Apple’s latest event unveils new iPad mini

Levi Castle

Apple revealed yet another product — a product that was rumored months before being formally introduced Tuesday. 

Following in the footsteps of their newest iPhone, the company has revealed what is called the “iPad mini.”

The iPad Mini is a 7.2 millimeter thick, 0.68-pound condensed version of the brand’s bestselling tablet, the iPad. 

While some features of the new model are the same as its cousins, many design and functionality aspects have been altered to accommodate the 7.9-inch IPS screen and form factor of the mini. 

Jony Ive, senior vice president of design for Apple, said in the iPad mini release video that there would have been inherent loss in merely reducing the current iPad in size.

“It’s a concentration, not a reduction of the original,” Ive said.

The smaller screen had the company reduce the width of the borders and, given their track record of their past products, continuing their touchscreen trend of one-hand usability.

The iPad mini houses smaller components , the company’s A5 chip (also used in the iPad 2), as well as the new standard in docking for Apple, the Lightning connector.

FaceTime HD also was talked about at the event. 

Apple was pleased to announce FaceTime on the mini has been redesigned along with the camera to take HD 720p video and pictures and allow HD video chatting. The 2.4 and 5 GHz Wi-Fi connectivity seen in the iPhone 5 will also make an appearance, in addition to the standard Bluetooth capability.

The company’s lightest and thinnest battery yet will be included in the mini, giving it 10 hours of battery life, according to the video. 

The iPad mini includes Siri integration as well.

Apple revealed that the screen has the same resolution as the iPad 2 (1024×768), but with a slightly higher pixels per inch at 163 compared to the iPad 2’s 132. 

This is the downgrade from the iPad 3’s Retina display that was expected by media sites such as CNET, due to the smaller battery in the mini not being able to hold out for the energy required to run a Retina display. 

As a comparison, the iPad 3 has a resolution of 2048×1536 and 264 pixels per inch. CNET said that the lower PPI hardly affects anything, as it fits well with the smaller display.

Cost of the mini will start at $329 for 16 GB, $429 for 32 GB and $529 for 64 GB, all being released Friday, Nov. 2.

Wi-Fi and 4G models will go on sale on Friday, Nov. 16, at $459 for 16 GB, $559 for 32 GB and $659 for 64 GB. Preorders for the device will begin Friday.

Also introduced at the event was the anticipated 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display, the new Mac minis, the new iMac and the fourth generation of the original, larger iPad. 

This new model comes with an A6X processor Apple claims doubles the A5X’s power found in the third generation.

 The A6X will also include FaceTime HD, 10 hours of battery life and the proprietary Lightning connector. Prices are $499 for the 16 GB, with $100 added for every 16 GB of storage added. The most expensive model is reported to cost $829 for the 4G LTE version. 

Preorders for the fourth generation iPad also begin Friday, with the Wi-Fi model also releasing Friday, Nov.  2 and the LTE version later that month.

All new products announced have been added to Apple’s website — perfect timing for the holidays.