iPad Mini – intro
So the sun has set on Apple's San Jose launch event and we've come away with a few more iThings to covet. No surprises with Apple's latest slate then – and we can't wait to stick the iPad Mini's new downsized 7.2mm thin form factor in our pockets to take home for a 7in tablet showdown.
With a 1024x768 resolution display, A5 chip and 4G we're sure we can find room for more in our remaining three pockets – though it's worth noting the prices could be friendlier considering the value you can get on 7in Android tabs like the Nexus 7.
iPad Mini – release date
But when can we get our hands on the iPad Mini? We might be getting a Mac Mini and fresh 13in Retina Display MacBooks sooner rather than later but you'll have to hold on until November 2nd for the iPad Mini release date with pre-orders starting on October 26th this week.
iPad Mini – design and build
If you hadn't noticed, the iPad now has a smaller aluminium build with a 7.9in display, 7.2mm thick chassis and weighing in at 0.68 pounds – or 312g. To be expected from an altogether smaller iPad, it's the thinnest and lightest Apple tab yet and next to the iPad 3 it'll make the Retina Display slate look humongous. The iPad Mini is 23 per cent thinner and 53 per cent lighter than the iPad 3 and also a fair amount lighter than the 340g Nexus 7.
With dimensions of 200mm x 134.7mm, Apple has managed to make an iPad Mini with seriously skinny bezels to cram in that 7.9in display. There's also a curved back with the same aluminium casing as the iPhone 5 and unsurprisingly the iPad Mini will come in black and white.
More after the break...
iPad Mini – screen
The 7.9in IPS screen on the iPad Mini is the same 1024x768 resolution as the iPad 2 which is just 163ppi – so not as ridiculously sharp as some Retina Displays we've seen on the iPhone 5 and iPad 3 lately.
What Apple has done though is cram a 4:3 display that's 35 per cent per cent bigger than a 7in affair into a similar sized body and remember, the Nexus 7's brilliant screen is 1280x800 itself so it's not all about counting pixels.
iPad Mini – power and battery life
Powering the iPad Mini is a dual-core A5 chip, previously seen on the iPad 2, so that should keep iOS 6 and iPad apps chugging along nicely for the claimed 10 hour battery life (nine hours when browsing the web over 3G/4G).
Apple's saving its fastest performance for the new fourth generation iPad 4, of course, with a fresh A6X chip that's two times faster than the processor in the iPad 3. Look out for a full review where we'll pit it against the quad-core Tegra 3 to see which slate comes out on top.
iPad Mini – 4G LTE
The iPad Mini will arrive rocking dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 and speedy 4G LTE as well as 3G – which is good news for anyone considering jumping on EE's 4G bandwagon in the UK, set to arrive properly on October 30th. Though it's worth noting that you'll be stuck with EE – like with the iPhone 5 – when more 4G networks arrive.
iPad Mini – UK pricing
UK prices for the iPad Mini have just been confirmed by Apple as £270 for the 16GB Wi-Fi only model, £350 for the 32GB Wi-Fi only model and £430 for 64GB. To compare, the 16GB Wi-Fi only model of the excellent Google Nexus 7 is just £160 so that's over £100 more expensive to choose Apple.
Wi-Fi and 3G/4G models will ship a few weeks later for £370 for 16GB, £450 for 32GB and a whopping £530 for 64GB.
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