Apple has yet to deny the existence of an iPad mini (or, iPad Air; but are not all iPads ‘Air‘?). The standard leaks have been made to the proper sources, so let me call Apple’s new device an iPad mini and declare it will have the same screen resolution as the iPad 2; 1024×768.
What? No 16:9 ratio for movie watching? Why is Apple sticking to the 4:3 aspect ratio? That is so 1999, right?
Blame it on the apps.
That’s why the iPad mini will be 4:3 and 1024×768. Apps. It’s also why the iPad mini screen will be almost 8-inches diagonal instead of 7-inches. It’s smaller than the iPad 2 or iPad 3, but not too small, so current apps will display the same– only slightly smaller (you won’t need thinner finger tips).
The few hundred thousand apps for iPad 3 will run just fine, without modification, on the iPad mini. Why not 16:9? That aspect ratio works fine for movies, but isn’t so great for devices which are used in portrait mode as often as landscape mode. It’s too vertical.
Apple may be bucking the trend toward 16:9 but the user experience is more than acceptable at 4:3 (good for letterbox fans).
The iPad mini’s screen is merely a little smaller than the iPad 3. I suspect the bezel will be thinner, too, and the mini will be much lighter, yet have at least as long (if not longer) battery life, thanks to a Sharp IGZO display (I’m prognosticating). It won’t be a Retina display, but it will look sharp (pun intended).
Therein lies a big secret. Sharp’s IGZO screens are vibrant and clear, but don’t use much power when compare to traditional tablets or notebooks (and far less than Retina displays). That means longer battery life, so we could see IGZO’s or similar energy-sipping screens to show up not only in the iPad mini, but in future MacBook Air models.
Model by model, Apple continues to push the bar forward. Thinner, lighter, faster, higher quality, longer battery life. The only real question regarding the iPad mini is the price tag. My money is on $349 for the entry level model.