Numerous leaks on the internet have all but confirmed the imminent arrival of a 7-inch version of Apple’s wildly popular iPad. Expected to be announced on October 23, 2012, sightings around the internet put the new tablet starting at anywhere from $250 to $320 for a wifi-only version. Substantial rumors also point to a 3G/4G version as well, putting it an advantage over wifi-only, 7-inch Android-based tablets like Google’s Nexus 7 and Amazon’s Kindle Fire.
What this means for you:
If you are one of the few people on the planet that doesn’t already own an iPad, and don’t because of the size/weight of the current 10-inch tablet, the “iPad Mini” may be worth a look. However, 7-inch screens have many limitations when it comes to browsing the web and working in business applications – your screen real estate is literally half of what you can normally see on even the first generation iPad. Seven-inch tablets have found a very comfortable niche as e-readers, casual gaming devices, and fit remarkably well into over-stuffed carryons for frequent travelers. Expect some transition troubles for your popular iPad apps as they resize the display resolution for the 7-inch screen, and the possibility of paying for a new, “mini”-version of the same app you probably already own.