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Ever since rumors first sprang up with regards to the smaller iPad, or “iPad Mini,” as it is being unofficially dubbed, one of the immediate questions springing to the minds of many has been “what about the iPod touch?” After all, the so-called “iPhone without the phone part” has been the only device offering the iOS experience minus the iOS price, but with the iPad Mini combining the lower-end cost with a larger screen and a set of features easily matching the iPod touch, is there really a place left in the market for it?

Well, in releasing it prior to the announcement of the iPad Mini, the iPod touch has been given something of a free reign, a move Apple undoubtedly owes a device which has filled a great niche hitherto. But, with two agreeably priced new iDevices hitting the market, which should you choose? Here, I will cover some of the pros and cons of both (based on leaked specs of the iPad Mini), in order to try and assess which is right for you.

So, with regards to the iPod touch, what does the vastly-revamped device have going for it? Well as ever, it has been treated to many of the upgrades seen with the latest iPhone, with the most obvious being the longer, four-inch Retina display. Its portability means it’s perfect for those constantly on-the-fly, and it can be squirrelled away into the pocket at any point. It now packs in the dual-core A5 (of iPhone 4S fame), which means it’s perfect for the casual gamer, and with a host of vibrant colors available, it’s got that added little bit of style and zest only usually seen with the iPod nano product range.

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Despite its good points, the iPod touch does have its fair share of limitations, and it’s those which are, by and large, likely to sway users towards purchasing an iPad Mini instead. The display – despite reflecting that of the iPhone 5 – is vastly smaller than the 7.85-inches of the iPad Mini, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. If you’re looking to read books, watch lots of streaming content and browse the web on a frequent basis, then the iPad Mini would seem a more practical purchase, but if you’re looking to listen to lots of music, occasionally check email and play a bit of Angry Birds to pass some time, you’ll not go wrong with the iPod touch.

Unfortunately for the iPod touch, however, the display isn’t the only difference between the two, and the lack of a 3G option – despite constant rumor / request for it – will see many swayed towards the iPad Mini. To put things into perspective, however, the 8GB iPad Mini with 3G (not even 4G LTE, which will also be available), will set you back upward of $400 and the fifth-gen iPod touch starts from $299. Keep in mind that the pricing of the iPad Mini is solely based off rumors. So although the cellular option is most certainly there, the price renders it somewhat incomparable with the iPod touch, but it’s certainly something to consider if you’re deliberating over the two devices and like staying connected.

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One of the biggest factors in weighing up the iPod touch and the iPad Mini is that, if you’ve just bought yourself an iPhone 5, there is absolutely no need to buy an iPod touch. Yes, the same could be said for those in ownership of an iPad 3, to a degree, but bearing in mind the third-gen iPad dropped in March – we’re approaching the time in which consumers tend to look for something new.

So, to the case in point: should you buy an iPod touch now? As I’ve highlighted, if you’re planning on taking advantage of the new iBooks 3.0, higher-end games, HD video or full-screen browsing, then in short, no. Moreover, if you’ve already nabbed yourself an iPhone 5, then purchasing an iPod touch would be borderline pointless.

If, however, you don’t see any specific use for a cheaper iPad other than the fact that it’s, well, a cheap iPad, then you sound as though you’d be better suited to the iPod touch, and thus shouldn’t stick around for the Cupertino’s upcoming slate.

For discussion on this topic: Check out the threads on Facebook or Google+.

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