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Dissecting the iPad Mini

Today Apple announced its latest and smallest tablet, the iPad Mini. The rumors have been swirling for months about this device and its specs. So how does the Mini stack up? Pretty well considering it is meant to be a junior version of Apples flagship iPad offered at a cheaper price point.

What’s under the hood:
The new iPad Mini has slightly better specs than the 2nd generation iPad. Both are powered by Apple’s dual-core A5 chip. Both tablets also have the same 1024-by-768 resolution on their displays. However, the new iPad Mini has a slightly smaller screen. Its screen size is 7.9in where the iPad 2’s screen is 9.7in. This difference in screen size means that the Mini’s display is slightly sharper at 163 pixels per inch as opposed to 132.

Capture the fun:
The new iPad Mini has the same advanced camera specs as the new iPad 4. It’s a huge step forward from the iPad 2’s VGA resolution FaceTime camera and lower resolution back camera. The Mini sports 1080p video recording and 5MP photos with autofocus and face detection as well as 1.2MP photos and 720p video on the FaceTime camera.

Size matters:
The biggest selling point for the new iPad Mini is going to be its compact size. Its 7.87 inches tall and 5.3 inches wide with a weight of only .68 pounds. That is less than half the weight of the current iPad. The Mini is also only .28 inches thick. That is thinner than the new iPhone 5! Apple is comparing the weight to a small pad of paper.

The bottom line:
The iPad Mini does have one feature that isn’t that mini, the price tag. The 16GB models start at $329, only $70 less than the iPad 2. That price point is, on average, about $130 more than similar “non Apple” tablets like the Nexus 7 and the Kindle Fire HD. Once the iPad Mini hits the stores hopefully we can see if the Mini is worth the extra cash. As an iPad 2 user I’m looking forward to checking the Mini out in person to see if it needs to end up on my Christmas list for 2012.

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