Apple Unveils 7.9" iPad mini, 16GB Model Starts at $329
October 23, 2012 1:50 PM
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Apple goes for the kill in the tablet market
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
"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 1024x768 resolution screen. Compared to the competition from
Barnes and Noble
, the iPad mini comes up short:
Kindle Fire HD 7": 1280x800
Kindle Fire HD 8.9": 1920x1080
Nook HD 7": 1440x900
Nook HD+ 8.9": 1920x1280
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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The girls went gaga...
10/23/2012 5:07:46 PM
The two girls who sit by me at work seem interested. They were complaining that the Retina iPads that they have are too heavy, and that they would want something lighter. I mentioned that this is nothing more than an iPad2 in a smaller case, with an older processor, but they didn't seem to care that the hardware is slower - they were more intrigued by the 0.68 lbs weight. One even went so far as to fold up a sheet of paper to see how big the iPad mini would be.
These are the types of people Apple is targeting with the iPad mini. They don't care about the Nexus 7 because they can't walk into a store and play with it, and they obviously don't care about hardware specs. And to top it off, they are fairly insensitive to price, meaning Apple can charge them $329 and accessory vendors can charge them another $50 for 'cute' cases and whatnot.
So as much as I think that this is a lackluster effort by Apple to plug a gap in their lineup before the holidays... well, it'll sell by the millions.
RE: The girls went gaga...
10/24/2012 5:07:25 AM
I actually logged in purely because of this comment (and logging in involves checking my email, so I don't take that lightly).
How ironic that the 'girls' you perceive as misinformed and 'not caring about specs' actually select the product with far higher performance.
Have you even visited Anandtech in the last year? The iPad 2 and iPad 3 are still faster than ANY Android tablet released to date. What you describe as an 'older processor' massively outperforms the Nexus 7, Fire, or Surface. It's not even close.
metric that the iPad Mini loses out to the Nexus on is resolution, but the Nexus has all sorts of screen colour quality issues.
Going further, the Nexus doesn't offer LTE, it has much less battery life, it has a tiny proportion of the apps that the iPad has, it's heavier, it's fatter, and its build quality has been widely criticised.
I find it fascinating how so many Android fans these days are completely oblivious to the relative performance of these tablets, but masquerade as being 'in the know' and looking down on the logical people who actually buy iPads.
RE: The girls went gaga...
10/24/2012 10:27:09 AM
Android fan? I own an iPhone 4, an original iPad, my primary computer at home is a revA Mac Pro, I have a 2003 PowerBook G4 sitting on my coffee table, and my 2002 Power Mac G4 (dual processor, four HDDs, dual graphics cards, full PCI slots, max RAM) just blew its power supply. I have a Mac SE and a Performa in my parents' basement, along with an older Power Mac and PowerBook 1400cs. I have a working and modded G4 Cube decorating the bedroom. You wanna call me an Android fanboy again, punk?
I never called them misinformed. I called them uninformed. It's more an issue of Google being unable to effectively market to this demographic that's the issue - the 'average' person who doesn't follow tech probably has no idea that the Nexus 7 is even available. I don't fault Apple for cleaning up the market and laughing all the way to the bank while they do it.
And yes, they are charging as much as the market will bear while putting in components that have had their R&D paid for many times over already. Any and every company wishes they were in this position.
tl;dr - it's a good (though expensive and unimaginative) product for the consumer, but a significantly better product for Apple.
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