Oct. 23, 2012 at 1:02 PM ET
"This isn't just a shrunken down iPad," Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing, said as he showed off the all new iPad Mini during Apple's media event on Tuesday. "It's an entirely new design."
The iPad Mini is 7.2 millimeters thin (that's about as thin as a pencil). It weights 0.68 pounds, which is as light as a standard pad of paper. These measurements make the iPad Mini 23 percent thinner and 53 percent lighter than the third-generation iPad. The tablet is a 7.9-inch device with a 1024 × 768 pixel resolution. "Easy to remember. 7.9, 9.7," Schiller said, contrasting the measurements of the iPad Mini and the regular iPad.
There's a dual-core A5 chip, a FaceTime HD camera in the front, a 5MP iSight camera in the back, a Lightning connector, and all the usual iPad guts, of course. From the sounds of it, the iPad Mini contains the power of the iPad 2, with some slight upgrades (and a much smaller body). According to Schiller, the iPad Mini has a 10-hour battery life, which is about on par with the battery life Google advertises for the Nexus 7.
Schiller took several jabs at Google's popular 7-inch tablet, ouf course, pointing out that — unlike the Nexus 7 — the iPad Mini has over 275,000 apps specifically designed for tablets available to it, rather than a bunch of scaled-up phone apps.
"We took the time to create a product that was a concentration of, but not a reduction of, the original product," Apple's senior vice president of industrial Design, Jony Ive, pointed out in a video shown during the media event.
Like the iPad, the iPad Mini has a line of accessories such as Apple's Smart Covers, naturally. "It is every inch an iPad," a commercial shown during the event emphasized.
The iPad Mini starts at $329 for a 16GB Wi-Fi-only model. 32Gb and 64 GB Wi-Fi-only models are available for $429 and $529, respectively, while their LTE-capable counterparts are priced at $459, $559, and $659, for the 16GB, 32GB, and 63GB versions, respectively.
Pre-orders start on Oct. 26. The Wi-Fi-only models will ship a week later, on Nov. 2. The LTE-enabled models will ship about two weeks later.
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