iPad Mini: How It Might Look Based on Our Exclusive Photos

Like our photos of a supposed engineering sample of the mythic iPad Mini? Don’t like them? Either way, based on those shots, this is what we think it might look like in the glass and plastic flesh.

Using the sample and the rumored 7.85″ 4:3 aspect display as a guide, I put together this little mock-up to scale next to the current iPad.

Mock-up of iPad Mini based on our exclusive photos of an engineering sample compared to scale to the current iPad.

Not bad, right? There are a couple things to note. First, I think our initial assessment of the height was about 12 mm too high. Mocked up using the original dimensions, the top and bottom bezels turned out to be wider than those on the standard iPad. I didn’t notice the problem at first, but when I put it next to the standard iPad at scale, it stuck out.

To correct it, I matched the top and bottom bezels on the mock-up Mini to that of the standard iPad. This makes sense given how the size of the home button is fixed. Fixed button size, fixed bezel size. But how to account for the 12 mm delta?

I wasn’t engaged in the original assessment, but I double-checked and altering the perspective of the photo and matching the background iPad to the iPad’s dimensions does line up with the 213.36 mm by 143.67 mm first reported. However, that’s a two-dimensional approach, and this is a three-dimensional object. Considering the angle of the shot, the thickness of the sample, and the slight but noticeable cut-off at the bottom of the photo, I believe the 2-D approach skews high. A 12 mm correction fixes things and lines up better with a straightened version of the photo (below). Still a tad off due to the cut-off but the correction brings it very close.

A comparison against a straightened, scaled version of our photo of the engineering sample.

Second, I experimented with different screen sizes and have concluded 7.85″ 4:3 with this shape works. At the uncorrected, taller size, a 16:10 display would fit in the box with even bezels. But with the home button fixed at a half inch diameter, a consistent bezel would mean a one-inch bezel all the way around a 7″ screen. Trust me, that’s not a good look.

The corrected size retains the top and bottom bezel width of the standard iPad but not the side bezels. With a 7.85″ 4:3 aspect display that leads to side bezels that are slimmer but still hefty enough to grip. This might not work on the standard iPad, but it should be fine on a smaller, lighter device that’s easier to handle with one hand.

So what do you think? Would an iPad Mini at this size work for you? Still like the regular better? Or is it not reduced enough from the regular to make a difference?