'll still be able to get speedy web access on the tablet over a mobile connection. In the UK, EE offer 4G mobile connections, and they're not too outlandishly priced; expect a £5 to £10 premium per month over standard 3G connections.

Two cameras feature on the iPad Mini, a 5MP iSight Camera on the rear and a 720p HD Facetime camera for video calling up front. Apple's imaging technology tends to be pretty good, so expect good results from the rear camera for still photos. You'll still look a pillock using a tablet-sized device as a camera.

Sadly, the Retina Display doesn't make it into the iPad Mini. The 7.9 inch display runs at a relatively low 1024x768 resolution, with a 163ppi. That's lower than all the other tablets on this list, and disappointing considering Apple's pedigree in this field.

Other features include an accelerometer, Bluetooth, GPS and gyroscope, but there's no NFC contactless data transfer option, one of the tech industry's current most-wanted features.

Google Nexus 7

The Nexus 7 uses a speedy NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core processor, with a 12-core GPU that allows games and apps to run marvellously smoothly. You'll rarely find a moment when the tablet has to catch up with the actions you're asking of it.

Wi-Fi connectivity is built in, but there's no 3G or 4G option with the Nexus 7, meaning you'll always need to be near a Wi-Fi network or public hotspot to access web features.

A microphone and front-facing 1.2MP camera is available for video calling, but there's no rear-facing camera of higher resolution, as you'd find in some rival tablets. This is no bad thing; you look like an idiot holding up a tablet to take a picture, and the results are uniformly awful.

With a resolution of 1280x800 (with a 216 ppi), the Nexus 7 screen is not of Retina Display standards. It's still great for watching films on and is a good match for its Android rivals of similar size, but those spoiled by Apple's super-high resolution displays will notice a lack of definition.

Other features include an accelerometer, GPS, magnetometer and gyroscope. NFC connectivity is available too, letting you use the Android Beam feature to touch two devices together to share information and files. Eventually, NFC payment points in stores will let you hook your Nexus 7 up to your bank details, and pay with your tablet by placing it against payment points.

Amazon Kindle Fire HD

The Kindle Fire HD uses a 1.2GHz dual-core processor. That's fine for basic web browsing and apps that aren't too graphically intensive, but 3D games can struggle to keep consistent frame rates. For most tableting tasks though, it shouldn't be a problem; watching 720p video for instance is great.

Wi-Fi connectivity is built in, but again there's no 3G or 4G option here, meaning you'll again need to be near a Wi-Fi network or public hotspot to access web features.

A microphone and front-facing HD camera is available for video calling, but there's no rear-camera. Again, no bad thing considering how bad they usually are.

Screen resolution is an exact match for the Nexus 7, with the same 1280x800 screen and 216ppi. However, colours are more vibrant and black levels deeper, making this our preferred screen of the two. Still not quite a Retina-beater though.

Other sensors include an accelerometer and gyroscope, as well as Bluetooth connectivity a microUSB connection and a handy micro-HDMI connection for pushing videos and pictures to a big screen, a great feature missing from the other tablets here.

Interface and Apps
Apple iPad Mini

iOS 6 sits in Apple's iPad Mini, and it's wonderfully designed. While not as customisable as Google's Android, it's easy on the eye and incredibly easy to use; put an iPad Mini in a tech novice's hands and they'll figure out how to work it in minutes.

iOS 6 is Apple's most current mobile operating system. It puts software known as apps into a grid of icons. Simply tapping them fires them up. Apps can be dragged on top of each other to create folders, or spread across multiple homescreens. Notifications such as email alerts and social networking updates can be accessed by dragging a toolbar down from the top of the screen. It's all very simple and intuitive.

Apps can be purchased from Apple's App Store. Seeing as they invented the whole concept of mobile "Apps" as we know them today, it's unsurprising that their's is the most comprehensive offering on this list. Over 700,000 apps are available to iPad Mini users, 275,000 of which are optimised for the iPad Mini. Be it gaming apps, educational apps, photography apps, music or reference, the App Store's wares are of a consistently high standard. "There's an App for everything" to coin Apple's phrase, but its pretty much true, and plenty of them are free too.

