Honey, I shrunk the kids! And the iPad.
Just as the original iPod received a miniaturized sibling eight years ago, the iPad now has a little brother (sister?) to call it’s own. Sir Jonathan Ive and his team at Apple didn’t just take a regular old iPad and make everything smaller. Rather, they went back to the drawing board, considered what would and wouldn’t work in a smaller form factor, and came up with a design that looks very much like an iPad at first glance, but improves on the design in a few crucial areas. The screen real estate has been reduced to 7.9 inches, and the device itself is only 7.2 mm thick and 0.68 pounds. It’s got the same anodized edges and lightning connector as the iPhone 5, and a smaller bezel running around the device for a larger viewing area. Inside there’s a 5 megapixel camera, LTE (if you get one of the cellular versions), and the same A5 chip that powers the iPad 2.
This mix of old and new tech has drawbacks and benefits. On the bad side, those used to retina displays will have to make due with a less impressive screen than its bigger sibling and slower processing speeds. On the good side, the older parts used mean reduced power consumption (the iPad Mini is supposed to last up to 10 hours on one charge) and a more affordable price for people not trying to sell organs on the black market to purchase a bigger model.
Speaking of prices, the Wi-fi only iPad Mini drops on November 2nd (Friday), with prices starting at $329 and going up to $529. The Wi-fi and 3G equipped Mini, however, are shipping a few weeks later on AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon with prices ranging from $459 to $659. Who am I kidding? You’re probably camped out front of the Apple Store now reading this post on your soon to be replaced iPad.
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