There have been numerous leaks detailing the various parts of the iPhone 5, and there has been a definite idea about what the finished Apple smartphone will look like. However, the iPad Mini rumor mill has been consigned to sourcing obscure images from Chinese social networking websites and the like.
9to5Mac’s Seth Weintraub has posted a set of iPad Mini mockups that seem to combine whatever little is known about the mysterious Apple slate, and extrapolates that to (what could be) a very likely candidate for the most accurate iPad Mini design mockups yet.
They bear a very notable similarity to Apple’s iPod Touch, with a similarly thin profile, thin bezel and a bit narrower to boot.
There have been vague murmurings of discontent at the mockups, with the general idea being that putting a thin bezel makes precious little sense in a tablet sized device. Tablets are, of course, more hefty than smartphones, and need both hands to be used in portrait mode. A thin bezel would make it a lot tougher to use the iPad Mini, unless Apple has some tech up its sleeves to make the sides of the iPad screen less responsive in certain situations.
The reputed John Gruber from The Daring Fireball has given his view on the iPod-like design elements in the latest images, saying:
“I expect the iPad Mini will bear more resemblance to a full-size iPad than it will to an iPhone or iPod Touch. For one thing, it’s closer in size to the iPad-as-we-know it, and for another, all credible reports (along with several of my own little birdies) point to the smaller iPad keeping the 4:3 display aspect ratio.
But if you shrink the device enough, and reduce the weight enough, would such a device still need a bezel surrounding the display of the same proportions as the iPad-as-we-know-it? Maybe not.”
Gruber justifies how Apple could just choose to compensate for the lack of bezel width with the general lack of heft in the iPad Mini. In fact, the thin profile of the long rumored Apple slate may just be its USP, and dispel any doubt about its ergonomics altogether.