At long last, it’s the iPad mini. Unveiled today at a special event in San Jose, the slightly more portable iPad most certainly looks like its 9.7-inch elder, but it’s equipped with the same Lightning port that was ushered in on the iPhone 5 and is entirely more eager to slip inside some of the world’s largest cargo shorts. If you’ll recall, rumors of this thing actually hit a fever pitch back in 2010, with the stateside Apple v. Samsung patent trial revealing that SVP Eddy Cue was longing for a more book-friendly iPad in 2011. Naturally, Apple’s pushing the smaller form factor as a boon for those who adore ingesting text on digital screens, further advancing its iBook and education initiative that took center stage at its January keynote in New York City.
The device itself is precisely what you’d expect it to be: a slightly shrunken iPad, with a rear that resembles the new iPod touch. It’s aluminum-clad, finely polished and equipped with a 7.9-inch LCD (1024 x 768). The volume rocker, orientation / mute switch and bottom-mounted speakers are graciously borrowed from the conventional iPad, while the rest of the exterior maintains a pretty familiar look. No, there’s no touch sensitive bezel (