When Apple launches the expected iPad Mini in September, many potential buyers will be facing the decision of whether to buy the iPad or the iPad Mini.:
- What are the differences between the iPad 3 vs. iPad Mini?
- How expensive is the iPad Mini?
- What are the benefits of the iPad Mini ?
- How different is the iPad Mini vs. the Kindle Fire or Nexus 7?
For many, the choice will not be an easy one. That is where this article comes in.
Although we won’t know for sure until Apple announces the smaller iPad, we can make some pretty intelligent comparisons at this point based upon what we do know. So if you’re trying to decide between the iPad vs. the iPad Mini, then read on my friend. I will continue to update this more information becomes available.
What’s In A Name?
For starters, what will the smaller iPad be called? With a rumored 7.85″ display (compared to 9.7″ for the full size), it would be difficult for Apple to call it the iPad 8″ because it’s just not 8 inches diagonally. Similarly, it’s well over 7 inches and so likely wouldn’t be called the iPad 7″.
This leaves the most likely possibility (in my opinion), which would be the iPad Mini. Apple has used the “Mini” convention in the past with iPods and so could certainly resurrect it again for the iPad.
Size & Display
As mentioned above, the iPad Mini will likely sport a 7.85″ display. This puts it above many of its 7″ tablet competitors but still almost 2″ smaller than the larger iPads. There has been much debate regarding how large the bezel of the Mini will be, adding to some of the ambiguity regarding the overall dimensions.
As far as thicknesses go, the iPad Mini will likely be several millimeters thinner than full size iPads putting it at about 7.2mm. For anyone who thinks the current iPad is relatively thin, they will be in for a pleasant surprise when they pick up the Mini.
The iPad Mini will most likely not have a retina display, but will still use the same high quality display technology as found in the iPad 2. Leaving the retina display as a “full size iPad only” feature will allow Apple to market it as a reason to splurge for the more expensive (and more profitable) 9.7″ iPads. Additionally, a non-retina display will help Apple keep costs down on the Mini.
Being smaller than the current iPad, the iPad Mini will undoubtedly weigh less than its larger siblings. Daring Fireball estimates that the iPad Mini might clock in at around 265 grams, well below that of the WiFi only iPad at at 652 grams. It also would be significantly lighter than one of it’s main competitors the Nexus 7, which weights 340 grams.
Being an iPad, the iPad Mini will absolutely run the iPad version of iOS 6. Although the iPhone and iPad have a very similar operating system, they are in fact different versions of iOS. Just take a look at the Settings app between the two. This is one of the key differences between the iPad Mini and other 7″ tablets. The iPad Mini is a true tablet rather than an over-sized phone.
Hardware & Models
It’s likely that the iPad Mini will probably have two cameras. A front facing camera is necessary for Facetime, which is a large part of Apple’s marketing strategy. At the same time, a rear camera is basically a necessity in this era.
The iPad Mini will likely be offered in WiFi and WiFi + 3G models The 4G LTE will probably not show up in the initial iPad Mini due to cost limitations. Expect a 4G version to show up in the iPad Mini 2 (although it likely will not be called the “2” officially).
As for storage, expect to see 16GB and 32GB models with a possibility for of a 64GB version as well.
What Will It Cost and When Is the Release Date?
Ultimately when it comes down to buying the iPad Mini vs. iPad, price is going to be a big part of the equation.
Most rumors put the iPad Mini cost at about $199 – $250. I’d expect the price to be closer to $250 as Apple typically prices somewhat higher than the competition for the additional perceived value. Regardless, this type of price point will put it squarely in competition with the Kindle Fire and Nexus 7, both of which are $199.
As for release date, Apple will likely announce the iPad Mini on September 12 along with the new iPhone 5 but it may not start shipping until later in the fall.
If the rumors and speculation above are correct, would you be an iPad or an iPad Mini and why?