01.iPad mini coming soon
Apple has unveiled a new, smaller tablet called the iPad mini.
The 7.9-inch touchscreen device bridges the gadget gap between Apple’s 4-inch iPod Touch, and the 9.7-inch iPad 2 and third-generation iPad models.
The announcement of the iPad mini ends months of speculation and throws down the gauntlet to rival 7-inch tablets, most notably the Nexus 7, made by Asus, Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 7.7 and Amazon’s Kindle Fire.
At 7.2mm thick, it’s 23 per cent thinner than the third-generation iPad and at 308-312 grams (depending on model) it’s also less than half the weight of the third-generation iPad (652-662g).
From the outside the iPad mini looks very similar, like a scaled-down version of the larger iPad. It has features in common with both the iPad 2 and third-generation models.
The iPad mini has the same dual-core A5 processor as the iPad 2 and the same screen resolution of 1024 by 768 pixels. Because they are packed onto the smaller 7.9 inch screen, this gives the iPad mini a higher pixel density — 163 pixels per inch (ppi) — than the iPad 2’s 132ppi.
By comparison, the third-generation iPad’s Retina display has a resolution of 2048 by 1536 pixels (264ppi).
The iPad mini also has the new Lightning connector and FaceTime HD camera with video stabilisation and face detection, plus rear 5Mp camera. It also boasts the same 10-hour battery life as the other iPad models.
The iPad mini comes in colour combinations of black and slate, or white and silver and will be available from Nov 2. Pre-orders will be taken on the Apple website from Oct 26.
Fourth-generation iPad also announced
Surprisingly, Apple also announced a revamp of its flagship third-generation iPad model also, only seven months after its release. The new fourth-gen iPad model gets a faster new processor called the A6X, which is claimed to be double the speed of the third-gen model.
The fourth-gen iPad also gets the new super-small “Lightning” connector that debuted recently on the iPhone 5, along with the front-facing FaceTime HD camera with 1080p video recording, rear-facing 5 megapixel (Mp) camera, plus support for the latest fast wireless networks.
iPad mini and fourth-generation iPad pricing
Pricing for the iPad mini starts at $369 for the base 16GB Wi-Fi only model; $479 for 32GB and $589 for 64GB.
Wi-Fi + Cellular models start at $509 for 16GB; with 32GB costing $619 and 64GB models at $729.
The fourth-generation iPad starts with Wi-Fi only models at $539 for 16GB, with 32GB at $649 and 64GB at $759. Wi-Fi + Cellular models are $679 for 16GB; $789 for 32GB and $899 for 64GB.
See our full hands-on review of the new iPad mini.
For more information about tablets, see our Mobile computers section.