Apple has introduced the long-awaited and much-rumored iPad mini on Tuesday, a 7.9-inch device the company will sell starting at US$329. The device is 7.2mm thin and weighs 0.68 pounds, and features the same 1024 x 768 resolution as the original iPad and iPad 2.
Apple VP Phil Schiller Introduces iPad mini
The company is marketing the device with the tag line,"Every inch an iPad, yet in a revolutionary design you can hold in one hand." The emphasis being that it's powerful like its larger sibling, offers the same 10-hours of battery life, has two cameras, and the same resolution as the larger iPad 2.
Because the iPad mini sports the same resolution as the first two iPad models, it will run the 275,000 existing iPad apps natively right out of the gate. This means that developers won't have to retool their apps to support the new device, and that it should integrate into Apple's ecosystem smoothly.
Interestingly, the company claims it has, "35 percent more screen real estate than 7-inch tablets and up to an astonishing 67 percent more usable viewing area when browsing the web."
This is a multifaceted claim. During the media event, Apple marketing VP Phil Schiller showed side by side screenshots with browsers that show more webpage being rendered on the iPad mini than a competing Android device after you removed onscreen controls from the Android device and browser interfaces from both devices.
In that respect, Apple claimed that the iPad mini rendered 49 percent more of those webpages than the Android device in portrait mode, and 67 percent in landscape mode.
On the other hand, while Apple didn't specify which Android tablets it was comparing the iPad mini to, the 35 percent more screen real estate claim is not true when compared to Amazon's Kindle Fire HD or Google's Nexus 7. Both of those devices have a native resolution of 1280 x 800, a total of 1,024,000 pixels compared to the 786,432 pixels on Apple's iPad mini.
That makes those two Android devices—the only two that one could reasonably consider successful—have 30.2 percent more real estate than Apple's iPad mini.
Apple's iPad Product Line
iPad mini sports two cameras, a front-facing FaceTime HD camera designed for video chats and the all-important self-portrait, and a 5 megapixel rear iSight camera for taking photos and videos. The iSight camera can shoot at full 1080p HD, same as the 4th generation iPad with Retina Display (which was also introduced during the event).
Apple also announced that the iPad mini features dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi support, which means that the device can support speeds up to 150 Mbps on Wi-Fi connections.
Pricing & Availability
iPad mini with Wi-Fi models will be available in black & slate or white & silver on Friday, November 2, and customers can pre-order it starting on Friday, October 26th. Pricing is as follows:
Wi-Fi + Cellular models are priced at $130 more: