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iPad Mini revealed - 'the width of a pencil'

By Greg Goodsell
October 24th, 2012
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

In a bid to acknowledge its competitors, Apple has unveiled a smaller version of its popular iPad tablet -- the iPad Mini. Apple, the originators of the computer tablet were quick to slag off its competitors at the same time.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "Others have tried to make tablets smaller than the iPad and they've failed miserably," Apple senior vice president Phil Schiller declared. "These are not great experiences."

Unveiling the 7.9-inch tablet, which is 7.2 millimeters wide, the width of a pencil, according to Schiller, the Mini weighs less than 7/10ths of a pound.

Featuring the same display-resolution specs as last year's iPad 2, the Mini will not have the high-definition "retina display" of the newest iPad.

The Mini's display will be almost an inch bigger than those of competitors such as Amazon's Kindle Fire and Google's Nexus 7.

The smaller iPad will start at $329 for a 16GB, Wi-Fi only version, ranging up to $659 for a 64GB model with cellular capability. This reflects the high end nature of the device. The new Kindle Fire HD and the Nexus 7 sell for $199.

Pre-orders for the iPad Mini will go on sale at the end of this week. The Wi-Fi only iPad Mini will is set to go on sale in stores November 2. Models that have Wi-Fi and can connect over cellular networks will start shipping in a few weeks.

Apps designed for the iPad tablet should also look good on the Mini. Apple also promises 10 hours of battery life, and the Mini will have front and rear-facing cameras like its bigger cousins. The Mini will also feature the "lightning" connector that came new on the iPhone 5 and new iPods.

"This isn't just a shrunken-down iPad," Schiller said. "It's an entirely new design."

While excitement swirls around the new Min, it wasn't exactly concealed from the wary eyes of the public. Leaks ahead of the event sketched out most of the relevant details, from dimensions of the smaller iPad to what sizes it would come in.

Schiller seemed hip to the buzz at his presentation. "You knew there would be something called 'mini' in this presentation, didn't you?" Schiller said, while presenting an update of the company's smallest desktop computer, the Mac mini. It starts at $599 for 4 GB of RAM.

Schiller opened his presentation with the new version of Apple's top-selling MacBook, the 13-inch MacBook Pro.

The new version has a high-definition "retina display" screen for the first time and is 3/4 of an inch thick -- 20 percent thinner than the current 13-inch MacBook Pro. It weighs 3.5 pounds, making it the lightest MacBook Pro ever, Its price starts at $1,699.

Both the Mac Mini and the new MacBook Pro begin shipping today.

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