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Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 vs Apple iPad mini Retina – Specs comparison

Probably feeling Galaxy Tab Pros lacked the pizazz to really give Apple iPads a run for their money and show the world Android has a bright future on tablets regardless of bleak predictions, Samsung basically retired the four-month-old slates, replacing them with punchier, brighter, skinnier versions.

samsung-galaxy-tab-s-8-4-vs-ipad-mini-retina

Not by much, mind you, but just enough to make a difference and keep retail costs contained. Of course, Sammy could have done this in the first place instead of going to the nuisance of marketing the short-lived Tab Pros, but hey, if it would make sense, it wouldn’t be Samsung.

It’d be Apple. There, I said it. Cupertino’s strategies are almost always cohesive and consistent (except for the iPhone 5c, which was the result of a temporary loss of sanity), this being one of the reasons iPads continue to outsell Galaxy Tabs and Notes by possibly a 50 or so to one degree.

Granted, just because one product is a looot more popular than another, it doesn’t mean it’s superior in quality. Which is where we come in. Here’s the ultimate Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 vs Apple iPad mini Retina face-off, with everything you need to know to make an informed, thought through buying decision:

Design and build quality comparison

Thin vs thinner, light vs lighter, aluminum vs plastic. Damn it, Sammy, you were this close to dominate perhaps the toughest battle of them all.

Galaxy Tab S iPad mini Retina

Apple is renowned for somehow always finding the right balance between premium build materials, compact form factors and uber-slim profiles, so even if the polycarbonate construction of the Tab S has nothing on the iPad mini 2’s exquisite metal physique, it’s still amazing the 8.4 incher can be both thinner and lighter than the 7.9 incher.

Particularly as it offers the half-inch of extra screen real estate. Don’t get me wrong, the iPad mini Retina remains a featherweight, at 331 grams and 7.5 mm, but compared to the Tab S (298 grams heavy, 6.6 mm thick), it actually looks kind of bulky.

Galaxy Tab S 8.4

As for the perforated pattern on the rear of the Tab S, mimicked from the Galaxy S5, it’s clearly schlockier than iPad mini’s clean, smooth, distinguished back. But hey, we’ve seen worse, haven’t we?

Galaxy Tab S 8.4 vs iPad mini Retina – display duel

After years and years of trumpeting their “Retina” panels as the best in the business, the time has come to finally laugh in Apple’s face. Retina? You mean 2,048 x 1,536 pixels on a 7.9-inch piece of LCD glass? Ha, GTab’s “non-Retina” screen delivers 2,560 x 1,600 resolution and 359 ppi.

Galaxy-Tab-S-8.4

On a Super AMOLED matrix that, in theory, conveys the brightest, colorful colors, widest viewing angles and greatest contrast. Sure, we’ve seen Samsung botching theoretically amazing displays before, but this time the gap is too large. Apple doesn’t stand a chance, end of story.

Processing speed, RAM and storage

Cut the act, fanboys, and quit your superior jibber jabber about software optimizations and whatnot. Yes, iOS needs a lot less power than Android to function fluently and glitch-free. But anyone who believes a dual-core/1 GB RAM system can hold a candle to an octa-core/3 GB RAM hardware configuration should check with a head doctor ASAP.

Exynos 5 Octa

Multitasking in general, gaming, web browsing, multimedia playing, you name it, the Galaxy Tab S can do it better, faster, smoother. How could it not when it packs a cutting-edge Exynos 5 Octa 5420 chip with four cores clocked at 1.9 GHz and four at 1.3? And the best thing is you needn’t worry about battery life either, as the eight cores are assembled in two separate clusters, which trigger depending on the task. Check and mate, Apple.

Oh, right, before I forget, the iPad mini Retina comes in 16, 32, 64 and 128 GB storage configs. The Tab S 8.4 just in 16 and 32 variations. But the latter can always welcome external memory, via a microSD card slot supporting up to an extra 128 gigs. Check and mate times two.

Software and battery life face-off

This may sound weird coming from an Android aficionado, nay an Android junkie, but if someone could merge Samsung’s hardware with Apple’s software, I’d buy the resulting Frankensteinian creature in a second. Let’s face it, fellow Google idolizers, there’s still no comparing the Android ecosystem with iOS on large gadgets. Maybe someday.

