Apple finally revealed its highly anticipated release, the iPad Mini, in an official event held at the California Theater in San Jose, California. The new pencil-thin device, which is only 0.28 inches thin (7.2 millimeters) and slated for release November 2nd, is a smaller and cheaper version of the technology giant’s well-received iPad series of tablet computers.
Apple executive Phil Schiller led the special announcement and revealed that the gadget runs Apple’s latest operating system, the iOS 6. It will be sold in a 16GB version (priced at $329), a 32GB version ($429), and a 64GB version ($529) – prices tend to go $100 higher for every additional 16GB capacity. Both Wi-Fi only and Wi-Fi and cellular models will be available.
Dubbed as the fifth overall generation of the iPad, the slightly portable tablet came only seven months after the third generation of the iPad (a.k.a. The New iPad) was introduced. The announcement also coincided with the official release the fourth generation of the iPad, the one which features Retina display and a dual-core A6X chip with quad-core graphics.
Apple says that the slate is as light as a pad of paper, weighing only 0.68 pounds. It features a reduced height of 7.87 inches or 200 mm, a stark contrast to the standard model’s 9.50 inches (241.2 mm). The width measures 5.3 inches or 134.7, bringing the screen size to a 7.9 inch when measured diagonally.
Physically, it features the same specifications as the iPad 2, including the classic resolution, which measures 1024 by 768, but at a higher density at 163 pixels per inch (versus the iPad 2’s 132 ppi), the LED-backlit multi-touch display with IPS technology, the dual-core A5 chip inside it, and the fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating.
The camera features of the iPad Mini, however, is similar to those found in the new iPad with Retina display. It sports the same FaceTime HD camera at the front which lets users shoot 1.2MP photos, 720p HD video, FaceTime video calling over Wi-Fi (simple VoIP voice-only calls included like Skype, RingCentral etc.) or cellular network (with data charges), face detection, and backside illumination.
On its back side is the iSight camera, whose features allow snapping of 5MP photos. It also contains autofocus, face detection, backside illumination, the five-element lens, a hybrid IR filter, and an aperture opening of as wide as f/2.4.
Video recording is also at 1080p with HD capabilities (at 30 frames per second). The usual tap-to-focus, video stabilization, face detection, and backside illumination functions of the iPad 3 are carried over to the iPad Mini.
Other basic features include a Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity, a Lightning USB connector, and the Smart Cover accessory (first unveiled when Steve Jobs was still alive).
However, the SIM card slot of the new device is different from the iPad 2 and the iPad 3’s micro-SIM slots; this one requires a nano-SIM card similar to the tinier one required by the iPhone 5.
Essentially, the iPad Mini is the iPad 2 and the iPad 3’s dwarfed offspring, with its physical specs inclined towards the iPad 2 and its functionalities gearing towards the more advanced ones found in the iPad with Retina display. If you’re expecting something new and unheard of, skip this one – it’s only fresh and interesting size-wise and price-wise.
And from Indian perspective, I am not sure if they will find Apple Mini interesting – even the price is higher than the competition. They will probably take Kindle Fire and Google Nexus 7 more seriously given that they are over USD 100 cheaper!
[About the Author: Henry Conrad is a 29-year-old game developer from Albuquerque, New Mexico. Aside from gaming and being a tech junky, he also dabbles in creative writing, which allows him to create great storylines and backgrounds for his characters. Follow me on Twitter and join me in Google +]