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4 Ways the iPad Mini will Help Travelers

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Last month Apple unveiled the iPhone 5. Well, it seems that was just a prelude–a grand prelude–to the introduction of yet another generation of innovative Apple products. Among them is iPad Mini, revealed today.

Meet the iPad Mini. Kari Adwell rounds up four reasons the new travel-friendly gadget is worth exploring.

1. Improved Portability: This half-pint version of the regular iPad will be thinner and lighter to  rival other dexterous handhelds such as the Kindle Fire, Google Nexus and the Nook. It’s 7.2 mm thick (as thin as a pencil) and 0.68 pounds (as light as a pad of paper). The screen size is 7.9 inches on the diagonal. The area of the entire screen is 29.6 square inches.

2. Connectivity: Like the parent iPad, the mini version will be available in a version that will connect to cellular networks as well as Wi-Fi. The new device’s main competitors — the Google Nexus 7 and Amazon 7-inch Kindle Fire HD — are Wi-Fi only. Wi-Fi performance is up to twice as fast. The iPad Mini also features an HD front-side FaceTime camera. Note that the connector is the new Lightning model which makes it incompatible with previous connectors and docking stations.

3. Memory:  With options ranging from 16GB to 64GB you can mold your new tablet to your storage needs.

4. Energy efficiency: While a non-retina screen may not be optimal for some it makes sense for Apple, reducing cost, size and power usage. Plus since the size is smaller, the display will have a higher pixel density compared to the older iPad. The Mini features 10 hours of battery life.

The price? The 16GB Wi-Fi configured iPad Mini starts at $329.

Some other travel takeaway points from today’s press conference:

- A new version of iBooks that features continuous scrolling and updated sharing options

- A 13-inch MacBook Pro that’s 0.75 inches thick and 3.75 pounds

- The impossibly slim next generation of the  iMac, with a 5 mm edge (not the best option for travelers, but pretty cool nonetheless)

- The fourth generation of the iPad which will feature cellular as well as Wi-Fi connectivity. Note that the  fourth-generation t iPad will use the new Lightning connector, making it incompatible with previous connectors and docking stations.

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By Kari Adwell for PeterGreenberg.com

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