This is the iPad Mini: A 7.9 inch tablet that runs Apple’s iOS on a screen-size midway between an iPhone and an iPad. Before you consider purchasing one, take a look at the specs and price, and what sets the mini apart from your current tablet.
The iPad mini resembles a smaller iPad. It includes most of its bigger brother’s features including an LED backlit display, an HD camera, and of course, Siri.
iPad Mini Release Date and Price
The iPad mini will be available for pre-order on October 26, 2012 for $329 (base model) directly from the Apple Online Store. If you’d like to pick one up in person, you can do so at an Apple Retail Store starting at 8:00 am on November 2nd.
- iPad mini 16GB – $329
- iPad mini 32GB – $429
- iPad mini 64GB – $529
For now, Wi-Fi only models will be the only ones available for sale. Wi-Fi + Cellular (AT&T, Sprint, & Verizon) models will be available for sale sometime in November.
The iPad mini will include everything you have come to expect from the bigger iPad model, but on a smaller 7.9-inch screen.
The iPad mini is also 23% thinner than the iPad at 7.2 mm, and 53% lighter at 0.68lb.
Inside the iPad mini, you’ll find a powerful A5 chip, which makes multi tasking, watching videos and playing games run smoothly. You can also expect a 10-hour battery life on a single charge.
The iPad mini comes with a 5-megapixel iSight camera. There’s a camera on both the front and the back of the iPad mini. The back camera allows you to record in full 1080p HD video while the front-facing camera can record at 720p HD video.
Since you’ll be running iOS 6, you’ll have access to Siri as well. The personal assistant is just as powerful as it is with the iPad 3 –pull up game scores, make reservations, find movie listings, set reminders and more.
According to Apple, the iPad will be compatible with over 250,000 apps right out of the box. Obviously, all of Apple’s apps are included in this list. This probably means all apps available in the iTunes store compatible with the bigger iPad will work flawlessly with the smaller screen as well.
Should you buy one?
If you’re on the market for a new tablet, this is the perfect time to buy; you have so many options. Amazon released the Kindle Fire HD earlier this year and joined the Nook HD, and Google’s Nexus tablet as worthy iPad rivals. Microsoft is heavily advertising the Surface, a beautifully aesthetic tablet available for pre-order now.
I wish I could tell you that the iPad mini beats all of the other tablets on the market, but I can’t. They all have their respective benefits and drawbacks.
I love my iPad because I have become dependent on iCloud, and syncing everything with everything. I like that developers make applications for iOS first and update them more frequently. Above all, I like the design –the aluminum and glass encasing. On the same token, I have to admit that I envy features found on other devices such as NFC technology (I have found Pass Book lacking so far), high quality maps, and personalization without the need to jailbreak.
But continuing on the premise that you prefer Apple products and are considering purchasing the iPad mini, it’s a good value. Since I’m both an iPhone and iPad owner, I’ll be skipping it. But, if you are not a current tablet owner (or own an outdated one) and are looking for a midsize and affordable model, the iPad mini is a good choice.