A flurry of iPad Mini news made the rounds late yesterday evening.
First up, 9to5Mac reports that they received word from a number of sources that the rumored iPad Mini will look much like a large iPod touch, “with smaller bezels along the sides in portrait mode and separate volume buttons and not a “rocker” and a mic on the back..” Note the mock-up above which a few other folks “in the know” have deemed to be pretty spot-on.
Following that, iMore added some more detail, noting that the iPad Mini will be about the same thinness as the iPod Touch, which is to say about 0.28 inch (7.2 mm) deep. This is quite a bit thinner than the iPad.
Most importantly, this isn’t a big iPod touch.
The Google Nexus 7 is arguably closer to a big iPod touch than this device. The Nexus 7, in part, scales up smartphone interface elements and apps. The iPad mini runs the iPad version of iOS and scales it down. The iPad mini is an iPad, and that makes a tremendous difference. That allows it to run that higher class of apps that Steve Jobs talked about.
This is a full on iPad, just smaller and lighter.
And finally, John Gruber of Daring Fireball also throws his hat into the ring arguing that the iPad Mini will be more akin to a smaller iPad than a blown up iPod Touch.
For one thing, it’s closer in size to the iPad-as-we-know it, and for another, all credible reports (along with several of my own little birdies) point to the smaller iPad keeping the 4:3 display aspect ratio.
But if you shrink the device enough, and reduce the weight enough, would such a device still need a bezel surrounding the display of the same proportions as the iPad-as-we-know-it? Maybe not.
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…). In other words, the aspect ratio of the iPad as a whole is very close to the aspect ratio of the iPad display. You don’t even need to work out the math — just look at it.
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.