CNET Editors’ Take

October 23, 2012 10:55 AM PDT

After years of rumor and speculation, Apple has finally officially unveiled its iPad mini. The new tablet releases on November 2nd starting at $329 and sports a 7.9-inch IPS display. The mini measures 7.2mm thick and weighs 0.68 pounds. It comes in white and black and kind of looks like a larger iPod Touch at first glance.

On November 2nd, Apple will release the iPad mini Wi-fi model in three memory configurations. $329 for 16GB, $429 for 32GB, and $529 for 64GB. Two weeks later on November 16th, we’ll see Wi-fi + 4G model hit the shelves at $459 for 16GB, $559 for 32GB, and $659 for 64GB.

(Credit: James Martin/CNET)

The iPad mini feels extremely light in the hand, as much so as the iPhone 5. Even though it may be too wide for some jacket pockets, the mini has a very solid one-hand feel for reading. It’s lighter than most books you own.

The 1,024×768 resolution matches that on the iPad 2, but on a 7.9 inch display text is more readable at smaller fonts. This definitely isn’t Retina Display, but it’s better- than-iPad 2-display. Videos look excellent, and the IPS screen has great wide viewing angles.

(Credit: James Martin/CNET)

An A5 processor means it’ll be similar to the fifth-gen Touch. The important part of this iPad is it feels as light as a Kindle, even if it’s not as tiny in width and height.

Thumb access on the sides is definitely easier, too. One thumb operation is theoretically possible, and I found I could do it for basic scrolling and page turning.

(Credit: James Martin/CNET)

Other specs include a front-facing 720p-capable FaceTime camera, and a 5-megapixel back camera. The mini also supports 4G LTE, 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi at 5.2Ghz, Bluetooth 4.0, and of course will use Apple’s Lightning connector, first seen on the iPhone 5.

Apple claims a 10-hour battery life, but we’ll have to put it through our own testing to confirm when we get one in on November 2nd. Preorders for iPad mini in all its forms starts on Friday, October 26.

(Credit: James Martin/CNET)