There's no denying that the iPad mini is the Apple product rumor of 2012, and the latest batch of hearsay narrows down the form factor of the purported tablet. 9to5Mac received word from unnamed sources that the mini will "look like a large iPod touch" with thin vertical bezels. In a later post, the site dug up schematics that it had reported on back in July, pointing out that the latest rumors seem to validate their authenticity. 9to5Mac's findings are echoed by iMore, which adds that the device will be the "exact same thinness as the iPod touch," and therefore "substantially thinner" than the current iPad. iMore and 9to5Mac both created mockups of the new tablet, with the former also creating a size comparison chart with the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire (see below).

Daring Fireball's John Gruber took a look at the numbers, comparing the dimensions of both the iPad and iPod touch in relation to their screen size to make a case for the iPad mini's bezel thickness to fall between the two devices. He surmises that the case for a 4:3 ratio, 7.85-inch display iPad with thin bezels is the most solid, although notes that "maybe iPad mini is the wrong name for us to use as a placeholder," suggesting "iPad Air" instead.

One thing that no one appears to agree on is when exactly the iPad Mini / Air will be released. iMore believes we'll see the diminutive tablet announced with the "iPhone 5" on September 12th prior to a release sometime in October, but others are pointing to a November or December date.

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