And maybe someday, Samsung will quit trying so damn hard to make Android look like… anything but Android, wasting precious system resources in the process. Yeah, TouchWiz has the occasional neat or useful add-on (multi-view comes to mind), but Magazine UX is an atrocity.

Autonomy-wise, it’s a little early for verdicts, but my intuition tells me we’re headed for a tie. The Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 is virtually tied with the iPad mini 2, at around 10 hours of juice with a 4,800 mAh cell, so the 4,900 mAh battery inside the Tab S should do just fine.

Cameras, connectivity and others

While I can’t even remember the last time I’ve used my slate’s rear snapper, some folks might try to save a few bucks on a smartphone and thus rely on their tab’s photographic competency. In which case you can’t go wrong with the Tab S. Its 8 MP main snapper is light years ahead of the 5 megapixel unit on the iPad mini Retina, and so is the 2.1 MP front shooter when compared to the rival’s 1.2.

Galaxy Tab S 8.4_inch_Titanium Bronze

What else could sway you one direction or the other? Well, it’s a gimmick in my book, and there’s no point denying it, but if you’re one of those guys, the fingerprint scanner on the Galaxy Tab S might tip the balance.

Connectivity-wise, both slates offer optional 4G LTE support, standard Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, USB 2.0 and so on and so forth.

Pricing and availability

Right, so I reckon the comparison pieces so far speak for themselves in settling the name of the overall winner. Just one thing could spoil Samsung’s victory: retail costs. But that’s nowhere near the case, since the Tab S 8.4 will start at $400 in July, so exactly as much as the 16 GB Wi-Fi-only iPad mini 2.

Galaxy Tab S 8.4 Amazon

LTE models are yet to be priced, and AT&T is the sole operator that’s confirmed release plans, however I bet Verizon at the very least will follow suit, charging $550 give or take, so once again, just as much as Apple charges. If only people weren’t so easy to fool by shrewd, expensive marketing and “tradition”.

Google Nexus 7 2013 vs Kindle Fire HDX 7 vs Apple iPad Mini Retina – Specs Comparison

Like it or not, ready or not, Apple has rolled out the follow-up to the (mildly) successful first-generation iPad mini, causing a stir in the entire tech landscape and forcing a recalculation of how things stand in the smaller than 10-inch tablet arena.

iPad mini 2 Nexus 7 Kindle Fire HDX

Though in good old Cupertino fashion the Mini 2 (aka Mini Retina) takes more than a few design cues from its predecessor and looks to be an incremental update in many ways rather than a full-blown page-turner, the bumps that the fresh 7.9-incher does pack are undoubtedly major and bound to bring about trouble to the Android side.

Also, if I’m to be completely honest the screen resolution ante upping took me a little by surprise, signaling for once that Apple feared the Android threat and thus had to bring something new (well, kind of) to the table.

ipad_mini_2_vs_nexus_7_2

Adding a souped-up battery and the all-hailed 64-bit A7 processor in the equation only makes Google aficionados sweat some more, as their, nay our 7-inch heroes, the 2013 Nexus 7 and Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7, will need to fend off a much mightier rival than last year’s iPad mini to conquer the throne.

Are they able to keep it at bay? What are the two’s advantages and flaws in a face-to-face smackdown with the latest and possibly proudest member of the iPad family? Let’s see, shall we?

Design comparison

You know what the ultimate tell is in regards to Apple’s changed attitude to Android slates and their anxiety of Google and Amazon catching up? That, unlike the full-sized iPad, the Mini leaves aesthetics out of the “upgrade”, being heavier and ever so slightly thicker than its forefather.

ipad-mini-retina

Android players should be flattered, albeit I’m sad to admit that, purely from a visual standpoint, the iPad mini Retina is clearly the most striking fellow of the three. Despite rocking significantly extra screen real estate compared with the 2013 N7, it’s just as tall (200 mm) and over an inch thinner (7.5 vs. 8.7 mm).

