Here at RepairLabs.com, the same people who brought you the first exclusive photos of the iPad 3 digitizer, we have confirmed the dimensions of the upcoming iPad Mini. Our well-placed source reports that the new iPad Mini will actually measure in at 7.85 inches, which would make the screen quite a bit roomier than expected. Our source confirms that orders have been placed for production in these dimensions. After much discussion in our office, we concluded that when rumor-mongers (like ourselves) mention the 7-inch number that’s being so widely disseminated, they mean the diagonal screen measurement. And really, the main part of the device that we care about is its working surface.
But just for fun, to add a bit of speculation, here is a little food for thought. Let’s assume that the ratios remain the same from the current iPad3. Extrapolating from there, we can deduce this would make the much-anticipated little device measure up at 7.7 inches tall and 5.92 inches wide. The new iPad Mini by these standards would be about 81% of the size of the current. The current iPad 3 now measures 9.50 inchese tall by 7.31 inches wide, so the alleged iPad Mini will be only just longer than the width of the current. On a ruler it would likely measure just over 7” 11/16 tall. We actually broke out the ole’ trusty Pythagorean Theorem to bring you those figures, folks.
To visualize the difference between the current iPad and the purported new dimensions of the Mini, we performed a super low-tech experiment, and hand-drew the measurements on a yellow legal pad. (Compared to the succinct beauty of our Graphic Designer’s vision, my rendition is downright hilarious). In fact, the legal pad itself seems reasonably analogous to the current iPad (minus the legal pad’s header and margins). The reported 7.85 inches, on the other hand, feels like a good, medium-sized appointment book in the hand (but certainly without the girth/depth of a day planner). We’re guessing the difference in ‘feel’ would be equivalent to the difference between carrying around a paperback and a hardback, and the device would be that much easier to drop into a handbag, backpack or briefcase.
Ease of portability, weight, and the ability to hold the device in one hand, have long figured into tablet design decisions, and ultimately, profitability. Market-watchers may also conclude that this new offering means to compete directly with the Kindle Fire or the Barnes and Noble Nook. The Kindle Fire measures 7.5 inches tall, and 4.7 inches wide, while the Nook outsizes it at 8.1 inches tall, and 5 inches wide. The purported iPad Mini would fall squarely between the two in size. And the difference between 9.7 inches and 7.85 inches? It may seem negligible, or it may make all the difference. After all, the iPhone is just so very nicely pocket-sized, and it has managed to carve out a modicum of success.