iPad Mini (first generation)
The first generation iPad Mini (stylized and marketed as iPad mini) is a mini tablet computer designed, developed, and marketed by Apple Inc. It was announced on October 23, 2012, as the fifth major product in the iPad line and the first of the iPad Mini line, which features a reduced screen size of 7.9 inches, in contrast to the standard 9.7 inches. It features similar internal specifications to the iPad 2, including its display resolution.
The first generation iPad Mini received positive reviews, with reviewers praising the device's size, design, and availability of applications, while criticizing its use of a proprietary power connector, its lack of expandable storage, and the lack of Retina display.
A second generation iPad Mini was announced on October 22, 2013. The first generation iPad Mini is still available for purchase, albeit with less storage and at a lower price point.
On October 16, 2012, Apple announced a media event scheduled for October 23 at the California Theatre in San Jose, California. The company did not predisclose the subject of the event, but it was widely expected to be the iPad Mini. On the day of the event, Apple CEO Tim Cook introduced a new version of MacBook family and new generations of the MacBook Pro, Mac Mini, and the iMac before the fourth-generation iPad and the iPad Mini. As of March 26, 2014, the iPad mini is still available for purchase starting with the 16 GB Wifi only for $299 and 16 GB Wifi+Cellular for $429. 
The iPad Mini shipped with iOS 6.0. It can act as a hotspot with some carriers, sharing its Internet connection over Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or USB, and also access the App Store, a digital application distribution platform for iOS that is developed and maintained by Apple. The service allows users to browse and download applications from the iTunes Store that were developed with Xcode and the iOS SDK and were published through Apple. From the App Store, GarageBand, iMovie, iPhoto, and the iWork apps (Pages, Keynote, and Numbers) are available. The latest version is currently iOS 7.1. In iOS 7.1 there are many hidden features such as swiping your finger down from the top of the iPad to bring down notifications, weather and the calendar. Another hidden feature to iOS 7.1 is swiping your finger up from the bottom for the iPad to bring up airplane mode, WiFi, Bluetooth, do not disturb and lock rotation, also music, camera and volume.
The iPad Mini comes with several pre-installed applications, including Siri, Safari, Mail, Photos, Video, Music, iTunes, App Store, Maps, Notes, Calendar, Game Center, Photo Booth, and Contacts. Like all iOS devices, the iPad can sync content and other data with a Mac or PC using iTunes, although iOS 5 and later can be managed and backed up with iCloud. Although the tablet is not designed to make telephone calls over a cellular network, users can use a headset or the built-in speaker and microphone and place phone calls over Wi-Fi or cellular using a VoIP application, such as Skype. The device has dictation, using the same voice recognition technology as the iPhone 4S. The user speaks and the iPad types what they say on the screen provided that the iPad is connected to a Wi-Fi or cellular network.
The device has an optional iBooks application, which displays books and other ePub-format content downloaded from the iBookstore. Several major book publishers including Penguin Books, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster and Macmillan have committed to publishing books for the device. Despite being a direct competitor to both the Amazon Kindle and Barnes & Noble Nook, both Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble offer e-reader apps for the iPad.
There are four buttons and one switch on the iPad Mini, including a "home" button near the display that returns the user to the home screen, and three aluminum buttons on the right side and top: wake/sleep and volume up and volume down, plus a software-controlled switch whose function varies with software updates. The tablet is manufactured either with or without the capability to communicate over a cellular network. All models can connect to a wireless LAN via Wi-Fi. The iPad Mini is available with 16, 32, 64 GB of internal flash memory, with no expansion option. Apple sells a "camera connection kit" with an SD card reader, but it can only be used to transfer photos and videos.
The iPad Mini features partially the same hardware as the iPad 2. Both screens have resolutions of 1024 x 768, but the iPad Mini has a smaller screen and thus higher pixel density than iPad 2 (163 PPI vs 132 PPI). Unlike the iPad 2, it has 5 MP and 1.2 MP cameras and the Lightning connector. The system-on-chip is A5, which is the same one found in the later revision of the iPad 2 (32 nm). The audio processor is the same found in iPhone 5 and iPad 4th generation, which allows the iPad Mini to have Siri and voice dictation unlike the iPad 2. The graphics processor (GPU) of the iPad Mini is the same one found in the iPad 2 (PowerVR SGX543MP2).
The Smart Cover, introduced with the iPad 2, is a screen protector that magnetically attaches to the face of the iPad. A smaller version is now available for iPad Mini. The cover has three folds, which allow it to convert into a stand, held together by magnets. Smart Covers have a microfiber bottom that cleans the front of the iPad, and wakes up the unit when the cover is removed. It comes in six colors of polyurethane.
Apple offers other accessories, including a Bluetooth keyboard, several types of earbuds or headphones and many adapters for the Lightning connector. AppleCare and free engraving are also available for the iPad Mini.
Reviews of the first generation iPad Mini have been positive, with reviewers praising the device's size, design, and availability of applications, while criticizing its use of a proprietary power connector and its lack of expandable storage and Retina display. The device competes with tablets such as the Amazon Kindle Fire HD, Google Nexus 7, and Barnes & Noble Nook HD. Joshua Topolsky of The Verge praised the industrial design of the iPad Mini, however panned its lack of Retina display and price.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to iPad mini.|
- iPad Mini – official site
|iPad Mini (1st generation)
iPad Mini (2nd generation)