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Prying Eyes: Bite into Apple's iPad Mini

06 Nov 2012  | Elmie Gonzales

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Starting at $329 a pop, Apple's iPad Mini is certainly not gunning for the low-cost tablet market. Pricing for both Amazon's Kindle Fire HD and Google's Nexus 7 start at $199. Both devices are of similar size to the iPad Mini. This prompted an Ovum analyst to claim that Apple could be playing catch-up.

iFixit has just recently published a teardown of the new Apple offering, so maybe this will help you cast an opinion. Below, you will find what aspects have caught our attention.

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Figure 1: Comparing the iPad Mini with the iPod Touch and iPad



The display

The iPad Mini could mainly be distinguished from its rivals through its 7.9inch screen. Smaller tablets are generally available with 7inch displays only. Although a bit larger, the iPad Mini is very light at 0.68lbs and very thin with a thickness of 7.2mm.

Unlike the newer generation iPhones and iPads, the iPad Mini does not have the clarity characterised by the retina display (264dpi) and only features a 1024 x 768 pixel (163dpi) LCD panel. According to analyst firm IHS, the likely display suppliers for this model are LG Display of South Korea and AU Optronics (AUO) of Taiwan.

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Figure 2: Main board

Main board

The 32nm Apple A5 applications processor is the main CPU of the iPad Mini. Manufactured by biggest smartphone rival Samsung, this dual-core processor has a die area of 69.7mm2, a die thickness of 110 μm and manufactured using a gate-first high-k/metal gate (HKMG) process.

Broadcom ICs make a repeat appearance in the iPad Mini with three design wins. Two of these are touchscreen controllers. The Broadcom four-in-one combo wireless chip BCM4334 is found here, as well as the BCM5976, which has two sockets in this tablet.


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