As for the Fire HDX, that bad boy manages to shrink the bezels and keep the overall package a little shorter than the iPad mini 2. Too bad it’s all in all chunky, tipping the scales at 311 grams (vs. 290 for the N7) and measuring 9 mm in thickness.

Nexus 7 2013

Oh, and let’s not get started with build materials and quality. The two Android competitors are clearly at a disadvantage there and there’s no point in denying it.

Display face-off

“Retina” is a sneaky, deceptive and void-of-all-meaning marketing term coined by Apple to fool fools, but the reality is staring us in the face and we can’t refute it without losing credibility. iPad mini 2’s display, unlike the one on the first-gen, is spectacular. Period.

iPad mini Retina

Is it better than Kindle Fire HDX’s? On paper, not exactly, since the pixel density is nearly identical: 324 vs. 323. But in reality, it most likely is, as plenty of reviewers have complained of lack of crispness on Amazon’s new tablet, as well as shady viewing angles.

Meanwhile, pitting the other two panels against one another is virtually impossible until the Mini 2 reviews start trickling in, so for the time being let’s call it a draw between Nexus 7’s 7-incher with 1,920 x 1,200 pix res and Apple’s 7.9-inch 2,048 x 1,536 unit.

Processing speed, RAM and cameras

As it seems to be universally accepted nowadays that the 64-bit Apple A7 SoC inside the iPhone 5s makes the petite 4-incher much zippier than its Android rivals (I’m not convinced, but what do I know?), it’s to be expected that it will also push iPad mini 2’s raw speed clearly ahead of the N7 2013 (packing a quad-core S4 Pro CPU) and Fire HDX 7 (with Snapdragon 800 inside).

Apple A7

Moving on, Apple’s 7.9-incher is reported to come with an apparently modest 1 gig of RAM in tow, so half of the other two’s memory, but even the most biased Android fans have to admit multitasking has never and will probably never be a problem in the iOS decor.

snapdragon-800

Finally, I’m afraid we can’t put one in the win column as far as cameras go either, with iPad mini 2’s 5 MP/1.2 MP snappers defeating N7’s equally as pixel-filled but more modest feature-wise cams by a whisker. Amazon’s Fire HDX? It doesn’t even play in the same league, lacking a rear-facing shooter.

Software and battery life

Could Apple have done everything right for maybe the first time in half a decade? It certainly appears so, as the iPad mini 2 runs iOS 7 out the box and features an outstanding 23.8 Wh battery supposedly capable of running for up to 10 hours on a single charge.

iOS 7

That’s at least 60 minutes better than N7 and Fire HDX’s autonomy, though we’ll of course have to put the 7.9-incher to a test or two before taking the 10-hour number for granted.

android-4.3-nexus-7

Turning our attention back to the software for one last second, let’s reiterate what we’ve covered so many times before. Android is better than iOS in many, many ways, but the tablet-specific ecosystem is just more functional and richer in Apple’s backyard. Trust me, that’s not an easy fight to concede.

Pricing and availability

Finally, one duel where I’m ecstatic to say Android wins by a mile: pricing. Phew, it was this close for it all to end with a humiliation. So hands down, the $230 N7 is the slate with the best bang for buck factor, as Apple’s iPad mini 2 is set to start at $400, right?

iPad mini price

Not so fast. No, I haven’t gone crazy and I’d never, ever, ever splash that kind of cash on a 7.9-incher. But if the first-gen iPad mini sold like hotcakes… for a while at $350, do you honestly think the much better Mini 2 won’t become a blockbuster in no time just because it’s 50 bucks pricier? Exactly.

And this leads me to the conclusion. The iPad mini 2 is better than the Nexus 7 2013 and Kindle Fire HDX 7. End of story. Granted, it’s expensive and so if you can’t afford it, the N7 becomes your best choice, but otherwise I say go for it. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to drown my sorrow in a bottle of scotch and burn the keyboard I wrote these lines on.

Nokia World and Apple iPad Events: Should We Care? Spoiler Alert: Not Really

Say, all ye die-hard Android fans, do you by any chance know what’s set to go down come October 22, i.e. in 24 hours give or take?

