Apple has announced the new iPad mini. It features a 7.9-inch 1024×768 display, it’s 7.2mm thick, and weighs just 0.68lbs. Because the iPad mini shares the same display resolution as the original iPad and iPad 2, all software designed to work on the iPad will run on the iPad mini with no changes necessary by the developer.
The iPad mini packs quite a bit into it’s small size as well. A Dual-Core A5 processor, front facing FaceTime HD camera, 5MP rear-facing iSight camera, the same LTE capabilities as the full-size Retina iPad, and 802.11 a/b/g/n. And, Apple has still managed to get 10 hours of battery life out of this device. Apple will begin taking preorders on Friday October 26 and devices will start shipping November 2 with configurations as follows:
- 16GB Wi-Fi only for $329
- 16GB Wi-Fi plus cellular for $459
- 32GB Wi-Fi only for $429
- 32GB Wi-Fi plus cellular for $559
- 64GB Wi-Fi only for $529
- 64GB Wi-Fi plus cellular for $659
It looks like an incredibly solid device but I’m left wondering whether or not I even want one. I currently use an original 64GB Wi-Fi + 3G iPad and am not convinced I’d be happy with the smaller display. I’ll certainly have to get my hands on one before I make any decisions about whether or not I’ll be adding it to my Christmas list. But, as it stands right now I’m intrigued.
I do think that this would be the perfect device for teenagers that would otherwise have asked for an iPod touch for the holidays. Of course the iPad mini isn’t as portable as the iPod touch but the larger display will allow for a wider array of applications to be used on it. It may sound crazy to some but there’s no reason why school papers and presentations couldn’t be written and built on the iPad mini and then either printed wirelessly to an AirPrint compatible printer or taken right to school on the device for a class presentation. Powerful tablets are now within reach of many people and there is no question that they are the future of computing.