Apple unveils iPad mini

Apple acknowledges popularity of 7-inch tablets with launch of iPad mini
Apple unveiled its iPad mini yesterday.
Apple unveiled its iPad mini yesterday.

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Apple Inc yesterday unveiled its 4G iPad mini, a design that the Cupertino-based tech giant stressed is “23% thinner and 53% lighter” than the third-generation iPad. The new iPad mini features a 7.9-inch Multi-Touch display, FaceTime HD and iSight cameras and up to 10 hours of battery life depending on usage.

For some regional networks the iPad mini also offers enhanced, LTE fourth-generation network performance, but consumers should check with their local provider before assuming compatibility as coverage for previously release LTE devices has been fraught with difficulties.

“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.”

Apple’s latest übergadget comes in an aluminium and glass design that is 7.2mm in width and weighs 0.31 kg. The 7.9-inch Multi-Touch display suffers no degradation in display performance when compared to the 3G iPad, Apple claimed. The design is said to have “35% more screen real estate than 7-inch tablets and up to an astonishing 67% more usable viewing area when browsing the Web”.

The dual-core A5 chip is designed to deliver “responsive graphics and a fast, fluid Multi-Touch experience, while still providing all-day battery life”.

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The iPad mini also features a front-facing FaceTime HD camera and a 5-megapixel iSight camera on the back with “advanced optics for taking sharp still pictures and recording full 1080p HD video”. The iSight camera includes video image stabilisation and both cameras feature backside illumination to let users capture pictures in low light. iPad mini also allows sharing of photos with friends and family using iCloud’s Shared Photo Streams.

Also included is dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi support for theoretical speeds of up to 150 Mbps, according to Apple, which is twice the Wi-Fi performance previous iPad models were capable of. iPad mini is available in Wi-Fi + Cellular models (but be prepared to pay a premium for these versions) that are world-ready with built-in support for ultrafast wireless standards, including, depending on operator coverage, LTE and DC-HSDPA. These network standards are designed for optimal streaming performance.

Apple says iPad mini data plans will be available with no contract so you can simply sign up and activate service directly from your iPad. The Personal Hotspot feature means you can share a fast cellular data connection via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or USB with up to five other devices such as MacBook Pro, iPod touch or another iPad.

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BIG BROTHER

Apple yesterday also announced the fourth-generation iPad featuring a 9.7-inch Retina display, new Apple-designed A6X chip, FaceTime HD camera and ultrafast wireless performance. Both iPad mini and fourth-generation iPad come with iOS 6 with over 200 new features, including the currently problematic Apple Maps.

The new iPad features a 9.7-inch Retina display and includes a new Apple-designed A6X chip that Apple claims delivers “up to twice the CPU performance and up to twice the graphics performance of the A5X chip, all while delivering an incredible 10 hours of battery life in the same thin and light iPad design”. Other new features include a FaceTime HD camera, twice the Wi-Fi performance when compared to previous iPad models and support for additional LTE carriers worldwide.

PRICING & AVAILABILITY

iPad mini with Wi-Fi models will be available in black & slate or white & silver on Friday, 2 November, for a suggested retail price of $329 for the 16GB model, $429 for the 32GB model and $529 for the 64GB model.

The fourth-generation iPad with Wi-Fi models will also be available on Friday, 2 November, in black or white for a suggested retail price of $499 for the 16GB model, $599 for the 32GB model and $699 for the 64GB model. iPad mini and the fourth generation iPad will be sold through the Apple Online Store (www.apple.com), Apple’s retail stores, and select Apple Authorised Resellers in the US, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK.
 

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