Apple has officially unveiled a smaller version of its popular iPad tablet PC, confirming rumours that have been swirling around the industry for much of 2012.
Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, Phil Schiller, announced that the device would be 7.2mm thick and weigh under 310g.
Schiller said that this makes it 23% thinner than the newly announced 4th generation iPad and as light as a notepad. Schiller joked that they wanted to say “as light as a book” but books are much heavier.
The device is to come in black and white, with the black model having the same anodisation as the iPhone 5.
According to Schiller the team worked really hard to determine what size of display to use.
Apple didn’t want developers to do any work, but they also wanted a thinner device that wasn’t so small that it is un-useable.
For this reason Apple opted for a 7.9-inch display that uses the exact same resolution as the iPad 2: 1,024×768.
The iPad Mini runs on a dual-core A5 processor, and sports a front FaceTime HD camera, and 5-megapixel iSight camera on the back capable of 1080p recording.
It also has support for LTE technology, Wi-Fi, and uses Apple’s new Lightning connector.
As with its larger siblings, the iPad Mini comes in 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB variants, with prices starting at $329.
US pricing for the Wi-Fi only models is $329 for 16GB, $429 for 32GB and $529 for 64GB.
Pricing for the Wi-Fi plus Cellular models is $459 for 16GB, $559 for 32GB, and $659 for 64GB.
Schiller said that pre-orders for the iPad Mini would open on 26 October 2012 and Wi-Fi only versions would ship on 2 November 2012.
Models that include a cellular data modem would start shipping two weeks after that, Schiller said.