Everyone thought they knew it all. Apple has a new event planned for October and thanks to dozens of leaks and revelations we already know that we are going to see a new iPad model being launched – the iPad mini to be specific. We also know almost everything there is to it, in terms of features.
True, we all got that right. Putting an end to the endless speculations and expectations Apple announced the new iPad mini, but not before dropping a bombshell, in the form of a new iPad. A fourth generation iPad! Already!
The announcement of the fourth generation iPad came out of the blue, totally unexpected – to the amazement of few and to the annoyance of many. Stepping out of its own tradition of a one year cycle, Apple has announced the next gen iPad in less than a year’s time. This has no doubt ticked off everyone who bought the 3rd gen iPad, prompting many to call it the iPad 3S.
The 4th gen iPad is indeed just an update over the previous generation, with no design changes. And all the upgrades are what one would expect. The new retina iPad (this is what Apple is calling the iPad now to differentiate it from the mini) gets all the new features that were introduced with the iPhone 5. Namely, the upgraded iSight camera and the FaceTime HD camera, the A6X processor, which makes the new iPad twice as fast as the less than an year old previous model, LTE connectivity and finally, the lightning connector. Battery backup is 10 hours. The price remains the same. Starting at $499 for 16GB Wi-Fi model and $629 for 16GB Wi-Fi + LTE.
In fact, with the launch of the new iPad, Apple has actually phased out the 3rd generation iPad. The 4th gen iPad is the 3rd gen iPad. The iPad 2 is still available, in only 16GB versions. Wi-Fi, 16GB model costs $399 and the 16GB cellular costs $529.
It seems, Apple wanted to bring about some uniformity with its products. Now, the iPhone 5 and the iPad retina are on the same level in terms of features. The iPod touch is one level below the iPhone and the iPad mini is the smaller brother of the larger iPad at one level below. And this is going to continue with the coming generations.
The iPad mini is everything that the iPod touch is, but only larger. The screen measures 7.9 inches diagonally, 0.28 inches thick and comes in 16, 32 and 64GB models, with a starting price of $329 for 16GB, Wi-Fi only model and $459 for the cellular variant. Other than these, the remaining features are the same. There is the latest iSight and FaceTime HD cameras, the A5 processor and lightning port. Thought the iPad mini is not available in multicolored panels, the black model does feature the “slate” finish on the back panel, just like the new iPod touch. Apple’s smallest iPad also lasts up to 10 hours on battery. And one last thing. The iPad mini display has a resolution of 1024-by-768 pixel, which means it is non retina.