No Small Feat: iPad mini is 23% thinner, 53% lighter, and starts at $329

Apple's event just finished, and it didn't disappoint. The iPad mini looks like a winner. As I expected, one of the emphases was thin and light. It's 23% thinner than the current iPad and 53% lighter. It weighs just .68 lbs, and is .28 inches thick. As was rumored, it has the same resolution as the iPad 2 (1024x768), with the screen measuring 7.9 inches diagonally. What's important is that it's been completely re-engineered. This is, basically, a new iPad -- not just a current iPad made smaller. The WiFi-only model starts at $329 for 16GB memory. The version that connects to the cellular network starts at $459.

The iPad mini will go on sale Friday, Oct. 26, and the WiFi version will be available in stores on November 2. The cellular data model will be available two weeks later. Each memory increment adds $100, up to 64GB.

It has a 5-megapixel, 1080p camera, and a high-def, 720p front-facing FaceTime camera. And the new Lightning connector, of course. It comes with 10-hour battery life.

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Phil Schiller compared the iPad mini to a 7-inch Google Nexus 7 side by side. The mini's display is 29.6 square inches compared to 21.9 square inches for the Nexus -- which means a 35% larger display area. He showed that because part of the display on the Nexus is taken up with navigation tools, the mini actually has 49% larger web surfing area in portrait mode, and 67% larger in landscape mode -- yet is extremely thin and light.

Overall, the message was that it's thin and light, but is still large enough to give the iPad experience. Designer Jony Ive described it as a "concentration, not a reduction" in size.

You can get all the specs on the Apple website

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Jim Karpen holds a Ph.D. in literature and writing, and has a love of gizmos. His doctoral dissertation focused on the revolutionary consequences of digital technologies and anticipated some of the developments taking place in the industry today. Jim has been writing about the Internet and technology since 1994 and has been using Apple's visionary products for decades.