After months of speculation, Apple today revealed what school administrators had been hoping for--a smaller, less expensive tablet dubbed the iPad mini.
Featuring a 7.9-inch display and sporting a more wallet-friendly starting price tag of $329, the iPad mini will be available for pre-order on Friday, Oct. 26 and will ship the following week on Nov. 2. The new device is equal or superior to the full-sized iPad2 in every technical aspect. From its dual-core, A5 processor to the 5 megapixel rear camera, the iPad mini packs everything users love about the iPad into a smaller package.
School officials are no doubt salivating at the thought of full-size iPad functionality with a smaller footprint and price tag. Apple has made this new device absolutely irresistible to this market by maintaining the same aspect ratio of the full-sized iPad. That means all of the software developed for schools for the previous versions of the device will work seamlessly on the new one. There is no need to reconfigure apps or develop and purchase new ones. All the apps currently in the App Store and all the apps that will be in the App Store will work on the iPad mini, with no adjustments required.
The aspect ratio also means that schools can add iPad minis to the current fleet of iPads. The iPad mini can easily coexist with previous iPad versions, avoiding the pitfall of obsolete devices.
While the announcement of the iPad mini was highly anticipated, Apple dropped several surprise bombs on the tech world during the keynote, not the least of which was a new MacBook Pro. The MacBook lineup is being expanded to include a 13-inch MacBook with Retina Display, meaning schools looking to upgrade their laptops just got a quantum leap in terms of choice. The new MacBook crams all the impressive specs one would expect from Apple’s top-of-the-line notebooks into a frame that is nearing MacBook Air territory.
The new computer lineup will be ready to ship in November.