iPad mini will look like a big iPod touch

iPad mini will look like a big iPod touchIt’s long been said that the iPad is really just an iPod touch on steroids. Not that that’s a bad thing, per se, but it’s a fairly accurate description.

Now we’re hearing that the rumoured iPad mini really will look like a larger iPod touch, complete with skinny bezel action at the sides.

The story comes via 9to5mac, which explains that the smaller bezel would allow the iPad mini to offer more display real estate than potential 7in rivals like the Asus Nexus 7 and Amazon Kindle Fire.

I wasn’t entirely convinced initially, as even with the new iPad (with its meaty bezel) I occasionally find my left thumb encroaching on the display.

However, the 9to5ers suggest that perhaps the sensitivity could be reduced when the iPad mini is held in portrait. In landscape, it wouldn’t be a problem, as the iPad mini will still have a generous amount of bezel at the top and bottom.

John Gruber (Daring Fireball) also chimes in with a new post, suggesting iPad mini specs will include a 4:3 7.85in display. A 1024 x 768 resolution would yield a relatively modest PPI of 163.

In any case, it doesn’t look like these iPad mini rumours are going anywhere any time soon. Consensus is that the iPad mini launch would probably happen alongside the iPhone 5 announcement. The latest whispers suggest September 12.

Read more about: Apple iPadiOS

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12 comments

satchef1  Aug. 15, 2012 at 12:50

Is it just me that thinks 7.85" is a little bit silly? The full-fat iPad is only 9.7" - why release one that's less than 2" smaller? I guess cutting the bezel down might help, but to me it just doesn't seem small enough to actually make sense (unless the motivation here is to get a cheap iPad in to the market rather than a small one?).

barrybarryk  Aug. 15, 2012 at 13:12

If the iphone 5 rumours are true and they're switching to a 16:9 screen (And optimising iOS for it) there's no reason the iPad mini should have a 4:3 ratio screen.

4:3 screens are archaic, ALL web content is developed under the assumption that most people are using widescreen resolutions (And browser data confirms it, with 1366x768 being the most widely used resolution). It's the entire reason web sites are still laid out like physical pages. And that's before you even start talking about videos and PDF style documents, which again are all 16:9/10

If it has a 4:3 screen, even at 7" it will be nowhere near as portable as any other 7" 16:9 tablet because it'll be far too wide.

Pondlife  Aug. 15, 2012 at 13:57

Would make more sense to have it launching at a different time to the iphone rather than at the same time. Meaning peak production for iphone, ipad, and ipad mini would be in different quarters spreading income and factory workload would be more equal through the year.
Just one reason I'm sceptical.
With you on the bezel front as unattractive as they look, just as on ereaders they are there for good reason. If it's made to be used portrait more than landscape reduce the top and bottom borders..

I would think a lot of web pages are set out to the format of ipad screens tbh, I know that most pages don't go edge to edge on my widescreen monitor anyway (including this one).
Besides even if it was widescreen surely a lot of users would have it in portrait orientation when viewing web sites, that's how I've mainly read web pages on 7" tablets.

barrybarryk  Aug. 15, 2012 at 14:16

No websites bar a few die hard ipad specific sites will be optimised for an iPad resolution because they (just like all tablets and smart phones) have a pathetic share of the web browsing statistics, they just pretend they're dominating the market because the media laps it up.
http://gs.statcounter.com/#mobile_vs_desktop-ww-monthly-201108-201208

The point of modern (and past) web design (and even application design) wasn't to fill the widescreen resolutions but to accommodate two side by side windows in landscape and one in portrait. It's why PCs started having 16:10 resolutions with that extra few pixels dedicated to the browser/application chrome. It's why the main content on a site will almost always fit in portrait on a widescreen device with advertising relegated to the sides of the page flow.

satchef1  Aug. 15, 2012 at 14:16

0_o

Barry, where on Earth did you dredge up that rubbish?

satchef1  Aug. 15, 2012 at 14:18

Message deleted by satchef1

barrybarryk  Aug. 15, 2012 at 14:21

0_o

Barry, where on Earth did you dredge up that rubbish?
By working with web and application designers for the last 5 years and studying it for more or less the 10 years before that

satchef1  Aug. 15, 2012 at 14:23

Message deleted by satchef1

Pondlife  Aug. 15, 2012 at 14:28

Anybody browse with two windows on screen at same time?

satchef1  Aug. 15, 2012 at 14:31

I wrote that before I read your second post.

As you have stated, the more to widescreen allowed two programs to be run side-by-side while maintaining the standard web formatting that pre-dates the wide-screen format. On tablets we aren't talking about two programs running side-by-side. We're talking about full-screen browsing. Comparing 16:9 to 4:3, 16:9 sees a reduction in vertical space (you can see less at-a-glance and need to scroll more) and often all you gain is 'white space' at the sides. You lose more than you gain.

barrybarryk  Aug. 15, 2012 at 14:39

Unless you browse in portrait on a tablet (like I do, and I'm sure most other people do too) in which case it's much narrower and yet it still fits and you get that increase in vertical screen estate for reading more while scrolling less. By having a 4:3 inch screen you just get superfluous "white space" at the cost of a much physically wider screen. It's not that it doesn't work on a 4:3 screen or anything like that but practically everything we do on a computer follows the paradigm of a printed page

Pondlife  Aug. 15, 2012 at 14:53

Anyway if they wanted to switch to widescreen they could have done that with the new ipad though, could have given it a much more sensible resolution 1080p I don't think they do.
If the mini exists I don't think they want it to hit new ipad sales and just competitors sales, switching to widescreen has the potential to do that though.

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