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Tablet talk: Video of iPad Mini mock-up hits the Web as rumors of widescreen iPad emerge

With the iPhone 5 launch well and truly behind us, attention among Apple watchers is now turning to the expected unveiling of the iPad Mini.

There’s been talk for a while now about Apple releasing a smaller version of its hugely popular iPad device, with most people expecting an October launch.

As with any Apple product coming to market, rumors have been doing the rounds, with many claiming the tablet will have a 7.85-inch screen and a thinner bezel than the one found on the existing iPad.

A new video showing a dummy iPad Mini from various angles was posted on the Web on Friday by the Japan-based Mac Otakara blog (via Apple Insider). Unfortunately, much of  the 60-second video is slightly out of focus, though it’s still watchable (check it out below), and gives us some idea of how the expected tablet will look in the hand/s (answer: comfortable).

Apple Insider says that if the mock-up is close to the real thing then the absence of the black plastic insert on the back of the device that serves as a window for cellular signals suggests that if this is the only device unveiled by Tim Cook next month, it’ll be Wi-Fi only. But would Apple really hold back from offering consumers a cellular version too?

There’s little known about what’s under the hood of the expected iPad Mini, though to keep it competitively priced alongside Amazon’s new Kindle Fire HD tablets, Google’s Nexus 7 and Barnes & Noble’s Nook HD devices, it’s bound to lack the power of the 9.7-inch version. Many predict it’ll sell for around $250, a price which is bound to interest many consumers looking for a more portable version of the Cupertino company’s big-selling iPad. Details of a ‘special event’ to unveil the iPad Mini are expected to be announced in the coming days, with the device set to hit stores in plenty of time for the holiday season.

Widescreen iPad?

Meanwhile, following the recent launch of the widescreen iPhone 5, one analyst has said that according to sources “close to Apple”, the iPad is also about to get the stretched-screen treatment. Cult of Mac reported industry analyst Paul Mueller as saying that “at least three people close to Apple” told him the company is prototyping a widescreen version of the iPad.

It’s easy to believe the claim, with Apple known to test out many variations of a device before deciding whether to develop it further. It’s not known whether it would replace the current version or be sold alongside it. Do you think a widescreen iPad would go down well with consumers? Or should Apple simply stick with the current 4:3 aspect ratio?     

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