Google Nexus 7

Being a Google-branded device, the Nexus 7 is obviously be going to use Android, the search giant's own mobile operating system, as the base of its software. Android 4.1 Jelly Bean is the latest available version of Android, and it's installed here on the Nexus 7.

Android is a great operating system, and it's here in its "vanilla" version, unsullied by bloatware or design changes that other manufacturers sometimes lay on top of Google's open OS.

As well as the afore-mentioned Android Beam NFC functionality, Android has plenty working in its favour. Multiple homescreens can be totally customised, with intuitive "long presses" letting you add app shortcuts across the device. There are also resizeable Live Widgets available through Android; these are larger icons spread across the homescreens that offer live updating information at a glance. These may come in the form of condensed Twitter or Facebook feeds, email inboxes or weather reports, for example. It's a great looking OS and incredibly flexible, though it's slightly more complex than Apple's iOS, which idiot-proofs all access to settings and customisation options. Tech tinkerers will get the most from Android.

Apps come courtesy of Google's Play Store. Over 600,000 apps are available through the store, and unlike Apple, Google are open to more wacky (sometimes dubious) submissions. While this makes it slightly more prone to attracting hackers and unsavoury apps, there are also loads of really incredible apps for unlocking the full potential of your hardware. The standard of Android apps has greatly improved in recent times; whether you're a gamer, a reader, someone hunting news stories or recipes, a photographer or a blogger, there's something for everyone. Many are free too, and few cost more than £3 or so. When it comes to mapping, Google's Maps app, included here for free, is far and away the best solution, particularly in comparison to the woeful Apple Maps.

Amazon Kindle Fire HD

A heavily-altered version of Google's Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich OS is installed on the Kindle Fire HD. Clearly directed at encouraging you to buy content from Amazon's online stores, it's not very customisable at all, and not always a pleasant experience to use.

On the main screen a central carrousel of your most recently used apps, books, videos and magazines can be spun through. Once you settle on one, a row appears below that suggests similar content that other users have bought. A search bar sits at the top of the screen, while a list of categorised sections houses similar content together below that. It's easy to find what you want, though the connected content stores are often slow to load, and don't make great use of the screen real estate on offer to display the information you need.

Despite being an Android device, the Kindle Fire HD has its own Android app store. This is bad, not because it doesn't work or isn't easy to navigate, but because it offers far less apps than the standard Google Play Store does. You'll still get all the big names (Twitter, Facebook, Angry Birds etc), but there's just not as much to chose from. If you buy an Android app for Amazon's app store though, it'll be available on all your other devices using the Google OS. Gamers may want to look elsewhere regardless; the dual-core processor isn't quite up to the task of playing more advanced Android games.

Apple iPad Mini

If you're familiar with Apple's iTunes store then you'll be right at home downloading movies and TV shows on the iPad Mini. A gigantic catalogue of films in both standard definition and high definition can be both rented and bought from the store. New releases in HD quality are usually about £13.99, and standard definition films about £9.99. The quality of films on iTunes is top notch; if you can buy it online or in your local HMV, chances are you'll find it on iTunes. It's a shame the screen resolution is lower than on a regular sized iPad, though with the screen significantly smaller, it'll still be very easy on the eye.

Transferring your own content onto an iPad can be bit troublesome, as you have to connect to a Mac or PC and use the desktop iTunes software to manage your content. It can be picky about which file formats it accepts, so it may be worth investing in some file format conversion software or hunting down a reliable one online.

Regardless, the App Store has loads of great movie streaming apps, including LOVEFiLM and Netflix. Movie buffs will be spoiled for choice.

Google Nexus 7

The default option for getting movies and TV shows onto the Google Nexus 7 is Google's Play Movies store. Here you can rent movies, or if you live in the US TV shows too. New releases are never more than £3.49 for standard definition or £4.49 for HD content. There's a good selection of movies from across the ages (though there's a bias towards newer blockbusters), and the widescreen display works well for playing them back, with decent audio quality from the built-in speakers.

