Apple finally revealed their fabled iPad mini today, after years of rumors and anticipation. Being a completely new device, there are many talking points surrounding the iPad mini. Some people are impressed, some are not. So let’s take a more in depth look into the device that will be dominating the technology world for the next few weeks.
The design of any Apple product is arguably its most important aspect, but this is especially prominent in a new product. The iPad mini is not the second or third iteration of an existing product, but rather, a new branch off the iPad tree. Many rumors suggested that the iPad mini would simply be a scaled down version of the current generation iPad, but this is evidently not the case, just looking at the iPad mini shows just how different it is to its big brother.
Looking at the iPad mini side-on, it looks similar to the current iPad. The backing of the device is a single piece of aluminium, curved near the top and bottom of the device, however, small details are the key here.
Much like the iPhone 5, the iPad mini features a chamfered edging, which is visible from both front and side views. It reflects the light in its area, and is almost glass-like in finish.
The controls on the side of the device are much the same. They reflect light in a similar manner, and are quite shiny.
The display on the iPad mini is not quite considered Retina, but is definitely not ugly.
The screen on the iPad mini is 7.9 inches, almost an inch larger than its main competitors. The screen resolution is identical to that of the iPad 2, at 1024-by-768 pixels.
This makes the iPad a noticeable improvement over the iPad 2, but clearly not as good as the New iPad.
Apple have been touting the screen size, and why they’ve made it larger than most other small tablets. This is due to the screen area. This .9-inch increase over the 7-inch tablet makes for 35% more screen area. Content viewing will be a strong suit for the iPad mini, with webpage browsing in both portrait and landscape orientations noticeably better than the competition.
The iPad mini features two separate cameras, a FaceTime HD camera on the front, and a 5 megapixel iSight camera on the rear.
The FaceTime HD camera is an improvement over the iPad 2′s front-facing camera. It is able to record 720p HD video, and will make FaceTime calls much better than they previously have.
The back facing iSight camera is almost identical to that on the third-gen iPad. It will capture high resolution images, and features a backside illumination sensor, making images taken in dim light much more vibrant. Video can be captured in 1080p full HD, and video stabilisation technology will aid the quality of the video.
The iPad mini utilizes the same A5 chip found in the iPad, which is more than enough power to run this device at optimal speed.
This processor is currently seen as enough to run graphics intensive games, and should be powerful enough to continue this in the next few years. It is clear that the iPad mini will never be running the most powerful processor, which is currently the A6X seen in the just announced 4th-gen iPad. The smaller display on the iPad mini, plus the smaller resolution means that power required is considerably less than the Retina iPad.
The battery life is also quite impressive, at 10-hours. It is the same as the normal iPad, even considering that there is much less internal space in the iPad mini. It is safe to say that a fair portion of the internals would be taken up by the battery.
As expected, the iPad mini also features LTE connectivity. This model will obviously come at a premium, although it is good to see that Apple has not disregarded cellular capability in the iPad mini.
This further signifies Apple’s move towards LTE devices, with the Retina iPad and the iPhone 5 currently supporting the technology. This not only shows that Apple is eager to stay up to date with the numerous Android devices, but also that they realise cellular capability in the small tablet market is a big factor.
Apple’s newly debuted Lightning Connector also makes an appearance in the iPad mini. This connector is much smaller than the preceding 30-pin connector, making for much more available internal space.
While it has caused some controversy over the past month, this connector will be around for the foreseeable future, and has saved a significant amount of space inside these new devices. Accessories will become more popular in the future, and so will opinions regarding the connector.
The iPad mini starts at $329 in America, and works its way up to $659 for a Wi-Fi + Cellular 64GB version.
This entry price of $329 is considerably more than the iPad mini’s main competition, which hover around the $200 mark. The extra screen real estate and the fact that it is an Apple product should net the iPad mini a large amount of sales, but there is no doubt that more money-conscious people will opt for an Android device.
The iPad mini will be available for preorder on October 26th, and will surely be a hit.