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 1024x769 pixels. The screen is 162ppi at 7.9 inches and 1024x768. 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 1280x800 (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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Comments

    Can you please comment on the use of the A5 chip? 3 generations old sounds old to me. How does its performance stack up to the Nexus 7 chip?

    So ipad 2 is still available but ipad 3 is discontinued and ipad 4 is available for preorder. If Steve jobs is still alive he would die today :)

      I knew this was gonna happen, there's a reason why Apple blossomed when he came back to Apple 10 years ago, now that he's officially gone Apple has no other guidance. Soon Samsung and other competitors will overthrow them piece by piece until they're nothing more than a mid tier company. I'm not trying to hate on Apple, it's just that they need to once again create a new market similar to what they've done in the past with iPod, iPhone, Macbook Air & iPad.

      iGlass is just around the corner.

        To be fair, Apple didn't create the market for iPod, iPhone, MBA or iPad. They took an existing idea and did it much better, with enough marketing and focus on UX to make it popular and accessible.

        iGlass could be something like that, which would be a good thing for all kinds of AR innovation.

      there's no such thing as an iPad 3 or iPad 4. They've moved to a 'spec bump' system, the same one Steve used for iMacs etc.

      Also that was an incredibly disrespectful thing to say.

      Last edited 24/10/12 9:41 am

      If Steve Jobs was alive today he would have walked out on stage and told everybody in the world how amazing the iPad Mini was. Steve Jobs wasn't stupid enough to never change his mind.

        Thankyou! Exactly.

        Besides which, he said 7 inches wouldn't work. Is 7.9 inches 7 inches? Maybe they've changed reality but I don't think so.

        Last edited 24/10/12 3:49 pm

    And so begins the downward spiral of Apple as we know it. Today makes the loss of Jobs even more poignant as I doubt anyone can guide them out of this mess.

    Disappointing price(very)
    Disappointing display
    Disappointing performance
    What can I say - disappointing....
    And to think I was waiting to buy the misses one - I'll try a Nexus 7 instead

      I tried the nexus 7. Was incredibly disappointed. It was a s stable as a jail broken ipad. The App Store is an absolute mess. It was painful to use. The ipad mini is a little larger, lighter and thinner than the nexus. I will be getting one!

        Gueaaing you didn't actually use one then. Never had an problem with my nexus 7, app store is now more user friendly than the mobile interface apple have gone with... so... your comments seem a bit moot.

        I'm a big ipad fan having pre-ordered each successive version and toting mine around where ever I go, recently i had the opportunity to pick up a nexus 7 for $100 and im very impressed, its now replaced my ipad as my daily tablet, its nicer to read on and i'm absolutely loving the ability to do all those things that apple locks you out of (USB access, Torrents). I've had zero problems with stability or the app store and i would absolutely recommend it to anyone who is looking for a tablet regardless of your budget.

        Apple fanboy response. Nexus 7 is very stable and fast. Google play store is very well set out. You are I believe a liar.

      The display beats any budget 7 incher on the market
      I bet the performance will too, (just look at i5 vs the gs3)

      Get over your apple hating syndrome and accept that this is an excellent 7 inch tablet

        Its good, but thats because you are comparing it to budget 7 inchers.
        The iPad mini is a premium device.
        Its like comparing a Porsche 911 to a Toyota Carolla, sure the Porsche is better but you are also paying more for it.

        In the end, the iPad mini is supposed to be for the budget minded and it is out classed (value for money wise) by the Nexus 7 and other cheaper alternatives. Hell its priced pretty damn close to the full iPad's.

        Good device, not exactly sure of the target market for it tho.

          Please do not compare the Porsche to a highly efficient, and reliable stallion like the Corolla. Wonderful cars, built to last, and get an extreme amount of mileage on a tank that will only cost you $40 to fill it to the brim.

      I seem to remember people saying the same things about the original iPad, and the original iPhone. Remind me how that turned out?

    How is this at all a disappointment? It beats the nexus 7 in almost every way. It's a great competitor to the other budget 7 inch tablets.

    Does it come with sandpaper so we can whittle our fingers down to suit the smaller screen?

      Lol, Steve Jobs would have had a heart attack if he were alive today and saw the iPad mini and your comment!! Made me laugh :-)

        No he wouldn't. He would've been behind it. Remember when he said noone reads anymore, and then launched iBooks?

        The dude used to say things and then change his mind. It's part of what made him so good at what he did. Don't over-dramatise it.

    I have to ask, can you replace the battery yourself?

    50% larger in landscape mode AND 67% larger in landscape mode?!

    SWEET.

    Why no mention of the resolution of the Nexus 7 in this comparison in the Screen section of this article? A better specs comparison can be found here: http://blog.gsmarena.com/apple-joins-the-7-inch-tablet-battleground-faces-the-nexus-7-and-kindle-fire-hd-in-merciless-battle-for-market-share/

    Im hoping the next Google announcement next week will show a new Nexus 7 not just with 32GB of onboard memory, but improved specs as well, not to mention a 10" Nexus that will battle with the new iPad.

    You might want to edit this article, it's full of typos and literals.

    So there's the iphone5, iphone4S, iphone4, ipod touch, ipod nano, 4th-gen iPad, ipad 2 and now the ipad mini. Nope no confusion here at all.

    The Kindle and Nexus popular tablets now have a direct competitor. I wonder how this will work out?

    Still can't believe they shrunk the iPad 2 as opposed ot the third one.

      They need to leave something for next generation such as retinafication

    I have just bought an i pad mini (my first apple product as a long time windows user) and I feel totally cheated, already there is talk of the next i pad mini WITH retina display, it seems to me that apple gives you just enough to hook you into the apple treadmill of must have latest hardware to maximise your apple experience. Well sorry, enough for me after just one shot, I don't want to have to keep forking out big $$$ just to get benefits that should have been included in the product that I bought, given that the technology already existed but was held back for marketing reasons. Apple is going to come unstuck big time when Microsoft ( capital M notice) finally decides to go head to head with apple in the tablet market with windows 8 and beyond.

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