It’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.Available in black or white (with a silver back on the white version and built from aluminium), it has a resolution of 1,024×768, 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.The 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.The 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.”A 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.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 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