Apple introduced the long-rumored iPad mini today. At 7.9" in diagonal, the new smaller iPad is said to allow for one handed usage. Apple had the device on hand for reporters to have hands on demos with the device.
Overall, the impressions are positive with many focusing on the build quality and lightness of the device. While the device is smaller, others note that it's certainly not tiny. Here is a roundup of some of the early impressions:
The finish of the device is matte on the back, making for a very nice feeling in the hand. The weight is really the most impressive part, though – as with the iPhone 5, but to an even greater degree, the iPad mini feels almost weightless when compared to its predecessors. It’s so thin and light as to feel almost like a prop, rather than a functional device.
The display on the mini looks incredibly sharp, and even though the resolution is lower than the 3rd and 4th generation full-size iPad, it doesn't immediately seem like a 1024 x 768 display. The smaller, 7.9-inch surface area certainly helps squeeze the pixels.
It's still not "small," though. While a fully outstretched adult hand can generally grasp it without help from the other, you'll still want both for typing and using apps. It's still too big for your average pocket, and it's not going to save you a heck of a lot of room in your knapsack compared to the 9.7-incher.
Anandtech offers this hands on video:
As rumored, Apple announced the new iPad mini at today's media event. The device features a 7.9-inch display with a resolution of 1024x768 pixels, measures just 7.2 millimeters thin and weighs 0.68 pounds.
Internally, the iPad Mini has a dual-core A5 processor, a Facetime HD camera on the front and a 5-megapixel camera on the rear, 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi connectivity, and 4G LTE cellular connectivity in some models. Despite its smaller size, the iPad mini still offers up to 10 hours of battery life.
“iPad mini is every inch an iPad. With its gorgeous 7.9-inch display, iPad mini features the same number of pixels as the original iPad and iPad 2, so you can run more than 275,000 apps designed specifically for iPad,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “iPad mini is as thin as a pencil and as light as a pad of paper, yet packs a fast A5 chip, FaceTime HD and 5 megapixel iSight cameras and ultrafast wireless―all while delivering up to 10 hours of battery life.”
With the same resolution as the iPad 2, all existing iPad apps that work on the older iPad 2 will work on the iPad mini without any need for developers to make modifications to their existing apps.
The iPad mini starts at $329 for the 16 GB Wi-Fi model, with the 32 GB Wi-Fi model priced at $429 and the 64 GB Wi-Fi model coming in at $529. The models with cellular capability cost an additional $130. All models are available in the same black/slate and white/silver color schemes seen on the iPhone 5.
Pre-orders for the iPad mini will start on Friday, October 26 with the Wi-Fi models shipping on November 2 and the cellular models starting to ship two weeks later.
Apple has also introduced new polyurethane iPad mini Smart Covers in six different colors, priced at $39 each. Apple also now has a full suite of Lightning adapters to support USB camera connections, SD cards and VGA or HDMI connectivity.
Apple has refreshed its third-generation iPad line today, as expected, with a semi-minor upgrade that includes a new Lightning connector, but the company also included some upgraded internals in what it is calling the “fourth-generation iPad.”
“It is a power house,” said Apple Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing Philip Schiller while on stage at the event.
The fourth-generation iPad features faster performance with dual-core A6X and quad-core graphics. It also has a 5-megapixel iSight camera, expanded LTE chipset, front-facing camera with FaceTime and 720p video capture, ultrafast two-times Wi-Fi, and Lightening connector.
This is the first time Apple has unveiled two versions of the 9.7-inch iPad in one year. The fourth-generation iPad is priced at $499 for the 16 GB model and $629 for the 16 GB model with 4G LTE.
Go to 9to5Mac’s full coverage of the fourth-generation iPad for more information about carrier options and the discontinuation of the third-generation iPad.
As promised by Apple during its media event this afternoon, iBooks 3.0 is now available for users to download from the iTunes App Store. Haven’t heard? The updated app offers better integration with iCloud, and it now shows purchased books across your iTunes account on one shelf for more seamless reading. Furthermore, the folks in Cupertino have added a new scroll theme that allows users to “scroll vertically through books with the flick of a finger”—infinite scrolling. It’s a feature iPad mini users are sure to love.
Competing with a similar Kindle feature, Apple also made its iBooks platform a bit more social with this update. Users can now share their favorite quote over Facebook and Twitter—a much-requested feature among the more hardcore readers.
Lastly, in the 3.0 update, iBooks grabbed 40 more languages, including: Japanese, Chinese, and Korean. You can grab the update right on your iOS device from the App Store. For you book junkies, Apple also updated its iBooks Author software with new features this afternoon.
Full feature list:
• Scroll vertically through your books with the flick of a finger using the new Scroll theme
• Receive free updates to purchased books—including new chapters, corrections, and other improvements
• Look up definitions for words in German, Spanish, French, Japanese and Simplified Chinese with iOS 6
• Share quotes or thoughts about your favorite book with friends on Facebook, Twitter, Messages, or Mail
Apple has posted the Jony Ive introduction video for the iPad mini. As is typical for Apple product launch events, the video gives a behind-the-scenes look at the development the iPad mini. Both Jony Ive and iPad product marketing head Michael Tchao make appearances.
If all that we had done was take the original iPad and just reduce it, all that you would be aware of was everything that was just missing. There is inherent loss in just reducing a product in size.
What we did, was we went back to the very beginning and we took the time to design a product that was a concentration of, and not a reduction of, the original. We felt strongly that 7.9 inches was exactly the right display size, but it became clear that we had to reduce the width of the borders. So, you can still pick it up and easily use it with one hand.
Apple has also posted a new television ad for the iPad mini that features colorful Smart Covers dancing around the screen. The ad is reminiscent of the 'Colors' iMac ad from 1999 that featured spinning iMacs set to the Rolling Stones song "She's A Rainbow".
Apple has posted a video of the iPad mini media event on its website. The video is also available on the Apple Keynotes Podcast on the iTunes Store. [Podcast links: Keynotes,Keynotes in HD, Keynotes in 1080p HD]
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