Leaked iPad 5 fascia panel looks like a super-sized iPad Mini

Oh look, someone's taken a rolling pin to an iPad Mini

The latest in a long line of iPad 5 leaks is yet another shot of a reportedly genuine iPad 5 display panel. And it looks a lot like a larger iPad Mini.

The display size looks to be around 9.7in – the same as the current-gen iPad – but with thinner bezels at the sides, again matching up with the Mini's design. But why would Apple want to change the current iPad's design?

iDesign

Well for starters, looks need to be shaken up every once in a while, or it feels like we're all just spending money on the same product. Remember the flak Apple and Samsung got for their near-identical 4 to 4S and S3 to S4 designs? We want to feel like we're getting something shiny, something new, something exciting.

Secondly, it makes sense for Apple to keep a consistent design theme throughout its Mini and full-fat iPad range. It's just neater that way and the iPad Mini's rounded edges look and feel more organic – an improvement, in our opinion, over the orginal iPad design (from the front, the iPad 4 is virtually identical to the 2010 model). And thanks to Apple's thumb-rejection tech, the thinner bezels shouldn't result in compromised ergonomics.

Another reason could be the screen size. Using the display panel's Home Button as a rough gauge, the new iPad 5 appears to have kept the same 4:3 ratio 9.7in display. However, the thinner side bezels make the screen seem bigger than it is, as well as making the whole body of the iPad narrower overall. Which is no bad thing, particularly with the increase in girth the iPad has undergone since the first Retina-screened iPad arrived.

The render above (created by Ciccarese Design and commissioned by MacRumors) shows off what the new iPad 5 could look like, with the current iPad on the left and the iPad Mini on the right.

Of course we won't know any of this for sure until Tim Cook steps out on stage at Apple's official announcement, hopefully in September. But guessing is half the fun, right?

[MacFixit via 9to5Mac]

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