As well as easily adding your own personal video collection from a PC over the included microUSB connection, the Google Play app store has access to many other video playing and streaming apps, such as Netflix. There are plenty of options for film fans here.

Amazon Kindle Fire HD

Through the Amazon Prime one-month trial that comes with the tablet (usually £49 a year with a host of other benefits), you get unlimited access to the Amazon Instant Video collection, offering Netflix style streaming. Searching for content is easy and the library is robust. If you're a LOVEFiLM Instant subscriber, you also get "X-Ray" features with movies, which hooks up to the IMDB movie fact database and overlays key details over the action. There are less movie options available to Kindle Fire HD users, but what's on offer here is of a high standard, in terms of both titles and the way they're presented.

Also, the speakers on the Kindle Fire HD are superb, loud enough for a few friends to comfortably cram around the screen and have listen. Though sharing the same resolution and size display as the Nexus 7, contrast levels seem deeper and colours more vibrant. Visually and sonically, it's the better of the two Android devices.

Apple iPad Mini

iBooks is your portal to literature on the iPad Mini. It offers 1.5 million books (many of which are free) and arranges them in an attractive bookshelf-style library. Text can be resized to suit your preference, with books slightly cheaper than their paper-and-print counterparts.

iCloud features mean that if you own another Apple device, like an iPhone, you can read on one device and pick up on another exactly where you left off on the other device. The new version of iBooks launched tonight also offers continuos scrolling as an option if you'd rather read your books as one long document, and adds Twitter and Facebook sharing of your favourite quotations and passages.

If you're after newspapers of magazines, Newstand is your app of choice, letting you add subscriptions to many major publications, automatically downloading new issues as they become available. Many publishers put most effort into the iPad versions of their magazines, making for the most interactive and visually appealing versions available in any medium. The same goes for comics, with a really love selection of apps available for fans of the superhero's medium of choice.

Google Nexus 7

As with Play Movies, there's the Play Books app for literature on the Nexus 7. It's an easily navigated store, broken down into categories and highlighting new releases or popular collections or seasonal genres. There are plenty of free classic books on the store, while new releases are pretty much a match for other outlets, and usually a few quid cheaper than the paper versions. Magazines are available through the Google Play Magazines app too, offering subscriptions and back issues. They look great, with full screen, colourful photography. Books come in open ePub and PDF formats, which work with most devices other than the Kindle eReaders.

Again, the Google Play Store houses plenty of other reading material, from Amazon's own excellent Kindle app to comic book readers form the likes of Marvel and DC, as well as standalone single book apps.

Reading on the Google Nexus 7 is comfortable; many apps offer adjustable text sizes and the backlight makes it good for reading in the dark, though it's not a patch on how comfortable it is to read an e-Ink eReader or regular paperback.

Amazon Kindle Fire HD

Amazon's Kindle Fire HD is probably the best option if you're into your books of the three tablets compared here. Tapping into the extensive Kindle book store, you've got nearly a million books on offer, the majority of which are under £3.99 and many free too. Kindle (AZW), TXT, PDF, unprotected MOBI and PRC files formats are handled natively, and there's also support for Audible Enhanced format (AAX), DOC and DOCX formats through other apps. Whispersync technology keeps all your bookmarks and last page read in books tracked across devices; if you read on a smartphone or Kindle eReader as well as the Kindle Fire HD, you'll go back to the right point as soon as you pick up the next device.

Amazon Prime members also get access to the Kindle Owner's Lending Library, letting you "rent" 180,000 titles for free, with no due dates. You'll get one book a month, with a one month free trial for Amazon Prime with the Kindle Fire HD. Prime subscriptions cost £49 year, and adds unlimited free one-day delivery to all your physical orders as well as other benefits.

150 magazines are available through the Kindle Fire HD too, including Vogue, GQ and Vanity Fair, as well as newspapers such as the Guardian. Subscriptions are uniformly cheaper than print editions and look great on the vibrant screen.

