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The iPad mini's least speculated-about new feature: dual speakers

October 11, 2012|By Salvador Rodriguez
  • An image of what appears to be an iPad mini, with two grilles, laid on top of a 9.7-inch iPad.
An image of what appears to be an iPad mini, with two grilles, laid on top of… (Sonny Dickson )

Apple is widely expected to announce the iPad mini this month, and by now we know a lot about its many rumored features. But there's one nifty, alleged feature that's been largely ignored: dual speakers.

Several photos published around the Internet seem to indicate Apple plans to put two speakers on the iPad mini, which would be a first for Apple mobile devices.

In the image above, courtesy of Sonny Dickson of 9 to 5 Mac, you can see what looks to be the iPad mini on top of a 9.7-inch iPad. The iPad mini appears to have a set of two speaker grilles positioned on either side of its Lightning connector, and next to it we see the 9.7-inch iPad and its single speaker.

Photos: IPad mini tablet rumors [Photos]

Now there is a chance that one of the grilles might not actually be a speaker. For instance, Apple puts two grilles on the bottom of the iPhone but one of them is a microphone, not a speaker. That could be the case for the iPad mini, but it would seem doubtful that Apple would use a grille that big just for a mic.

Dual speakers are a feature that have been starting to show up on more tablets, and from my experience, they are a welcome addition.

The Samsung Galaxy Note Tab 10.1 features two speakers on either side of its screen while the 7-inch Amazon.com Kindle Fire HD also features two speakers. The Kindle Fire HD puts its speakers on different sides of the device so that you get sound coming from your left and your right when you hold it horizontally while watching a movie or playing a game.

Apple, however, appears to have put its speakers on the same side of the device.

This could mean Apple thinks the primary way to hold the iPad mini is vertically, emphasizing book and magazine reading as well as Web browsing. But regardless, it would seem to defeat the purpose of having two speakers in the first place -- to have stereo sound as you watch video.

But of course, all of this is based off of images posted on the Internet that may not actually be the real iPad mini. So for now, we'll just have to wait until Apple announces the device.

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