Apple marked the beginning of a completely new category with a revolutionary device - a Tablet. This device could do anything and everything a laptop could possibly do and that too on a touch screen without a keyboard. Apple introduced its first tablet - iPad on April 3, 2010. It instantly became a sensation and still enjoys a huge fan following for being the most popular tablet in the world. It was sleek and light, making it surprisingly portable. After 4 generations of iPad, Apple introduced a compact sized tablet - Apple iPad mini. Looking at its features and specifications, iPad mini is not a reduction rather a concentration of all the goodness a full size iPad has to offer. And that's exactly how Apple has been talking about it - "Every inch an iPad".
To start with, display size of 7.9 inch has the same aspect ratio of 4:3 as the full sized iPad and similar resolution i.e. 1024 x 768. A smaller screen with the same resolution gives iPad mini a higher pixel density of 163 PPI vs 132 PPI in the earlier generation iPad. It uses the same display technology - backlit LED, with multi-touch screen. Therefore all the apps and content feel the same. Carefully chosen size of 7.9 inch offers 35% more screen size compared to other 7 inch tablets around. This is the first time Apple has changed the size of iPad from the standard 9.7 inch to a more portable size. So that, it comfortably fits in one hand and doesn't feel cumbersome while playing motion sensing games. On top of it, it truly provides the rich experience of a fully grown iPad. New Apple iPad mini is 53% lighter and 23% thinner than the earlier generation. It weighs only 308 g and measures 200 x 134.7 x 7.2 mm.
iPad mini mini runs on iOS6, the version just before the latest iOS7, which was recently launched in June 2013. It's the same operating system as on iPhone 5. Due to iOS6, sync happens on iCloud and data can be accessed using any Apple device or a PC. iCloud also manage reading list and other book marks seamlessly. If the user leaves a web page in the middle on one Apple device, the same page can be continued, through iCloud on another Apple device. iOS6 also has the feature which allows to share photos with multiple people through Shared Photo Stream.
Without doubts iPad mini is the best looking tablet around. It follows the same design philosophy as the latest iPhone - iPhone5. The display glass edges are seamlessly bevelled to fit into the beautiful Aluminium body. The bezels on the side has been reduced to create more room for the screen. This change is smartly supported by the software - it can intelligently recognize between the thumb holding and an intentional command hence, avoids any unintended taps on the screen. The rich looking Aluminium body is available in two colours - original aluminium look and powder coated black. It also houses stereo speakers at the bottom. This is the first iPad to have stereo speakers (however no earphones are included in the inbox packing). Dual core A5 chip gives it quite a fluidic performance. It's the same processor which is found on iPhone 4S, iPad 3 and iPod. Audio processor is also the same as found on iPhone 4S and the latest iPad, enabling iPad mini to have Siri and voice dictation. Voice based interactive system - Siri is an intelligent assistant which takes and processes the commands almost like a human being. iPad mini has got one of the largest and thinnest single cell battery. It lasts a good 10 hours with heavy usage. In standby mode it can go on for days without needing a charge. It comes with 5W sleek charger compared to earlier 12W bulky one. Moreover, the new compact lightning connector can be used reversibly and also like a data cable.
iPad mini has a 5 MP iSight rear camera with face-detection, auto focus and controllable exposure function. It clicks crisp and clear pictures. It can also record high definition videos at 1080p. Automatic video stabilization makes sure that the videos are free from bumps. It's lens is a five-element lens with unique aperture which results in an overall sharper and brighter image. In addition a hybrid infrared filter keeps out infra-red light for better colour output. Front camera is 1.2 MP and can smoothly run HD face-time. There are over 300000 iPad Apps which seamlessly work on iPad mini. Reading a book on handy iPad mini is an awesome experience which is further complimented by 1.5 million books in iBookstore. Pictures and images attached in an e-mail can be directly viewed in the body of the mail to make its more intuitive. Safari saves web pages even for an offline viewing so no need to worry for the internet, always. Bluetooth 4.0 transfers data in a zip. Advanced Wi-Fi with dual-band, 2.4 GHz & 5 GHz / 802.11n is up to twice as fast as the earlier generation iPad. Download speeds can reach up to 150 Mbps i.e. a full length movie file could be transferred in less than 5 seconds. Air-play allows to stream a video on a bigger screen or connect wirelessly to Wi-Fi enabled speakers with a simple tap.
iPad mini enjoys a completely redesigned Smart Cover. Separate Aluminium hinge has been removed to make the mechanism more simple and making it lighter. It magnetically attaches itself to the face precisely to protect the screen. This Smart Cover has a microfiber bottom that cleans the front of the iPad. Once the cover is lifted, It also wakes the unit up, likewise puts it in the sleep mode once the cover is placed back. Another characteristic feature which makes Apple products stand apart from others is their strict eco-friendly standards. iPad mini also scores high on this front being Mercury-free (LCD Display), Arsenic-free (Glass Display), BFR-free, PVC-free, Recyclable Aluminium enclosure.
Variants and Price(India): iPad mini is available in Wi-Fi only and Wi-Fi + Cellular options in 3 different memory options - 16GB, 32GB & 64GB. Price ranges from Rs. 21,900 to 41,900. iPad mini 2 is expected towards the end of 2013 which is likely to have a retina display (2048 x 1536 pixel) maintaining the same screen size.