Probably not Google’s Nexus 5 and Android 4.4 KitKat grandiose unveilings, to the sheer desperation of Sherlock Holmes enthusiasts and amateur detectives trying to make heads or tails of incredibly cryptic (and random) teasers and hints.

Android vs iOS vs Windows

Instead, in the space of just a few hours, Nokia will try to convince the world it’s still alive and kicking and its products matter in the grand scheme of tech things, whereas Apple will do what it knows best: roll out “more of the same” and, courtesy of bitching marketing, convince everybody it has reinvented the wheel… again.

That’s all fine and dandy if you’re into retro (read fugly) designs and useless tiles on the one hand and overly simplistic software and overpriced hardware on the other. But why should Android enthusiasts give a damn about the latest installment in Nokia’s “World” press event series and however the hell Apple is nicknaming its tedious product announcements nowadays?

nokia-october22-event

Well, you know what they say. Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Besides, unlike you know who, we Android aficionados always like to keep an open mind and give everyone a fair chance to impress us. So go ahead, Nokia, Apple, show us what you got and why we should care.

Nokia World – what it’s all about

Though rumor has it Nokia will have a bag full of new gizmos to announce in Abu Dhabi (of all places), I think it’s obvious for everyone meager Asha products don’t really count in the grand scheme of things. Which leaves the Finns with three or four aces up their sleeves.

Lumia-1520

Number one, the Lumia 1520. The first Windows Phone with Full HD and quad-core power (oh, welcome to the club) is said to leave all compromises behind and blend generous screen real estate (6 inches or so) with breezy multitasking (2 gigs of RAM), incredible raw speed and top-notch camera technology (20.6 MP PureView snapper).

Then there’s the 2520, Nokia’s first ever tablet, rumored to be quite impressive in the hardware department, but only run Windows RT on the software side of things. Number three, there’s a Lumia 929 for Verizon, which in a nutshell will be a 1520 in a more compact, 5-inch body. And then there’s a 1320 “Batman”, which some sources say will be the international flavor of the 929, while others a low-end, large screener.

Nokia-Lumia-2520

Finally, Nokia will bring forth the Lumia 525, an incremental upgrade for the 520, currently the best-selling Lumia in the world.

Why we should care

  • The 5-inch Lumia 929, if it comes with Full HD, 2 GB RAM, 20 MP camera and Snapdragon 800, sounds pretty darn impressive. A little late to the party, but impressive nevertheless.

Nokia Lumia 929

Why we shouldn’t care

  • Windows RT. Enough said
  • If real estate is all about location, location, location, mobile tech is all about timing, timing, timing. And the 929 and 1520, as impressive as they may be, are, or better yet, will be late. Just think about it. They won’t launch until mid-November, at best. And they’ll cost $250 with contracts, at best. Meanwhile, you have the GNote 3 out and about, Sony’s Xperia Z1, LG’s G2, HTC’s One max… Shall I carry on?
  • 4-inch Lumia 525? Possible 4.7-inch Lumia 1320 with dual-core CPU and 480 x 800 pix res panel? Puh-lease!

Apple iPad event – what it’s all about

Guess I don’t have to tell you Cupertino is not really a fan of the “putting as many eggs in as many baskets” strategy. As such, don’t expect an avalanche of new products from them. Just two. A “full-sized”, fifth-generation, 9.7-inch iPad and a second-gen 7.9-inch iPad Mini.

apple-october-22

Just like Nokia, Tim Cook and the gang have been incapable of keeping a tight lid on their unreleased products, so they’re as transparent as glass already, following a bundle of rumors and leaks.

Thus, if something stunning doesn’t happen in the eleventh hour, the iPad 5 is to resemble the new (and old) iPad mini on the outside, with a thinner than before profile, slimmer bezels and decreased weight. Yet the design philosophy will remain virtually the same.

New iPad

On the hardware front, both the new iPad and iPad Mini will be pushing the envelope Apple-style, meaning they’ll be ever so slightly zippier than their predecessors… in real life. But here’s the kicker. There’s a good shot the Mini won’t rock a Retina display this year either, while Touch ID fingerprint recognition technology may not find its way on either of the two tabs.

