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iPad 5 release date and design leaked – iPad 4 meets iPad mini

The design of the iPad Air and its release date have been reportedly leaked online, showing a slim iPad mini 2-like bezel.

Apple is to give the 9.7-inch iPad a full design revamp this year, cutting down the bezel size to make the tablet much smaller without sacrificing screen inches. iLounge’s Jeremy Horwitz has posted a picture of the iPad 5 next to the iPad 2, showing the smaller area the new tablet occupies.

Horwitz says the iPad 5 has “virtually no left or right bezels”, and only enough top and bottom bezel space to house the Home button and user-facing camera.  

This design change should help make the iPad 5 feel much more portable than its predecessor, giving it some of the benefits of the super-portable iPad mini.

You might ask – why did Apple not slim down the design earlier? We expect this smaller and slimmer body is enabled by the new technologies the iPad 5 will implement. Top of the list is an IGZO screen panel.

IGZO panels do not refresh constantly, only when displaying moving images. This will let the iPad 5 use a lower-capacity battery unit without sacrificing stamina. The iPad 5 will almost certainly feature the same 10-hour battery life as its predecessors.

IGZO is a technology developed by Sharp, and is expected to feature in the iPad mini 2 and iPhone 5S, as well as any new full-size iPad models.

Other power savings can be made in the processor. The iPad 4 uses a powerful but large and hungry Apple A6X chip – power optimisations are highly like in the iPad 5’s SoC.

iLounge, the source of this news, has leaked information about Apple devices in the past, but it is no loose rumour-monger. Horwitz says he has inspected an iPad 5 prototype personally, although the exact source for this information was not given.

The leak comes with bad news attached too, though. Rather than being released in March as hoped, the iPad 5 will reportedly launch in October. This is exactly a year on from when the iPad 4 launched, smoothing-out the disruptive launch that was the iPad 4. It arrived just seven months after the almost-forgotten iPad 3.

Will Apple’s iPad 5 tempt any of you iPad mini owners back from the land of Lilliput? Drop us your thoughts in the comments.

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