Every product is carefully selected by our editors. If you buy from a link, we may earn a commission.

Apple iPad Mini and 4th Generation iPad

Keeping tabs on the tablet market

ipad-mini-black-gear-patrol
Apple

Steve Jobs had a lot to say about the market for 7-inch tablets back in October 2010: in his eyes, it boiled down to a conflict of hardware and software. “Apple’s done extensive user-testing on touch interfaces over many years, and we really understand this stuff… there are clear limits of how close you can physically place elements on a touch screen…. this is one of the key reasons we think the 10-inch screen size is the minimum size required to create great tablet apps”. Jobs saw the emerging 7-inch tablet category as “tweeners” that were “too big to compete with a smartphone and too small to compete with an iPad” and his conclusion was blunt. “We think the current crop of 7-inch tablets are going to be DOA, dead on arrival”. Needless to say, the Cupertino tech giant’s decision to enter the 7-inch fray with the newly announced iPad Mini ($350+) shows a significant turn around in thinking — proving just how much the market has changed in a few short years.

Read more after the break.

ipad-mini-white-gear-patrol

Spec-wise, the new device is in many ways just a smaller iPad 2, cramming a 7.9-inch 1024 x 768 screen, A5 processor, optional LTE antennas, a FaceTime HD front and rear 5MP iSight camera and up to 64GB of internal storage into a frame that’s a quarter thinner than the current iPad (measuring 7.2mm) while weighing 53% less at 0.68 pounds. Naturally, that new-fangled lightning port first introduced on the iPhone 5 is also onboard for solidarity.

While those hardware goodies unquestionably put the device on a lower hardware tier than the newly announced 4th generation iPad or even its predecessor, the dialed-back specs have allowed Apple to offer the Mini at a significantly lower price point that starts at $329. If you’d like LTE connectivity, the entry price jumps to $459. Yes, even those baseline models are still well above Google’s Nexus 7 and Amazon’s entry-level Kindle Fire HD, but Apple has never taken the bait in the battle over pricing — and the high quality construction combined with the smaller screen bezel do provide a distinct premium feel over the competition. Pre-orders for the wi-fi version of the iPad Mini start today and ship November 2nd. Expect their LTE companions to leave the roost sometime after that.

ipad-4th-generation-gear-patrol

As for the 4th generation iPad, there’s not much to say. The biggest changes come in the form of the lightning port, an upgraded FaceTime HD camera and a new A6X processor that provides double the performance of the 3rd generation just released 6 months earlier. Pricing, colors and model configurations are the same as last time — making the new model a kick in the crotch for earlier buyers of “The New iPad”, but such is life as a first adopter.

Buy Now: Wi-fi $350+ | LTE $439+

This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
More From Tech