Apple is busy preparing for Wednesday's special event, where the iPhone 5, along with a number of other devices, will be unveiled. But one exciting new device from Apple that we don't expect to see this week is the iPad Mini, Apple's expected 7-inch tablet design.
Rumors about an iPad Mini have been floating around since as early as January, when reports referred to the rumored tablet as the iPad 4. Months later we're pretty sure that Apple is working on a 7-inch tablet which will be released later this fall.
Despite Apple's refusal to comment on any rumors regarding the iPad Mini, we have a pretty good idea what new features, design and technologies the iPad Mini might include. Here are five reasons to get excited about the iPad Mini:
Retina Display: There is every reason to believe that the iPad Mini will feature the same beautiful retina display screen featured in the third-generation iPad. This high-density screen makes it impossible for the user to identify individual pixels with their own eyes.
However, the iPad Mini could also feature an IGZO display (indium gallium zinc oxide). This screen technology from Sharp Inc is designed for particularly thin devices and can display up to 330 ppi. This would be a big step up from the new iPad, which only offers 264 ppi. It would also make the iPad Mini competitive with Amazon's new Kindlewhite in terms of pixels.
Better Battery Life: Disappointing battery life is a common issue for Apple products, and although the company promises at least 10 hours of use per charge for its devices it often ends up being closer to seven hours.
The iPad Mini will likely feature a battery similar to the current iPad's 42.5-watt-hour rechargeable lithium-polymer model, meaning that the upcoming tablet will be likely last for even longer than 10 hours. Don't get your hopes up, but Apple could probably offer 11 or even 12 hours of surfing with the iPad Mini while still offering their cheapest tablet yet.
WiFi, BlueTooth and LTE Connectivity: There's no question that the iPad Mini will offer Wifi and Bluetooth 4.0 capability, but we can't help but wonder what kind of cellular signal the tablet will feature. Considering that the latest iPad features LTE the iPad Mini will likely offer the same high level of connectivity.
Including LTE also lets Apple offer multiple price options for the iPad Mini based on connectivity. For example, the new iPad starts at $499, but if you want it to come with LTE you'll need to pay at least $629. Furthermore, by the time Apple launches the iPad Mini, even more carriers will likely offer LTE service, helping to stabilize the price.
New Dimensions: We expect the iPad Mini to be 7.3mm thick, 134.73mm wide and 200.13mm long. These dimensions were first discovered by 9to5Mac after a set of schematics were posted on ThinkiOS back in July.
That same month GottaBeMobile same release exclusive photos of what they claimed was an early engineering same of the iPad Mini, revealing a number of features for the iPad Mini. GottaBe Mobile's Shawn Ingram claimed that the leaked pictures were obtained from a "trusted source inside the Apple supply chain."
Ingram noted that the iPad Mini would be significantly wider and slightly taller than Google's Nexus 7 tablet. The iPad Mini will also be noticeably thinner than the current iPad and two-thirds the size.
Thinner Side Bezels: A number of reports claim that the iPad Mini's screen will stretch closer to the devices edges, leaving less space for side-bezel to frame the screen.
Less bezel means more screen real estate, but it may also be a reason to complain.
"The lack of bezel on the side will not allow you to carry it like you hold a full-size iPad when in portrait mode without triggering some multi-touch on the display," wrote 9to5Mac's Seth Weintraub. "Perhaps Apple has some software to dull the side touches when in portrait mode. But, really, this is unnecessary. You will need to hold it from the back more like you hold a phone (or one of those 7-inch tablets above). This is not hard, and in fact, it is the de facto way I tend to hold a Nexus 7 even though it has a bezel."
With Apple's special event just two days away the iPhone 5 will be the talk to tech town for while, but don't forget about the iPad Mini. This upcoming tablet signifies Apple's attempt at continued dominance of the the market, as opposed to the smartphone market where Apple is trailing Google-Android.
Apple has yet to comment on the iPad Mini's release date, but expect the redesigned tablet to show early next month.