Apple iPad Mini

16GB, 32GB and 64GB versions of the iPad Mini are available, offering a nice spread of storage options for all budgets. However, with the size of iOS apps skyrocketing since the introduction of the Retina Display, you're best to grab the 32GB version at the very least. There's no microSD expansion on offer here either; once you've bought it that's all the physical storage space you're ever going to get.

If you need more storage space, you're going to have to find a cloud storage provider. We'd suggest Dropbox (being free and offering the easiest ways to expand your storage space without spending an extra penny), though Apple's iCloud may be more up your street, particularly if you regularly use other Apple products. 5GB of iCloud storage comes as free, but for a fee that can be expanded to as much as 50GB.

Google Nexus 7

The Google Nexus 7 currently comes in 8GB and 16GB versions, but with no microSD support, that's what you're left with forever. However, rumour has it that a 32GB version will launch in the coming days or weeks, and will be priced no more than £199 (the current price for the 16GB version). At that price, a 32GB option is an absolute steal. You can of course supplement storage with a cloud-based solution. We'd suggest Dropbox which is free, and offers plenty of ways to easily boost your storage space for free too as well as premium options.

Amazon Kindle Fire HD

16GB and 32GB versions of the Kindle Fire HD are available, and all models are well priced for the storage they offer. Again, there's no microSD slot here, so you'll need to supplement storage with a cloud service. Amazon offer unlimited free cloud storage space for any item you buy from their stores and limited storage space for your personal files, though we'd still recommend Dropbox for your own files.

Battery Life
Apple iPad Mini

You'll get 10 hours of web browsing, video viewing or music playback from the iPad Mini, or 9 hours if you're connected to a cellular network. From our experience with other iPads, that's a pretty trustworthy estimate, and pretty much as good as it gets in tablet land.

Google Nexus 7

Google quote 9 hours of HD video playback, 10 hours of web browsing, 10 hours of book reading and 300 hours in standby for the Nexus 7. That's above average and commendable.

Amazon Kindle Fire HD

the Kindle Fire HD offers 11 quoted hours of reading, surfing the web on Wi-Fi, watching video, or listening to music. Again that's above average and a good amount of time, but as Amazon admits, that'll vary depending on your usage.


Apple iPad Mini

In the UK the iPad Mini Wi-Fi will sell for £269 for the 16GB model, £349 for the 32GB model and £429 for the 64GB model. Pop £100 onto the end of each of those prices if you want a version with a 4G connection. However, they're not on sale yet; pre-orders open on October 26, with Wi-Fi models shipping by November 2nd. Those with cellular connections will follow a fortnight later.

Google Nexus 7

Google's Nexus 7 costs £159 for the 8GB version, and £199 for the 16GB version. However, a 32GB version at the same £199 price point is hotly tipped to be launching soon, and would be well worth holding out for.

Amazon Kindle Fire HD

Amazon have a slightly different approach to pricing the Kindle Fire HD, offering a slightly cheaper version that pops the odd advert onto the lock screen. The ad-supported version costs £159 for the 16GB version and £199 for the 32GB version. These adverts aren't intrusive, so if you're counting the pennies, this shouldn't be too much of a problem.

If you cant handle adverts of any kind, the ad-free 16GB version costs £169, with the 32GB set at £209. Whichever version you go for, the Amazon Kindle Fire HD is cheap as chips.
WINNER: Google Nexus 7

It's a close-run race, but on overall value, features and hardware quality, we're putting the 7-inch tablet crown on the head of Google's Nexus 7.

It's not as cheap as the Kindle Fire HD, but offers a far better, open software experience, and while not as expensive as the iPad Mini, looks like it'll be a match for the premium metal build quality of Apple's newest toy.

Storage space, especially when the 32GB version launches, is well priced on the Nexus 7, and while the screen isn't quite as good as the Kindle Fire HD, it should be notably sharper than the iPad Mini.

It's missing a cellular connection as on offer by the iPad Mini, but offers a useful NFC option, and a far more streamlined way of getting your own content onto the tablet over USB.

