Apple stirs the tablet section again, unveils the iPad mini
Apple took the world by a storm when it released the iPad back in 2010, sniffing that the budding tablet category could do wonders to its fortunes. And on Tuesday, Oct 23rd, Apple expanded its portfolio by introducing a squeezed down version which it called the iPad mini. We’re not sure whether it falls under the tablet section, or a relatively new ‘phablet’ section which is the holy grail of Samsung’s Galaxy Note. Wherever it lands, the device is typically Apple. Smooth curves, unibody design, large gorgeous screen and the trademark home button at the bottom. Let’s see what more Apple has put into the iPad mini.
iPad mini is an iPad that can be held in one hand. That seems to be the motivation behind this product – a more usable iPad. It is just 7.2 mm thick (or better call it thin) and weighs 0.68 pounds (308 grams). This makes it a quarter thicker than and half as light as the fourth gen iPad, also released in the event. The screen takes up almost every available space on the top and measures 7.9 inches diagonally. This cleverly chosen figure gives iPad mini the same resolution as the iPad 2, whose screen size is 9.7 inches, and makes all iPad apps compatible with the new device.
Coming to the internals, iPad mini is driven by a dual-core A5 processor. It sports a FaceTime compatible HD camera (front) and a 5-megapixel iSight camera on the back with 1080p recording. This is also 4G LTE enabled with the new dual-band 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi. The battery life has not been compromised and still stands at 10 hours, again same as the iPad. It will also work with the new Lightning connector.
Apple in its event repeatedly stressed on the fact that iPad mini is a concentrated iPad and not a scaled up phone. It didn’t hesitate to silently compare this with Google’s Nexus 7, claiming that 0.9 inch increase in display size on the diagonal gives 35% more display area and 49% more content. Although it remained unclear as to how Apple arrived at these figures, it did remind us of Steve Jobs who used to blatantly dismiss the competitor devices in favour of Apple products.
The iPad mini will, as usual, come in two colours – black and white. The basic 16 GB model with Wi-Fi will cost $329 in US, whereas the 32 GB and 64 GB variants will be priced at $429 and $519 respectively. You’ll need to shell out $130 extra for the LTE enabled model. Considering the price scaling when Apple products are sold in India, we guess the basic iPad mini will cost around Rs.20,000 to 25,000 here (cheaper than Galaxy Note!). Pre-orders will start in a couple of days and shipping will begin from Nov. 2nd. If you liked this miniature version of the cult tablet, do place your orders now!
I am a simple and focused guy currently pursuing Electricals & Electronics from BITS Pilani Hyderabad and serving as co-editor at Gadgetronica.com
24 October, 2012