You might wonder why anyone would pay $329 and up for an iPad Mini when Amazon, Google, Barnes & Noble, and others offer seven-inch tablets for far less. The answer is simple: Apple!
There was a time when you might assume the new tablet was priced for Apple "fan boys," fanatics who strive to own the company's latest and greatest products at any price.
Apple's current customer base, however, rules out that possibility. The company has sold over 100 million iPads to date. Fanaticism alone can't sustain that kind of success. You have to deliver the goods.
So why is the iPad Mini worth the price? For starters, it's a surprisingly good tablet, particularly in the field and especially if the slew of apps available from the App Store are important to you. If an app works with the iPad 2, it will work perfectly with the iPad Mini. Apple has spared developers the chore of scaling their apps for the Mini.
But let's get back to the tablet itself, which is 23 percent thinner and 53 percent lighter than the third generation iPad. Here is an iPad you can hold comfortably in one hand, equipped with a 7.9-inch multi-touch display, ultra-fast wireless performance, and 10 hours of battery life. The dual-core A5 chip delivers responsive graphics and a fluid touch screen experience.
Constructed of aluminum and glass, the iPad Mini is just 7.2 mm thin and weighs only 0.68 pounds. The display provides 35 percent more screen real estate than other 7-inch tablets and up to 67 percent more usable viewing area when browsing the web.
Onboard are a front-facing FaceTime HD camera and a 5-megapixel iSight rear-mounted camera with advanced optics for taking sharp still pictures and recording full 1080p HD video. The latter includes video image stabilization and both cameras feature backside illumination to improve performance in low light.
All iPad Mini models feature dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi, which support wireless speeds up to 150 Mbps. Wi-Fi + Cellular models support 4G LTE speeds coupled with an attractive data package.
Of the 700,000 apps available from the App Store, more than 275,000 apps are designed specifically for iPad. Categories include books, games, business, news, sports, health, reference and travel. The Mini also supports the more than 5,000 newspapers and magazines offered in Newsstand and the more than 1.5 million books available on the iBookstore.
The iPad Mini is available in black/gray or white/silver. Prices for the Wi-Fi-only model start at $329 (16GB). An iPad Mini with Wi-Fi + Cellular starts at $459 (16GB). Smart Covers are available in pink, green, blue, light gray, dark gray and red for $39.
Looking for an ultra-personal holiday gift? Throw a book at 'em!
Apple believes the best way to preserve memories is to actually hold them — in custom photo books, letterpress cards, calendars, and prints, which can all be made right on your Mac. With new, smarter tools in iPhoto '11, doing just that is remarkably easy. All you need are some great photos. iPhoto does the rest.
Making photo books starts with the Theme browser. The software shows how your photos will look in each theme. It even makes sure photos of people are cropped and framed perfectly.
You can change the background color, font, layout, and more with just a few clicks. The result can be books big enough for the coffee table or small enough to carry around, with hardcover, softcover, and wirebound options.
|Sizes||13x10 inches||11x8.5 inches|
|Pages||20 pages||20 pages|
|Additional pages||$1.49, 100 max.||$0.99, 100 max.|
|Sizes||11x8.5 inches||8x6 inches||3.5x2.6 inches|
|Pages||20 pages||20 pages||20 pages
|Additional pages||$0.69, 100 max.||$0.49, 100 max.||$0.29, 100 max.|
You can also create your own 12-month calendars, 24-month calendars, or anything in between. Commemorate birthdays, anniversaries, and special events by adding photos and captions to individual days. iPhoto lets you import your iCal events and choose national holidays.
|Additional months||$1.49, 24 max|
Letterpress cards make anything you want to say a little more meaningful, and with iPhoto '11, all you need to add are your own photos and words.
Each letterpress card is crafted from premium paper and produced using a centuries-old printing method that presses a design into the card for a unique look and texture. The card is then digitally processed with your photos and text. Letterpress cards are available in 27 crafted themes, complete with matching envelopes. If you prefer standard cards, you can make those, too.
Letterpress Cards (5x7 inches)
Folded Cards (5x7 inches)
Flat Cards (4x6 inches)
New Cards App for iOS Devices
With the new Cards app, you can spontaneously create and mail a beautiful letterpress card right from your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch. Just take a snapshot and choose a design. The app makes it easy to create 4-by-6-inch letterpress cards from a choice of 21 designs.
Tap to choose up to 12 recipients from your contacts list. You can also resend the same card, invitation, or announcement to more than one person. Card History automatically saves your orders, so all you have to do is select a card, duplicate it, and choose a new recipient.
Forget about finding an envelope -- or a stamp. Apple supplies a premium envelope, adds postage, and sends the card on its way. You'll even get a notification on your iOS device on the day the U.S. Postal Service says it's scheduled to arrive.
Each card is $2.99 when sent within the U.S. and $4.99 when sent to or from anywhere else, postage included.