The so-called iPad Mini, the smaller version of Apple’s (News - Alert) iPad tablet, was released this month. It is a lighter (weighs 0.68 lbs) and thinner (about a quarter thinner than the iPad) tablet that looks and works much like the full-size iPad but has less power, memory and no retina display.
Even though the iPad mini does not support HiDPI (a Retina high resolution display), it does, however, have a 1024 × 768 resolution and the same number of pixels as the original iPad and iPad 2.
What the mini lacks, it makes up in terms of specs. Just like the iPad 4, the mini presents enhanced Wi-Fi capabilities. It offers LTE (News - Alert) 4G wireless communication of high-speed data (which sets the next stage in the evolution for mobile connectivity). In addition, it features the Lightning connector and the new iSight and FaceTime (News - Alert) cameras.
The iPad mini uses a dual-core A5 processor, which is the same as the iPad 2, and uses the same LTE chip found in the fourth-generation iPad.
The iPad mini is available in three Wi-Fi models: 16GB ($329), 32GB ($429) and 64GB ($529). The LTE-equipped versions will raise the price by $130, thus, increasing the price for each model to $459, $559, and $659, respectively.
The appearance of Apple’s iPad mini on the shelves raises the question on whether or not it will be a contender in the tablet market. To know for sure, consumers will have to wait and see as it is too early to tell now.
Compared to other tablets of its size, like the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HD rivals, consumers may not be interested in paying an additional $130 to own the iPad mini, which is taller and wider and has less memory – contains only 512MB of RAM (News - Alert). But despite its disadvantages, it does offer more storage configurations as well as a better selection of apps and games over its rivals.
Though both the Nexus and Kindle tablets are both thicker and heavier than Apple’s mini, the other tablets are slightly smaller in size, have a higher resolution (1280 x 800 pixels) and are cheaper in price.
In comparison to Apple’s three generations of iPads, which have larger screens (9.7-inches) and weigh more (slightly less than 1.5 lbs), the iPad mini, a more portable version, is a suitable choice for mobile users on the go.
In terms of battery life, the mini tablet offers 10-hours of battery time.
The iPad mini is a good performing tablet that offers performance on par with that of the iPad 2 and better performance when loading Web pages or streaming video. It runs the latest version of the mobile operating system from Apple Inc., iOS 6, and can access and run the same apps of which are tablet-optimized – has up to 275,000 dedicated tablet applications in the App Store.
As a first-time tablet buyer who wants a cheaper alternative, Apple’s mini is a suitable choice for a Web-browsing and app-running experience. This is a tablet that offers a simpler display assembly then the iPad.
Even though the iPad mini ruins Retina chic to display more pixels and a higher screen resolution, which are positive characteristics of such a display, it does have a 7.9-inch display (like the iPad 4) and uses a Multi-Touch LED backlight.
What may appear less chic than its bigger equivalent, consumers can expect that a future Retina display will appear for the next iPad Mini – likely to hit the market in the latter half of next year.
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Edited by Brooke Neuman