Tuesday, October 23, 2012

What You Need to Know About Apple’s New iPad Mini (And iPad)

What You Need to Know About Apple’s New iPad Mini (And iPad):

You can hold the new iPad mini in one hand. Image: Apple

The much-rumored and long-awaited iPad mini is finally here. Apple announced the smaller version of its popular tablet at an event in San Jose on Tuesday, billing the device as a tool for education and business and consumers.
Alongside the iPad mini announcement, Apple also introduced its fourth-generation iPad — a mere seven months after releasing its third-generation iPad.
With its new iPad, Apple aims to maintain its dominant position in the tablet space. For a play-by-play of Apple’s announcement, check out our liveblog. Here, we’ve narrowed down what you need to know about Apple’s latest iPad offerings.

Design and Build

The iPad mini has an aluminum and glass enclosure, and the same diagonal bezel you see on the iPhone 5. There are two parts to the iPad mini enclosure connected by a diamond-cut chamfer.
The fourth-generation iPad looks identical to the 3rd-generation iPad and had only one external change — the 30-pin dock connector is now a Lightning dock connector. You can get both the fourth-generation iPad and the iPad mini in Apple’s standard black and white models.

Size and Weight

The iPad mini sports a 7.9-inch screen, putting it in the same market as other 7-inch tablet competitors like the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HD. It’s 7.2 mm thick and weighs 0.68 lbs, putting it at 53 percent lighter and 23 percent thinner than the fourth-generation iPad.


The iPad mini touts a larger display than other 7-inch tablets, thanks to smaller bezels. Apple says that the iPad mini has 35 percent more display area than competing tablets, and has 67 percent more viewing area when browsing the web via Safari. It also has a high-resolution display with 1064 by 768 pixels packed into the small screen.
The fourth-generation iPad maintains its 9.7-inch Retina display.

Hardware and Battery Life

Inside, the iPad mini is equal to, or slightly more advanced, than the iPad 2. The device is powered by a dual-core A5 chip. It sports a front-facing FaceTime HD camera and a 5 MP iSight camera on the rear side. The iPad mini also has ultrafast wireless and the same LTE capabilities as the third- and fourth-generation iPads (in the Wi-Fi plus Cellular models). The built-in Wi-Fi is twice as fast, according to Apple. And naturally, you get the new Lightning dock connector, which debuted in the iPhone 5. Apple also claims it will get 10 hours of battery life.
The internals are the biggest changes in the fourth-generation iPad. The new iPad now has an A6X chip, which Apple says delivers up to twice the CPU and graphics performance compared to the A5X chip. You also get 10 hours of battery life, a new FaceTime HD camera, the Lightning dock connector, and the same improved Wi-Fi performance seen in the iPad mini.


The iPad mini runs the same software as the iPad (currently iOS 6). It will immediately support the more than 275,000 apps that are built for the iPad. You’ll get full-screen versions that will adjust for the iPad mini’s 7.9-inch screen. The software for the fourth-generation iPad remains the same.

Price and Availability

The 16GB model with Wi-Fi only starts at $330, which makes the iPad mini significantly more expensive than other 7-inch models, which tend to start at around $200. The 32GB model costs $430, and the 64GB model costs $530. You’ll be able to pre-order the device starting on Oct. 26 for a Nov. 2 availability date.
Apple says that the iPad mini with Wi-Fi and cellular service, as well as the new iPad, will start shipping “a couple weeks after the Wi-Fi models” on AT&T, Verizon and Sprint. The cellular iPad mini 16GB model will cost $460, the 32GB model will cost $560, and the 64 GB model will cost $660.
The fourth-generation iPad will start at $630 for the 16GB model, $730 for the 32GB model and $830 for the 64GB model. With these new prices, the iPad 2 has dropped in cost to $400 for the 16GB Wi-Fi-only model, and $530 for the 16GB Wi-Fi and 3G model.

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