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Tech Guide’s hands-on review of the iPad Mini

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ipadminiwrapTech Guide got a hands-on look at the new iPad Mini which was unveiled by Apple at a special event in San Jose today.

After the keynote at the California Theatre, journalists were ushered into a special area where we could touch and feel the new product.

First off, the iPad Mini’s 7.9-inch screen takes up almost the entire front face of the device with a thin frame either size which allows for a decent sized screen in a smaller form factor.

The iPad Mini is also remarkably light at just 308g and, at 13.5cms wide, it is possible to hold in one hand.

It also helps that it’s only 7.2mm thick. It feels really light and slender in your hands.

The back panel is made of the same anodised aluminium found on Apple’s MacBooks.

And like the iPhone 5, the iPad Mini is available in white with a silver rear face or black with the slate back panel.

The Tech Guide website displayed on the iPad Mini's 7.9-inch screen

The screen looks like a scaled down version of the iPad 2 with the icons the same relevant size to the smaller mini screen as the icons are for the larger 9.7-inch screen.

In other words Apple hasn’t crowded the screen with larger icons but given it the same breathing space that we’ve seen on the iPad.

Web browsing on the device is also a good experience with enough screen real estate to comfortable read your favourite sites comfortably.

The iPad Mini is just 7.2mm thick

Naturally I pulled up the Tech Guide page and the whole site rendered nicely to see all of the stories and images.

But most importantly the apps, and there is now more than 275,000 just for iPad, will all work perfectly on the iPad Mini’s 9.7-inch screen.

Reading books on the now updated iBooks app is also a big improvement and looks more like a real book than the larger 9.7-inch iPad.

The iPad Mini has the new Lightning dock connector

And remember you can hold it one hand so it is going to be even more tempting for avid readers who were thinking of buying a Kindle or maybe a Google Nexus 7-inch.

Apple has also produced a range of smart covers to fit the new iPad Mini and we can expect a flood of cases from thirds party manufacturers as well.

The white iPad Mini has a silver anodised aluminium rear panel. The black iPad Mini has a slate back panel.

The iPad Mini wi-fi will be available from November 2 for $369 (16GB) , $479 (32GB) and $589 (64GB) with the iPad Mini. The iPad Mini wi-fi + LTE goes on sale two week later and will be priced at $509 (16GB), $619 (32GB) and $729 (32GB).

The good news is the iPad Mini wi-fi + LTE will be compatible with Australia’s 4G Telstra, Optus and Virgin Mobile networks.

* Stephen Fenech travelled to San Jose as a guest of Apple

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