Computing

iPad Mini: Everything You Need To Know

The iPad Mini is here. It’s a sleek, thin and light 7.9-inch tablet made of anodised aluminium and glass that follows the format reduction pioneered by Google and Amazon. Its specs and design are pretty much what we expected.

Here are all its specs and how it compares to the Google Nexus 7 and the Kindle Fire HD.

More: iPad Mini Gets An Australian Price

The Screen

The iPad Mini has a larger surface than the Nexus 7 or the Kindle Fire HD: 7.9 inches vs 7 inches. Remember that this size is diagonal, so the difference is quite substantial. The area of the iPad Mini is smaller than the regular iPad, but it’s significantly larger than the panoramic Android 7-inch tablets. Here’s a comparison:

It’s yet to be In fact, the iPad mini’s screen has 35 per cent more real estate than the Nexus 7. According to Apple, that gives you a 50 per cent larger surface to browse the web in landscape mode and 67 per cent larger in landscape mode.

It’s yet to be seen if the the size difference will affect consumers’ decision. My guess is yes, if the price is competitive enough.

The pixel resolution is 1024×769 pixels. The screen is 162ppi at 7.9 inches and 1024×768. It’s not as dense as the iPad 3 and 4, but at that size it will be much sharper than the previous generations. We’ll let you know how it stands up to the Kindle Fire HD’s 1280×800 (216ppi) screen as we find out more about it. For reference, the iPad 2 was 132ppi, and the 2012 iPad is 264ppi.

Specifications

Basically, the iPad Mini is a smaller iPad 2; it uses the same dual-core A5 processor, memory and storage. The major upgrade to the A5 chip in this year’s iPad (the A5X was sold as a graphical update at the time). That’s a full three generations back now, with the A6X out now. This is almost certainly the same chip design that was die-shrunk in the upgraded iPad 2.

The iPad Mini is an all anodised aluminium design, like the iPhone 5. The Google Nexus 7 is made of plastic, while the Kindle Fire HD has a rubberised back that is quite nice to grab. Like the iPhone too, it comes in black and white.

It’s quite light and thin. As pad of paper: just 308g and 7.2mm thin. That’s 53 per cent lighter than the fourth-generation iPad. It compares very favourably to the Nexus 7 (340g and 10.4mm).

Like all the iPads, it comes in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB flavours.

Battery Life

Apple claims a 10-hour battery life surfing the web on Wi-Fi, watching video or listening to music, using its 16.3-watt-hour rechargeable lithium-polymer battery.

The Nexus 7 is rated by Google at eight hours, if you’re looking for that comparison.

Connectivity

It comes with 4G LTE, 802.11a/b/g/m Wi-Fi and a Lightning port.

Cameras

It has a FaceTime HD camera, which is better than the one in iPad 2. Apple wants you to compare that to the Nexus 7, which is 1.2 megapixels.

Like the bigger iPad, it comes with a 5MP camera on the back. This is something that neither the Nexus 7 nor the Kindle Fire HD has.

Availability

Pre-orders start this Friday and will start shipping on November 2. The Wi-Fi version will ship first and start at $369 in Australia, followed shortly by the 4G version, which will start at $509.

The iPad 2 price remains the same, by the way. The iPad 3 is gone, replaced by the 4th-generation model. [Apple]

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