The launch of the Apple iPad Mini may be less than two weeks away.
According to John Paczkowski of All Things D, on Oct. 23, Apple will unveil its new pint-sized tablet at an "intimate affair held close to home" – a decided contrast from the full-on bash that marked the launch of the iPhone 5.
Apple has kept the specs on its new tablet under wraps, but the general consensus says the Mini will ship with a 7.85-inch display (measured diagonally, corner to corner), smaller than the 9.7-inch display on the new iPad, and more or less the same size as the Amazon Kindle Fire.
A "retina display" seems unlikely; the device may, however, get the new Lightning dock connector.
In related news, over at ZD Net, James Kendrick has a suggestion for Apple (which we heartily second): Sure, make an iPad Mini, but also make a keyboard cover for the regular iPad. The forthcoming Microsoft Surface tablets, of course, will include multi-colored keyboard covers – a functionality that has helped Microsoft set its Windows 8-equipped slate apart from the Apple iPad.
"I am not an accessory designer nor do I play one on the Internet, but I am confident that Apple could pull this off masterfully," Kendrick writes. "I picture a thin smart cover for the iPad with a sliver of a keyboard similar to the Apple wireless keyboard. The cover would completely protect the iPad front and back, and add a wireless keyboard to the package." Here, here.