I have been to the mountain, and yea, it is good. Apple took the lid off the iPad mini today, and the company clarified that it isn’t just a smaller version of the iPad, but a “concentrated version.”
As expected, the iPad Mini is 23% thinner than previous iPad generations at 7mm, and it’s 53% lighter, weighing just .68 pounds. It also comes with a 7.9-inch display and the pixels remain the same at 1024x768.
The fun-size tablet comes with a dual core A5 chip, Facetime HD, and a front and back five mega-pixel iSight camera. The Wi-Fi is twice as fast as previous iPad generations, and Apple made sure that no one will be sacrificing battery life, so the iPad Mini comes with 10 hours of battery life.
And now the piece de resistance: the price. The iPad Mini starts at $329 for the Wi-Fi version and $459 for the cellular version, so while it’s cheaper than other iPads, it’s still a good $130 outside of the Kindle Fire price range.
Speaking of the Kindle Fire…
In an interesting move, Phil Schiller actually compared the new iPad Mini with an unnamed 7-inch Android tablet.
“The iPad Mini is made of aluminum—theirs is made of plastic. It’s thicker—the entire product is thicker and heavier than iPad mini despite having a smaller display,” said Schiller, who pointed out that the 7-inch display means that the area only adds up to 21.9 inches, while the iPad Mini’s display area totals 29.6 inches for a picture that’s 49% larger in portrait orientation and 67% larger in landscape.
Schiller added: “Other tablets have phone applications that are just stretched out—not tablet applications.” He then compared a few apps that were customized for the iPad Mini, compared to the Android apps, which are more rudimentary and awkward-looking.
Notably, Amazon revealed its new Kindle Fire HD last month, and it compared the Kindle Fire to the iPad to point out that the Kindle Fire's dual antenna Wi-Fi is actually 40% faster than the iPad. Schiller proclaimed that the iPad Mini now comes with Wi-Fi that's twice the speed of previous iPads, but he didn't get into specifics on that.
Pre-orders for the iPad Mini start this Friday, October 26, and the Wi-Fi version begins shipping November 2—just making the holiday shopping season by the skin of its teeth! The cellular version will begin shipping two weeks later.
Sadly, there is no built-in wormhole.