Although tablets have long existed on the market, it wasn’t until Apple introduced the iPad in 2010 that the world stood up and took notice. Apple followed up on the success of the original with the iPad 2 in 2011 and the “New iPad” earlier this year.
While those 9.7″ tablets were introduced with price points of $499 and above, Apple today is looking to conquer the budget market with the introduction of the iPad mini. The iPad mini forgoes the bulkier frame of its larger siblings for a more svelte frame and 7.85″ display.
Speaking of the display, Apple’s competitors can gloat a bit on this aspect of the iPad mini; at least when it comes to screen resolution. Like the original iPad and iPad 2, the iPad mini sports a 1024×768 resolution screen. Compared to the competition from Amazon and Barnes and Noble, the iPad mini comes up short:
Kindle Fire HD 7″: 1280×800
Kindle Fire HD 8.9″: 1920×1080
Nook HD 7″: 1440×900
Nook HD+ 8.9″: 1920×1280
Despite the seemingly archaic screen resolution — which is being retained to maintain compatibility with the existing iPad app library and to reduce power consumption — Apple points to superb viewing angles and better color reproduction.
The iPad mini uses a dual-core A5 processor, faster WiFi, Lightning connector, and includes a 5MP cameras on the back. The iPad mini is just 7.2mm thin, and weighs just 0.68 pounds. Battery life is rated at 10 hours.
The iPad mini starts at $329 for the 16GB model; add $100 for 32GB and $200 for 64GB. If you want LTE, you can add an additional $130 to each of those prices. The iPad mini will be available for pre-order starting Friday. The WiFi models will ship November 2.
The 9.7″ iPad also got an update (now called the fourth generation model), and uses an A6X processor which is twice as fast as the previous A5X. It also has twice the graphics performance. The device has been updated with a FaceTime HD camera, Lightning dock connector, and faster Wi-Fi. It will also be available for pre-order on Friday.
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