John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Hello, iPad Mini

The iPad mini is here.

At an invitation-only event in San Jose this morning, Apple unveiled the eagerly anticipated device, just as AllThingsD said it would back in August.

The device is largely as the rumors and speculation the past few months have described it: The iPad, condensed. The iPad mini features a 7.9-inch display, with 1024 by 768 resolution that makes it 35 percent larger than the displays of seven-inch tablets like the Kindle Fire HD and Nexus 7. It has a 7.2mm-thick aluminum chassis (as thin as a pencil) that weighs as much as a pad of paper and is easily held in one hand, and it comes in black or white.

Apple design guru Jony Ive described Apple’s new tablet this way: “iPad mini is a concentration of the iPad, not a reduction. We didn’t want to take anything away from the original, so we built an entirely new product.”

As for the iPad Mini’s innards? Driving it is Apple’s A5 chip. The device includes a FaceTime front camera and five-megapixel back camera, LTE wireless, faster Wi-Fi, the Lightning connector and 10-hour battery life. It will arrive at market accompanied by its own version of the iPad Smart Cover.

As VP Phil Schiller noted this morning, “The iPad mini is every inch an iPad.”

Prices start at $329 for the 16 gigabyte Wi-Fi version, and $459 for the cellular mini. Preordering starts Friday, with the Wi-Fi models expected to start shipping Nov. 2, and the cellular models two weeks after that.

Also unveiled this morning, much to the chagrin of folks who recently purchased the new iPad: A fourth-generation iPad, featuring an A6x chip that doubles performance, and a chipset that doubles the graphics performance, as well. Other features: 10-hour battery life, FaceTime HD and the new Lightning connector. The price stays the same.

“Why is iPad so successful?” Apple CEO Tim Cook asked this morning. “Well, there’s a simple explanation. People love their iPads.” But, he continued, “We are just getting started. We’re not taking our foot off the gas.”

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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus