A smaller iPad is coming soon. Apple should announce the iPad Mini at an event on October 23, but the actual product launch will be sometime after that. You may now be able to circle your calendar, as multiple sources are pointing to Friday, November 2 as the iPad Mini release date.
If the date hadn't leaked to publications like Techcrunch, Geeky Gadgets, and a tweet from 9to5Mac, it would still make sense. Each of Apple's recent iPhone and iPad releases have fallen on the Friday of the week following the event. The 2010 iPhone 4 was the last time that was different (it released on a Thursday), so the smart money is on another Friday launch.
Also following the pattern from previous iPad releases, pre-orders would likely begin soon after the end of the keynote event.
As we've written before, the iPad Mini (or iPad Air?) is expected to have many of the same internals as the iPad 2. Its 7.85-inch display could have narrow bezels on the sides, and it could be lighter and thinner than any other tablet in its class.
Though Apple previously dismissed the notion of releasing a smaller iPad, the potential may now be too great to pass up. Last holiday season, Amazon's debut Kindle Fire sold in bunches, and this season its successors are joined by the Google/Asus Nexus 7, and a refreshed Barnes & Noble Nook HD. If priced between US$200-300 (as many expect), an airy, miniature iPad could outsell them all.
You can check back at Gizmag for all the info leading up to Tuesday's event, and the probable Nov. 2 launch.