On the “bright” side, rumor has it the iPad 5 will feature an upgraded 8 MP rear-facing camera. Because hey, who doesn’t like to take bitching photos with a 10-inch slab?

iPad-mini-2

Why we should care

  • When all is said and done and as much as it pains me to admit it, the iOS tablet “ecosystem” remains superior to Google’s. Probably not for long, but right now, that’s just how things are, with far too few Android apps conceived specifically for slates.

Why we should absolutely not care

  • 1,024 x 768 pixels resolution for a late 2014 7.9-inch tablet? I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.
  • Preposterous pricing is what will ultimately bring Apple’s demise and, if the non-Retina iPad Mini 2 starts at $300 or more, the end is one step closer. Not that the iPad 5 is set to be very budget-friendly, at $500 or so.

iPad

  • Cupertino has stopped innovating a looong time ago, but nowadays it seems like Cook’s employees, save maybe for the marketing team, are not even trying anymore. Seriously now, can anyone tell the difference between the iPhone 5 and 5s purely aesthetically? That’s exactly what will go down with the iPad Mini 2.
  • Let’s assume you’re in the market for a 10-incher right now. And aren’t willing to overlook Android’s crystal clear ecosystem shortcomings. No one will blame you for choosing the large-screen iPad. But why go for the “new”, overpriced one when last year’s is almost just as good and, in a month or two, probably much cheaper? Now that’s a puzzle.

Kindle Fire HDX 7 vs Google Nexus 7 2013 vs Apple iPad Mini – Specs Comparison

With all the hoopla surrounding Apple’s new iPhone 5s and 5c, their full-metal and “unapologetic” plastic builds, 64-bit new processor that’s sooo much zippier than 32-bit chips inside Androids and so on and so forth, the tech world pretty much ignored what I think should have been treated as an equally as important product unveiling: that of Amazon’s new Kindle Fire HDX slates.

ipad mini vs nexus 7 vs kindle fire hdx

And though we here at The Droid Guy rarely wear capes or masks while out in public (at home is a different thing), we’d like to try to do the HDX some justice today.

After all, Amazon has been for all intents and purposes the pioneering OEM of the now booming small than 10-inch tablet market, taking a huge gamble with the first-gen Kindle Fire back in 2011 and subsequently getting copied by Google and Apple.

Okay, maybe “copy” is a bit of an overstatement. Yet think of it this way. Were it not for Amazon to roll out the Fire two years ago, do you really think Big G and Asus would have been so serious about the Nexus 7 project? How about Apple and their iPad Mini, which Steve Jobs never approved of?

Nexus-7-vs-Kindle-Fire-HDX

So you see, we owe Amazon and their Fires a great deal of gratitude and trust, which is why it’s time for another one of our legendary specs comparisons. This time, we’re pitting the new Kindle Fire HDX 7 against the 2013 Google Nexus 7 and Apple’s first-gen iPad Mini. Why also the iPad Mini? Just for kicks, not that we’d ever consider going for it. Ready, set, fight:

Design and build quality

Even if no hardcore, devoted Android fan would even give the iPad Mini a second thought, we have to be fair, unbiased and admit it – those Cupertino folks sure know how to design a pretty and sturdy slab of silicon.

iPad Mini

And while I don’t want to open that plastic vs. metal Pandora’s Box again, things are I’m afraid pretty clear here even for “unapologetic” fans of plastic. The iPad Mini breezes through the design and build quality battle, courtesy of a 7.2 mm thin profile, incredibly light 312 grams chassis and most of all smooth, silky and tough as nails aluminum unibody.

As for the fight for second place, it’s not easy to choose between the Fire HDX and N7-2 solely based on aesthetics, as the two share very many common points. They’re plasticky yet not flimsy, sleek, elegant and even rock similarly massive bezels. Ultimately, I’d personally choose the Nexus, as it’s thinner and lighter, but I totally understand if anyone thinks otherwise.

Display comparison

Extra screen real estate or superior pixel density? That, my friends, is the million-dollar question, but as far as I’m concerned the answer is pretty clear-cut: ppi any day. Besides, iPad Mini’s panel is only 0.9 inches larger, whereas the N7 and Fire HDX sport oodles of extra pixels. 1,920 x 1,200 each, to be more exact, which come to stunning 323 ppis, so almost double iPad Mini’s 162. For shame, Apple, for shame!

