Apple launches iPad Mini and fourth generation tablet

Apple announces 7.9-inch iPad Mini and fourth generation iPad, which launches just over six months after its predecessor

Apple has announced a 7.9-inch version of its market-leading iPad to compete with its rivals in the smaller tablet market.

The iPad Mini will come in both Wi-Fi and 4G models, with 16GB, 32GB or 64GB capacity. But with prices starting at £269 for the basic Wi-Fi only 16GB model, it will have a much higher price tag than Google’s Nexus 7 tablet or Amazon’s Kindle Fire – which come in at £199 and £159 respectively.

It will run the same A5 chip as Apple’s iPad 2 and have the same 1024x768 resolution, although pixel resolution has improved slightly from 132 per inch to 163. The tablet will also feature Apple’s new lightning connector, which replaced its 30-pin cable with the launch of the iPhone 5.

A front-facing high-definition (HD) camera will allow users to make Facetime calls, while other Apple headline features, such as Siri, will also come installed. To use the mobile version of the tablet though, users will need a nano SIM, as micro SIMs are too big for the device.

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The iPad Mini came as no surprise to the industry, with rumours having flown around for months about the October launch, but Apple did manage to shock with the unveiling of its fourth generation iPad.

The latest addition to the line-up for 9.7-inch range comes just over six months after the launch of the ‘new’ iPad – a much shorter development cycle than in previous iterations – and has seen the previous model taken down from the store with a view to discontinue it.

The fourth generation will have the same retina screen, operating system and battery life, but the chipset has been upgraded from a dual core A5X to a dual core A6X, the camera has been improved and the 4G version will work on UK spectrum, unlike the previous model.

But users who have only just bought the third iPad will have to like it and lump it as Apple is offering no exchange for recent purchases, excluding its usual 14-day return policy.  

Pricing will begin at £399 for the 16GB Wi-Fi only version or £499 for 16GB with Wi-Fi and 4G design. The high-end 64GB with Wi-Fi and 4G model will come in at £659.

Both the iPad Mini and fourth generation iPad can be pre-ordered from today and will begin shipping on 2 November.

For more information on the iPad Mini, check out Computer Weekly's Inspect-a-Gadget blog here.

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