It's raining iPads!

Anna Scantlin
Contributing Editor from  Kansas City, MO
| October 24, 2012


I’ve actually been anxiously waiting to see what the iPad Mini would bring to us, or if it would even amount to anything more than just a rumor. On the one hand, it would give Apple access to customers looking for a smaller tablet than a 10” and wanting said tablet to run on iOS. On the other hand, I feel like they would have benefited from it more if they had chosen to launch an iPad Mini before now. Regardless, Apple has officially announced that they are at long last launching an iPad Mini, and surprisingly the iPad 4 will also be launched along with it.

Although I expected to see the launch of an iPad Mini, the iPad 4 is what caught me by surprise. The New iPad (I still hate that name) was launched just over 6 months ago, so I feel this is a little abnormal for them to release a new tablet that was specifically made to replace this most recent model. With the holidays quickly approaching, I’m sure it was all part of the business plan to get more sales. The iPad 4 will replace The New iPad on Apple’s website, but they will still have the iPad 2 for sale for whatever reason.

When it comes to pricing, the iPads have a pretty good range. The iPad Mini will start at $329 for the 16 GB model, and the iPad 4 will start at $499 for the same amount of memory. Bridging the two devices is the iPad 2 starting at $399, which I feel is a happy medium and a pretty expectable pricing coming from Apple. Now, $170 is a big gap for the same amount of memory when it comes to the newer iPads, but the iPad 4 has quite a bit more to offer in my opinion.

The iPad 4 will be packing Apple’s new A6X processor, which they claim will be twice as fast as the A5X processor (which the iPad Mini will be using). Apple claims that the iPad 4 will also have faster WiFi radios than it does on the other iPad models, so if you’re a heavy data user and you’re not one for waiting around for lag, you might want to be leaning towards the iPad 4. Both will offer LTE connectivity on Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint.

Aside from speed, the display on the two new iPads also differs pretty greatly from one another. The iPad Mini will have a 7.9 inch display with 1024 x 768 pixels. This gives it 163 PPI, as opposed to the iPad 4 which has 2048 x 1436 pixels on a 9.7 inch screen, giving it 264 PPI. That’s a pretty big dip in quality when comparing the iPad 4 to the iPad Mini, but I guess that all depends on how much display quality matters to you.

7”-8” tablets are nothing new in the market, so I’m not sure if the iPad Mini is going to become as big of a household name as the 9.7” iPad has. I am really happy that Apple can now cater to people who want different tablet sizes instead of making them choose between something like a 9.7” tablet or a 3.5” iPod Touch. If I had to choose between the two, I would have to choose the iPad 4. The iPad Mini would definitely fit more comfortably in my hands, but I wouldn’t mind dropping an extra $170 for the faster features. When I purchase a tablet, I plan on keeping that tablet for the long haul.

With that being said, what do you think about the launch of the two iPads, readers? Are you thinking about purchasing one? Are you happy with what you already have? Are you also surprised at a dual launch? Let me know what you think!

Images via Apple

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