Apple Announces New 7.9″ iPad mini

That’s Phil Schiller holding the iPad Mini in its first public appearance. Apple revealed their newest little tablet in a very cheeky way – by rotating their just-announced 4th-gen iPad and showing a smaller, slimmer iPad behind it.

The mini is “thin as a pencil” at 7.2 mm (23% thinner than 4th gen iPad), 0.68 lbs (lighter than the 0.75 lbs Nexus 7 and the 0.87 lbs 7″ Kindle Fire HD), and boasts the 1024×768 resolution display of the iPad 2 – but compressed into a 7.9″ screen. Because of its form factor, the iPad mini works right out of the box with all of the apps currently on the App Store – no conversions or scaling needed.

The specs that Apple revealed are very similar to the ones on my current iPad 2, but with some nice little bumps:

  • A5 chip (same as in the iPad 2)
  • FaceTime HD
  • 5MP iSight Camera (720p HD video)
  • Cellular LTE (only for cellular models, obviously)
  • Faster Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n
  • Lightning connector
  • 10-hour battery life

I was really psyched to see how light this new iPad is, but I was strangely more excited to see the re-designed Smart Cover, which has jettisoned the aluminum hinge, and seems to support a much better landscape viewing angle (which should be fantastic for typing). My hope is that they’ll still sell a set of leather covers, as I don’t really like the feel of the polyurethane. 

The iPad Mini Wi-Fi models start  $329/429/529 for 16/32/64 GB, respectively. Pre-orders start on October 26 (this Friday), and ship on November 2. Wi-Fi + Cellular models start at $459/559/659 for 16/32/64 GB varieties, and ship two weeks later, on November 16. 

There you have it, folks: the iPad mini.

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