After months of speculation, it now seems almost certain that Apple will release an iPad Mini. The diminutive iPad will have a 7.85-inch, 1024×768 (163 PPI) 4:3 screen, and if parts leaked by Chinese suppliers are to be believed the device will look like an iPad-iPhone lovechild (pictured above).
The iPad Mini will have one purpose: To stem the loss of tablet sales caused by the rebellious 7-inch Amazon Kindle Fire and Google Nexus 7.
To do this, the iPad Mini must look/feel better than the Android tablets, have a better range of apps/content — and, as a sweetener, have a better hardware spec and cost less.
Design & hardware
Judging by the leaked chassis, and the relatively low-resolution screen, the iPad Mini will roughly the same height and length as the Nexus 7, but thinner and lighter — probably around 7.5mm thick and 270 grams. The Nexus 7 on the other hand is 10.5mm thick and weighs 340 grams — the iPad Mini will have a slightly larger screen (7.8 vs. 7 inches diagonal), and yet it’ll be 30% thinner and lighter. (The Kindle Fire is 11.4mm and 413g, incidentally.)
Instead of leading the pack spec-wise, like the iPad 3 , think of the iPad Mini as an iPad Air. If it really does weigh 270g, the Mini it will be well under half the weight of the full-size iPad 2 and 3 — in fact, it’ll be around the same size and weight as Amazon’s e-ink Kindle Keyboard. The iPad Mini will be the lightest, easy-to-hold content consumption device on the market. Don’t expect it to have amazing battery life, or anything more than 512MB of RAM and last-year’s A5 SoC — like the 7-inch Android tablets, the iPad Mini will be nice, but have plenty of space
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