iPad Mini Schematics Surface: Thinner and Narrower than Expected

Yesterday was a-buzz with leaked images, schematics and mock-ups of what is turning out to be a near-positive identification of a smaller Apple tablet. According to various tech blogs, the iPad mini will be significantly thinner than was previously estimated and will look more like a big iPod touch than a small iPad. Should we start calling it “iPod Maxi?”

9to5Mac used information based on various tips and leaks they’ve received to run down a list of things we should expect to see in the upcoming smaller iPad. They also included a couple of mock-ups from different sources and even created on themselves.

According to the blog, the iPad mini, or iPod Maxi, takes on the iPod touch design in the fact that it will have smaller portrait – side bezels and will only be about 7.3mm thick. An iPod touch is approximately 7.2mm thick. The diminutive stature of the device will allow users to hold it in one hand like an iPod touch, avoiding accidental screen touches when in portrait mode. The landscape sides of the device will have a thicker bezel because users can’t fit their fingers around the backside of it at that angle. The thick bezel allows users to grab the device with thumbs and fingers.

The iPad mini will likely have a back and front-facing camera. However, there is a chance that Apple will exclude the cameras in order to make the tablet as inexpensive as possible.

Based on some mock-ups and leaks that we’ve seen, there is a good chance that Apple will offer a 4G LTE capable model alongside a Wi-Fi only model, just like the current iPad line.

ThinkiOS released schematics of what they are saying are legitimate drawings of the iPad mini back in mid-July. The images show that the smaller tablet has the same thin portrait-side bezel and 7.3mm thickness. The website also notes that the screen will be 5.3 inces wide and 7.87 inches long.

The drawings also show a 19-pin dock connector instead of the current 30-pin connector that all of Apple’s mobile devices use. It also collaborates that there will be two speakers toward the middle of the landscape side instead of a single speaker at the corner. Which makes sense on the smaller device. You hands would cover up the speaker more often on a smaller device if it were in the corner.

Daring Fireball’s John Gruber has been voicing his opinion on the rumored iPad mini. Gruber believes that the device’s design would likely be a combination of the iPad and iPod touch, seeing as how it is smaller than one and larger than the other.

“The iPad 3 — the whole device, not just the display — measures 241.2 × 185.7 mm. Divide and that comes out to roughly 1.3, which is very close to the aspect ratio of the iPad display (1.333…). [...]

That’s not true for the iPhone and iPod Touch. The iPhone 4S is 115.2 × 58.6 mm; divide and you get roughly 1.97 — far different proportions than the 1.5 (3:2) aspect ratio of the display. Again, just look at it.

Should not the iPad Mini fall somewhere in between?”

Based on this new information, I’d say we’re looking at a new beast altogether. Call it an iPad mini. Call it an iPod maxi. What every you call it, the new device is on its way.

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About Lory: Writer of all things app related, traveler of the space-time continuum, baker of really great cookies. Follow me @appaholik

  • Cass Ward

    If it didn’t have a camera I wouldn’t buy it. That would mean no face time, no photos, no videos. If it happens I was planning on ipad minis instead of new ipods for my kids but there is no way they would want it without the camera

    • lorygil

      Is there any other feature that would keep you from buying a mini? Do you already have an iPad? What about screen resolution?