Apparently this is what the iPad Mini will look like, well, at least the size and shape of it anyway -- something tells me orange won't be Apple's colour of choice. What we're looking at here is supposedly a leaked engineering sample of the rumoured 7-incher and it's pretty damn thin.

If real, this is basically a plastic mould that forms part of the prototyping process and allows you to test accessories for fit. Again, if this is genuine, it looks like Apple really is going ahead and pushing its smaller 19-pin dock connector, plus the iPad Mini will have two speakers on its bottom to its big brother's one on the back. Honestly, a rear-facing speaker may help them fit things in nice and tight, but it's a pain in the neck trying not to cover it while holding the iPad or propping it up with the duvet while watching a movie.

With the awesome and cheap Nexus 7 just about to hit the UK, the iPad Mini will have some seriously stiff competition on launch. Apple might pretty much own the 10-inch tablet space, but the 7-inch market looks like a much harder sale for its "premium" products with hefty price tags. [GottaBeMobile via UberGizmo]