Today, Apple announced a refresh of four different products and introduced a new one. The refreshes include the much faster iPad 4 (called “iPad with Retina Display), a new faster, lighter and thinner iMac, a new faster Mac mini and a new 13 inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display. In this article we will discuss the new product, the iPad mini. First, we’ll start with the name.
The name of the new product is indeed the iPad mini which, to me, is not the best they could have used. The iPad “mini” is not all that mini in comparison to the iPad. It is still over 75% the size of the iPad. I believe that a better name for it would have been the iPad Air, but oh well it is Apple, and Apple isn’t the best at naming things (just look at the iPad 4, it’s called the iPad with Retina Display”, um, we already knew it had a Retina Display).
Price and Storage
The iPad mini has been criticized for it’s higher price point for a 7 inch-ish tablet. The Google Nexus 7 for example is $199 (granted it is less featured than the iPad mini), the Fire starts at $159 (again with the less featured part), the 16 GB low end iPad mini starts at $329. That is a difference of $170 from the Fire, more than the price of the Fire itself. The price points of the iPad mini are as follows: 16 GB mini: $329, 32 GB mini: $429 and the 64 GB is $529. These points are expensive but in the next paragraphs, I’ll show you why, despite the price, the iPad mini is the one you will want to buy.
The iPad mini comes with the best design in a tablet. The iPad mini has a stunning 7.9 inch display (just slightly off from everyone’s 7.8 inch guess) and features in 2 color choices, White and Silver and Black and Slate. It is 23 percent thinner and 53 percent lighter than the full iPad. It is 7.2 mm and 0.68 pounds, which is the thinnest and lightest iPad shipped yet (of course granted, it is a mini iPad so one would assume this to be the case). The battery is a single cell battery that fits in less space but provides the same power. The cameras are smaller but yet still takes the same 5 MP pictures as the iPad. The iPad has the same resolution as the iPad 2, in a smaller size of course, which makes it a better display than the iPad 2. It also has 35% more space on it than a 7 inch tablet, therefore everything is easier to read and yet it still provides a smaller profile. The distance between the screen and the edges is also thinner providing a more prominent display. The casing is an aluminum unibody providing a light, smooth feel. The design of this iPad is some of the best design work yet from Apple, and that’s saying something!
The iPad mini will have the A5 chip, the same one put into the iPad 2. The iPad 2 is a very strong and fast tablet that retains battery life like the sun retains light, it never dies. The specs of the A5 are some that we are familiar with and I am slightly disappointed they didn’t put something with a bit more power but with that said, the A5 is still very powerful.
The screen is 7.9 inches and is not Retina Display. Despite that, the iPad mini does have more pixels per inch than the iPad 2 (iPad 2 has 132 ppi and the iPad mini has 163 ppi) and let’s not forget it is smaller than the iPad 2 so the screen definitely isn’t shabby.
It has a 1.2 MP camera in the front and is capable of 720p video on the front camera. The camera of course is the FaceTime camera and it will be even better than ever. It has face detection. The iSight camera on the back has 5MP and has autofocus, face detection, five-element lenses and a Hybrid IR filter. All these features add to the betterment of the camera. It is also capable of filming 1080p video, helping Apple destroy the consumer camera industry. It has video stabilization and face detection technologies. The camera is again the same as the one on the iPad, even though the mini is thinner, lighter and more portable.
As with all devices that Apple sells now (including the iPad), it has the new thinner, lighter Lightning connector. People are complaining about the connector because their accessories won’t work with any future Apple products they buy. Of course, they can buy an adapter but as time moves on they can buy updated accessories. If you bought it from Costco, you can return it at any time and get a new one. There are ways you can avoid paying for Apple’s connector change. The new devices are thinner and lighter partly due to the new connector. Also, the connector is faster at charging the 10 hour battery.
4G and LTE
One of the best things Apple did with the iPad mini is make it available for 4G and LTE instead of settling for 3G. It also has the Nano-SIM card instead of the bigger Micro-SIM card.
Apple is continuing the “all devices will have Siri” tradition it started after iOS 6 gave the iPad and the iPod touch Siri. Siri is your personal assistant, capable of providing you information, make messages, set reminders, do web searches, check weather and much more.
The iPad mini is Apple’s solution to take the 7 inch tablet industry. It may be a bit more expensive than other 7 inch tablets, but it’s beautiful slightly-bigger-than-7-inch screen, camera, iOS 6, Siri, LTE availability, beautiful, not to be matched design, lightweight and thin profile, lightning port and powerful processor will allow Apple to be a very well developed and powerful competitor against other 7-inch tablet makers such as Google and Amazon. Only time will tell how much Apple can take from them.
Thanks for reading,
Image courtesy: www.apple.com/ipad-mini/overview/