The-new-nexus-7

Meanwhile, at least for the time being, the two Androids are tied in first place, as their displays look pretty much identical… on paper.

Processing speed, RAM and cameras

Dual-core 1 GHz vs quad-core 1.5 GHz vs quad-core 2.2 GHz? Puh-lease, that’s not even a real contest. And yes, I know the iPad Mini doesn’t exactly need two extra cores, but even with Apple’s wicked optimization skills and their tight ecosystem, there’s no way in hell the measly dual-core CPU, coupled with 512 MB of RAM (2006 called…), can even compete in the same league as the Fire HDX.

amazon-kindle-fire-hdx

A Fire HDX that, again on paper, should smoke the new N7. Sorry, Google, and too bad for your 2 gigs of RAM, but there’s a reason Qualcomm updated from the Snapdragon S4 Pro to the S600 and then the S800 that Amazon now uses.

As far as cameras go, the ranks pretty much turn upside down, with iPad Mini’s 5 MP/1.2 MP shooters dominating the fight, followed by the N7, whose cams pack identical sensors, but less features, and the HDX, which lacks a main, rear-facing snapper. Then again, when’s the last time you used a slate to take a photo? Crickets, am I right?

Software and battery life

There’s so much to discuss in the software department and so many differences between the three that I’d rather not even start. What’s obvious is the choice here is a matter of taste. Sure, Apple’s iOS 7 and App Store appear to have the edge in smoothness and app support, but Android has come a long way and the vanilla 4.3 pre-loaded on the 2013 Nexus 7 is just all-around spectacular.

Nexus 7-Android 4.3

At the same time, Amazon has been making great strides with their Android fork, although you still need to be head over heels with the company’s store and products and willing to make a few sacrifices to dig Fire HDX’s on-board OS.

In terms of battery life, the battle is very much open, as there’s no way to know… yet how HDX’s ticker behaves in real life. Amazon is currently promising an 11-hour autonomy in “mixed use”, which would be very close to iPad Mini’s “up to 10 hours” life and considerably north of N7’s 9 hours of continuous use. But again, let’s wait and see.

Pricing, connectivity and others

For an aging slate, the iPad Mini has held its own rather decently in the comparison so far, but what completely disqualifies the 7.9-incher is its preposterous pricing. $350 with 16 GB of storage and Wi-Fi? Forget about it, especially with both the HDX and N7 starting at $230.

Kindle Fire HDX price

And then there were two. Both packing 16 GB of on-board memory in their low-end configs, optional 4G LTE, but no microSD slots. So it all comes down to whether you want Kindle’s extra oomph or N7’s better cameras, slightly cooler design and smoother software. Well, which one will it be? We’re all ears.

$1.5 million worth of iPad Mini stolen in JFK airport heist

Approximately $1.5 million worth of iPad Minis were stolen by a pair of crooks from JFK airport late Monday night, November 12th, the authorities said Thursday after their initial investigation. According to a report, the crooks struck shortly before midnight wherein two pallets of iPad Minis were into a white tractor trailer using the airport’s own forklift. Thus, authorities believe it was most likely an inside job as thieves were able to enter the airport vicinity without having detected. Three of airport employees have undergone polygraph tests, the source said.

Both the authorities and airport personnel believe the heist should have been unsuccessful or “partially successful” because only two out of five pallets have been loaded into the truck and taken away. On the scene of the crime, three pallets were found ready for loading. One employee who was returning from dinner claimed to have challenged the crooks, reason they left the scene with only two pallets full of iPad Minis were taken. The identity of the said employee has been masked for security purposes. But perhaps, he was one of the people who underwent polygraph tests.

Reports indicate that there were a total of 3,600 units of iPad Mini that arrived from China destined to be distributed in the US. The logistics company known as Cargo Airport Services was said to be responsible for the shipment. This could mean one thing, 3,600 Apple fans in the US that are expecting to receive their unit may be disappointed. However, Apple has the final say who gets the iPad Mini first and who gets it last; for sure, it can redirect stock destined for other locations outside the US just to compensate the inventory deficit in its home country.

