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Apple Announces iPad Mini: A Small Version of a Big Version of an iPod Touch

Today, Apple announced what pretty much everyone expected: the iPad Mini. If you were already in the camp that the iPad is “just a bigger iPod Touch” or “a big iPhone that can’t make phone calls,” read on for iPad Mini details to find out if you’ll say the same about Apple’s new device.

First, if you’re in the aforementioned camp, it’s worth noting that the resizing of a device back to its “original” form has happened before. If you felt the iPad was simply a huge iPod Touch, then you probably think it’s silly that the iPod Touch that was made bigger was just made smaller. Nintendo did this once as well with their DS handheld. The original DS was succeeded by the DS Lite, a smaller, thinner version, which in turn was eventually succeeded by the DS XL, a larger version of the smaller version of a larger device. This time around, some might say the iPad Mini is a smaller version of a bigger version of a smaller device. Let’s see if that claim holds any merit.

Size and Aesthetics

  • Sports a 7.9-inch diagonal size, compared to the current iPad’s 9.7-inch diagonal
  • 1064 x 768 display
  • 7.2 mm thin, weighs 0.68 pounds
  • Glass and aluminum enclosure
  • Comes in black or white

Hardware

  • Dual-core A5 chip
  • FaceTime HD camera labeled better than the one found in the iPad 2
  • Lightning dock connector
  • Wi-Fi that is two times faster
  • 5 megapixel iSight rear camera
  • 10-hour battery life.
  • 16 GB, 32 GB, or 64 GB models

Aside from that, all iPad software works on the iPad Mini, unchanged. Apple likened the new iPad Mini to the iPad 2, which is now two generations old. The cheapest model, 16 GB of memory and Wi-Fi only, will retail for $329, while the most expensive model, with 64 GB of memory and Wi-Fi and cellular services, will retail for $659. Go ahead and mix and match prices and features over on Apple’s store.

Amusingly, the new iPad Mini will be available for pre-order on Friday, October 26, the same day that Windows 8 launches.

Before Tim Cook announced the new iPad Mini, he announced a new fourth generation iPad, which boasts an A6X processor (offering twice the graphical power as the last-gen iPad), a ten-hour battery, a 720p FaceTime camera, Wi-Fi that is two times faster, a Lightning dock connector, and a Retina display. It’ll retail starting at $499, at the 10-inch iPad size we’re all used to.

So, that’s the iPad Mini. On par with a two-generations-old iPad, but smaller. To be fair, even though the iPad 2 is two generations old, that was only around two years ago, as with the addition of the new fourth-gen iPad and the iPad Mini, 2012 has seen the release of literally three new iPads.

What do you guys think, are you going to get the smaller iPad? Are you worried that, next, Apple will blow up the size of the iPad Mini and name it the iPad Mini XL? At this point, we wouldn’t actually be surprised.

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