Of course, Apple's App Store remains the pack leader, but Google's Play Store is now of a comparably high standard, as are its media content and books stores. Amazon's App Store really lets it down in this regard, as does its pushy commerce-driven interface.

There's not much in it, there's no denying that, and if you already have a kinship with Android or iOS, you probably had already picked out your favourite device of the three long before we compared their features. But when you weigh up the pennies, it seems you get more for your money with the Google Nexus 7.

Apple has finally announced the iPad mini, which the team over in California called 'every inch an iPad'.

Here are all the official photos of the tech giant's new miniature gadget:

iPad-Mini-01.pngIt's here! Rumoured for pretty much as long as the iPad itself has existed, Apple have finally lifted the covers off the iPad Mini. And guess what? It's smaller, lighter, and offering all the usual iOS apps and goodies that we've come to expect from Apple's full size slates!

Looking much like an oversized iPod Touch, it fits comfortably in one hand at 7.9 inches diagonally across, but at 7.2mm thick is a quarter thicker than the newly announced fourth generation iPad. It still manages to be 53% lighter than the new iPad 4th gen though, at 0.68lbs.iPad-Mini-02.pngAvailable in black or white (with a silver back on the white version and built from aluminium), it has a resolution of 1,024x768, the same as the iPad 2. With a thinner bezel, it's more squat in shape than previous versions, but offering 35% more display area over the likes of the Google Nexus 7.

Under the hood you'll find a dual-core A5 processor, the same as previously found in the iPad 2, and there is also a FaceTime HD camera and 5-megapixel iSight camera on the back with 1080p recording.iPad-Mini-03.pngThe Lightning connection introduced with the iPhone 5 is used for charging and connecting to a computer for iTunes transfers, while LTE 4G wireless joins dual-band 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi.

Battery life remains impressive at 10 hours average use from a single charge.

iOS 6 is the operating system of choice, giving access to some 700,000 apps (and 275,000 iPad-specific ones) and iTunes movie and music content. No word yet on whether apps will have to be optimised for the new smaller display, but it seems apps should scale down without too many problems.iPad-Mini-04.pngThe iPad Mini will also launch with a new version of iBooks that features continuos scrolling (more like a long web page) rather than flipping through individual pages. There's also improved sharing options, letting you tweet or ad statuses to Facebook by highlighting book passages.

"iPad mini is every inch an iPad. With its gorgeous 7.9-inch display, iPad mini features the same number of pixels as the original iPad and iPad 2, so you can run more than 275,000 apps designed specifically for iPad," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing.

"iPad mini is as thin as a pencil and as light as a pad of paper, yet packs a fast A5 chip, FaceTime HD and 5 megapixel iSight cameras and ultrafast wireless―all while delivering up to 10 hours of battery life."iPad-Mini-07.pngA new range of Smart Covers for the iPad Mini were also revealed, priced at £35, dropping the metal hinge and coming in pink, green, blue, light gray and red shades.

In the UK, iPad Mini Wi-Fi will sell for £269 for the 16GB model, £349 for the 32GB model and £429 for the 64GB model. Pop £100 onto the end of each of those prices if you want a version with a 4G connection.iPad-Mini-06.pngIn America, the iPad Mini is starting at $329 for the 16GB Wi-Fi only model, a 32GB iPad Mini is $429, with the 64GB version available for $519. If you're after LTE connectivity, add $130 to the price of each model.

Wi-Fi only models will launch on November 2nd. Models with a cellular connection will land two weeks later. Pre-orders kick off on October 26th.

So what do you think? Will you be picking up an iPad Mini? Or does the Google Nexus 7 and Amazon Kindle Fire HD Android tablets still hold sway over your 7-inch loving heart? Let us know in the comments below!

See gallery below for iPad Mini images - ALL IMAGES: PRESS ASSOCIATION

Apple TV users get iPad Mini event live stream

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ipad-mini-invite.jpgIn a first for the company, Apple are to live stream their big October 23 press event tonight through their Apple TV set-top box.