The stolen units may have gotten far from Apple’s grasp but it surely couldn’t leave the US without being detected. Thus, the crooks, if they will be not be caught after several days, may still have difficult times selling those units in bulk. Since the news already broke online and in print media, people who want to own an iPad Mini will surely be cautious about units sold by other people and not from authorized dealers. They will be lucky if they can sell half of what they’ve stolen.

Apple could also publicize the serial numbers of the units that were stolen from its inventory so that owners, especially those who buy from other people, could check if their units are among the stolen ones.

[source: New York Post]

Speculations on the Specs and Features of the iPad Mini

Apple has sent out media invites for a special event they will be hosting on October 23rd, an even we all know by now the company will be launching a smaller version of the iPad tablet, iPad mini.  There have been rumors for months now that Apple has been working on the smaller tablet and it appeared to be a silly idea at first until the rumors became more prevalent and even more realistic.  The success of Google’s 7 inch nexus tablet has proven that mini tablets have a place in the market, but knowing Apple’s history on market strategy and pricing structure, will the iPad mini be as successful as the parent iPad?  I guess it’s all about the specs and how the company markets it.

What will the mini offer to apple fanatics?  Well, there have been speculations going around about a better display, more solid build and a thinner tablet but considering design limitations, are these possible.  We will look at some of the anticipated features (realistic) in order to know whether the mini will be a threat to the various Android mini tablets on the market now.

a)      3G and 4G LTE on all versions

When Apple released the iPad and later iPad 2, some models were without 3G.  But this is understandable since users would typically connect the tablet to the internet via WiFi because it is a pretty big tablet.  The Mini is much smaller and more portable and users would use it more than they do the larger version and 3G and 4G for all the tablets would be something every user who intends to get it looks forward to.  How important do you think the 3G and 4G connectivity option is for the iPad Mini?

b)     High res camera

Let’s face it, Apple did not consider a high res camera on a iPad and iPad 2 of any consequence, but the recent influx of amazing Android tablets have almost made the high resolution camera or the secondary camera on a tablet almost a necessity for all tablets.  Well, the Nexus 7 has no rear camera and we all wish it had, but is there any chance Apple will include at least a 5MP camera on their new mini tab?  iPhone 5 came with an 8 megapixels camera which going by the many reviews by independent tech geeks is quite impressive.  Apple fans should not raise their hopes too high but it would be a sweet surprise if the iPad mini actually came with a secondary camera.

c)      Absence of some iPad 2 features

Apple intends to keep the larger iPad alive even after the launch of the mini, and for this to happen, users have to have clear reasons to go for either or both the iPad 2 and the iPad mini.  The best way to do this is have features on the larger iPad that the mini doesn’t have and some on the iPad mini that are missing on the larger iPad.  But what features can the mini have that the larger iPad doesn’t besides camera?  Try 4G LTE, a higher resolution camera, maybe there is a surprise coming that will blow our minds?  Well, there must be something different in the mini, we just can’t tell what.

d)     Lightning connector

Apple launched their new, smaller lightning connector port that replaces the older wider one and we are pretty sure the iPad mini will have the new connector.  The iPhone 5 has it, iPod Nano and iPod touch has it and it appears all iOS devices from now on will have this improved but smaller connector.  This is a great feature for the iPad mini considering that size is a major issue in its design.  The larger iPads lack this but it certainly helps the device appearance.

e)      Educational approach?

Apple has put a lot of effort in education over the last couple of months, but although there have been educational-themed iPads in New York, the company has not actually released a device that actually targets the education sector.  The mini would be a perfect gadget to push this agenda – they could have a version dedicated to education that could come at a lower price and have a ton of educational applications.

f)       Better display?

