Apple launches iPad Mini small tablet

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012 11:28:57 by

In a bid to dominate the fast-growing tablet market, Apple has unveiled its widely-anticipated 7.9in (20.1cm) tablet, the iPad Mini, a new tablet half the size of its existing iPad.

The device, which is 7.2mm (0.3in) thick and weighs 0.68lbs (0.3kg), was announced at an event in California.

The entry wi-fi-only model, with 16GB storage, will cost £269 in the UK and be available on 2 November.

The iPad Mini will compete directly with cheaper similar-sized tablets recently launched by Google, Amazon, Samsung and others.

But the price may prove a barrier for potential buyers considering it against its rivals: the iPad mini will start at $329 (£269 in the UK), against $159 for the cheapest Kindle Fire and $249 for the Nexus 7.

Apple’s vice-president of marketing Phil Schiller told attendees that the device was 23% thinner and 53% lighter than the third-generation iPad, which was released in March this year.

He noted, “Others have tried to make tablets smaller than the iPad and they’ve failed miserably. These are not great experiences.”

It will have the same display-resolution specs as last year’s iPad 2, not the high-definition “retina display” of the newest iPad, which also got an update on Tuesday.

The iPad Mini’s display will be nearly an inch bigger than those of competitors like Amazon’s Kindle Fire and Google’s Nexus 7. It will also be somewhat more expensive.

The device’s screen has the same proportions as the larger iPads, meaning that apps designed for the tablet should also look good on the Mini. Apple promises 10 hours of battery life, and the Mini will have front- and rear-facing cameras like its bigger cousins.

It also will have the “lightning” connector that came new on the iPhone 5 and new iPods.

The vice president further stated, “This isn’t just a shrunken-down iPad and it’s an entirely new design. You knew there would be something called ‘mini’ in this presentation, didn’t you?”

Schiller opened by unveiling the new version of Apple’s top-selling MacBook, the 13-inch MacBook Pro.

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