Expected to reveal the iPad Mini (and potentially new Mac Mini, iMac and MacBook Pro with Retina Display models), a new "Apple Events" icon has appeared on the Apple TV set-top box dashboard. Clicking it reveals an icon for an "Apple Special Event - Live", with instructions telling viewers to tune in at 10 AM on October 23 to watch live video from the California Theater in San Jose California, or 6pm for UK viewers.

No word yet on whether or not Apple will stream the event through any other means, such as their website.

Either way, you'll be able to get all the details from tonight's launch direct from Tech Digest. The event kicks off at 6pm, and we'll have full details and analysis through the night.

iPhone-5-official-06.pngReports are coming in that Apple are preparing an updated version of their iOS mobile operating system to roll out in just as the iPad Mini hits shelves.

Landing in the coming weeks after today's widely expected iPad Mini launch, the update is said to bring with it a number of fixes. iOS 6.0.1 will include a patch to fix a horizontal line bug, which causes some pixel lines to not refresh properly when the keyboard is used or app folders are opened. The update should also bring with it a fix for the camera flash, which some iPhone 5 and iPad users have noted doesn't always go off when required.

Other smaller fixes, such as improved Wi-Fi support, a cellular data switch for iTunes Match, a Passbook lock screen bug and a cellular data reliability enhancement will also land.

A more comprehensive update, bringing brand new features to iOS in the shape of build 6.1, is expected in early 2013.

As for the iPad Mini, it's expected to be revealed at snazzy Apple launch event at 10am West Coast USA time, or 6pm UK time. We'll be offering full coverage of the event throughout the night, so keep checking back for all the details and analysis you can stomach.

Via: BGR

new-ipad-3-08.jpgApple have lost their latest UK appeal in their long-running patent dispute concerning their iPad and Samsung's Galaxy Tab range. The High Court has ruled that Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 does not infringe upon the registered design rights for the iPad.

To appease the courts and Samsung's legal teams, Apple now must post a notice on their website for six months stating that Samsung didn't infringe upon its designs, and must supplement this with a series of advertisements stating the same point in major newspapers and magazines.

Judge Sir Robin Jacob explained the court's decision to turn down Apple's appeal against the original ruling:

"Because this case (and parallel cases in other countries) has generated much publicity, it will avoid confusion to say what this case is about and not about," he said.

"It is not about whether Samsung copied Apple's iPad. Infringement of a registered design does not involve any question of whether there was copying: the issue is simply whether the accused design is too close to the registered design according to the tests laid down in the law.

"So this case is all about, and only about, Apple's registered design and the Samsung products."

As you'd expect, Samsung are pretty chuffed with the decision, and released the following statement expressing their joy:

"We continue to believe that Apple was not the first to design a tablet with a rectangular shape and rounded corners and that the origins of Apple's registered design features can be found in numerous examples of prior art.

"Should Apple continue to make excessive legal claims in other countries based on such generic designs, innovation in the industry could be harmed and consumer choice unduly limited."

Via: BBC

24 different iPad Mini models on the way??

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ipad-mini-first.jpgYou wait three years for an iPad Mini to land, then 24 turn up all at once. That's the rumour coming out of 9to5Mac this morning, who've got their hands on an SKU that suggests there will be 24 different versions of the miniature tablet launching on 23 October.
The list shows four different models: P101, P103, P105 and P107. Each of these is then broken down into variant marked as "Good". "Better", "Best", which we're hazarding a guess as being 8GB, 16GB and 32GB storage capacities respectively. Each of these are then given one final variant, "A" or "B", which we're guessing means black or white colours. That makes a grand total of 24 different models.ipad-mini-24-sku.jpgThis follows a leak earlier in the week week that suggested there will be both Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi and "cellular" (either 3G or 4G) models of the iPad Mini available too.

It's also been suggested that a revised iPad 3 will launch, featuring the new svelte Lightning Bolt charging connection, first seen in the iPhone 5.

With the official launch invite now putting the iPad Mini's grand unveiling down for 23 October, we wont have long now to wait to find out just how many of these rumours prove true.

Via: 9to5Mac

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