The iPad mini will have a smaller screen than the larger iPad.  It is expected that it will feature a 7 inch screen but nothing besides the size is a certain speculation.  However, with the company’s development of display technology which was showcased in their iPhone 5, I wouldn’t be surprised if the iPad mini has a display resolution close to or the same as that of iPad 2.  iPad 2’s 1024 x 768 pixels resolution is achievable even with a smaller 7 inch tablet but some geeks say that Apple’s iPad mini may end up way larger than the standard mini tablet – it could have a 7.8 inch screen just to accommodate a higher resolution display.  The mini tablet will certainly boast of a Retina display and this means that the capability of the new iPad mini will outshine the larger iPad’s.

Finally, Apple will make a kill off the iPad mini depending on how they price the mini-tablet.  It is difficult to put a figure on the estimate price but even apple fans know this has never been the company’s strategy.

iPad Mini to be Priced Below $500

The smaller version of the iPad tablet is expected to arrive before the year ends. Nicknamed the iPad Mini for lack of an official name, it is likely to have a price below US $500.

Rumors of the tablet had been circulating for months despite Apple’s silence on the matter. Recently, the existence of the slate had been confirmed by reputable news agencies like Bloomberg, the Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times. Some of the tablet’s rumored specifications include a 7-inch display on a form factor measuring around 7.85 inches in length and 5.3 inches in width. By comparison, the most recent iPad has a length of 9.5 inches, and a width of 7.31 inches.

Moreover, the device will possibly have a 19-pin connector instead of the usual 30-pin connector. This same connector is said to be also onboard the upcoming iPhone which is scheduled for launching this fall. Allegedly, the connector will be better in terms of efficiency than the old connector.

Unlike the Google Nexus 7 tablet which brought down costs by offering just one camera, the smaller iPad could have two cameras like most slates today. Exactly how many megapixels the main camera will have, however, remains to be known. Other than this, the iPad Mini is said to have two speaker grills.

These specifications are backed up by leaked photos of drawings of the device from an anonymous source from China. A photo of an alleged engineering sample of the iPad Mini has been published by Gottabemobile.com, as well.

Prior to his death, Steve Jobs was quoted saying that Apple will not be producing an iPad smaller than the 9.7 inch devices available today. However, the folks at Apple might have realized that the times have changed greatly with the entry of many low-cost options. Though the iPad today still leads in the tablet market, Apple might need to come up with new strategies to ensure that it remains in this position for the years to come.

Via: Ubergizmo

WSJ Report Backs Earlier Reports On Existence Of iPad Mini

The seems that the tablet battle between Google and Apple might indeed turn into a war in the near future. We have been hearing a lot about Google’s plan to bring a 10 inch tablet to the market to challenge the might of Apple’s iPad and at the same time, there are similar reports doing the round but this time about Apple and how it’s set to bring out a 7 inch tablet to better compete in the market which has shown a demand for mini tablets or tablets worth around $200.

It was only yesterday that we read a report by Bloomberg which stated that Apple is expected to bring it’s own mini tablet or a mini iPad. According to that report, the mini iPad would have a non retina display, measuring somewhere between 7 inches to 8 inches. The mini iPad would have a resolution of 1024 X 768 pixels.
An even earlier article which came out on iMore, even set a price line for the iPad mini. The report by iMore set the price of the mini iPad between $199 and $249.

Today, a fresh report on the iPad mini has surfaced. This report which came out on the Wall Street Journal, backs the earlier report by Bloomberg and provides more mileage to the iPad mini story. The Wall Street Journal claims that Apple’s component suppliers are on an overdrive and are gearing up for a mass production of the iPad’s smaller cousin in September. This is to ensure that the iPad mini can be unveiled in October in an Apple event, which will also likely feature the next generation iPhone.

“Apple Inc.’s AAPL +1.16% component suppliers in Asia are preparing for mass production in September of a tablet computer with a smaller screen than the iPad, people familiar with the situation said, suggesting a launch for the device is near.
Two of the people said that the tablet’s screen will likely be smaller than eight inches.
Officials at the component suppliers, who declined to be named, said this week that Apple has told them to prepare for mass production of the smaller tablet. The Wall Street Journal reported in February that Apple was testing such a device but hadn’t yet decided whether to proceed with production.”

What ever the result of this battle, the consumers are the final winners. What are your thoughts about this? Will you prefer a non retina display, lower resolution iPad mini over the iPad?