How the iPad Mini Works

iPad Mini Hardware and Design

Numerous iPad Minis on display in a Los Angeles Apple store in November 2012
Numerous iPad Minis on display in a Los Angeles Apple store in November 2012
© Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

The iPad mini measures 7.9 inches (20.1 centimeters) tall by 5.3 inches (13.5 centimeters) wide and a mere 0.28 inches (0.7 centimeters) thick. It weighs 0.69 pounds (313 grams) -- less than half the weight of the fourth generation iPad, which weighs 1.46 pounds (680 grams) [source: Apple]. Like Apple's other touch devices, the iPad Mini's front face is dominated by its screen. Unlike the larger iPad, however, the Mini's bezel isn't equal-sized around all four sides of the device. To make the Mini as small as possible, and make it possible to hold in one hand, Apple narrowed the bezel on the left and right sides of the iPad Mini. At the top and bottom, there's still plenty of space to accommodate the Home button and front-facing camera.

As on the larger iPad, the Mini's on/off button sits on the top edge of the device and its volume and lock/silent buttons are located on the right side. A headphone jack is located on the top edge as well, while a speaker and Lightning connector are on the bottom. The iPad Mini has a stereo speaker, unlike the mono speaker found in the larger tablet. Before 2012, Apple's mobile devices connected to computers, chargers and accessories with a 30-pin dock connector. With the iPhone 5, fourth generation iPad and iPad Mini, Apple switched to a smaller, reversible Lightning connector that will be its standard going forward.

The Mini comes in white and black variants like the full-size tablet, though with one difference: the backside of the black Mini is a slate color rather than the silver of the regular iPad. Inside, the Mini could pass for a more compact version of a tablet Apple released in 2011. It runs on the dual-core 1GHz A5 processor Apple introduced in the iPad 2 in March 2011. It also runs on the same dual-core graphics chip and 512MB of RAM found in that device [source: Apple].

Despite having a 16 watt-hour battery, which is much smaller than the battery found in the fourth generation iPad, Apple claims the Mini offers the same 10 hours of battery life in normal use. Thanks to its smaller screen and older processor, the Mini is a less demanding device than the iPad. But despite its size and lower price, the iPad Mini carries the same standard hardware features, including WiFi, motion sensors (accelerometer, gyroscope), a 720p webcam and 5MP rear camera [source: Apple].