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iPad mini in action in spiffy fan pictures

While we wait for an official announcement about the hotly-anticipated iPad mini, here's some excellent fan-made pictures.

Want a clear look at the iPad mini? Here's the next best thing: while we wait for an official announcement from Apple about the hotly-anticipated sawn-off version of the iPad, here's some rather spiffy fan-made pictures.

Apple fan Martin uit Utrecht created these 3D renders of the rumoured iPad mini to show off how the 7-inch tablet would look.

We've seen a leaked photo of the case for the iPad mini, showing off the smaller tablet next to the current iPad. These images complete the picture, showing what the tablet will look like with software running, and next to the new iPhone 5.

Like the iPhone 5, the iPad mini has a Lightning dock connector. It's the first iPad to include this smaller dock connector, so if you do go mini your existing Apple cables and docks won't work without an adaptor.

The mini is also expected to take a nano-SIM card for 3G web browsing, streaming music or updating social networks while you're out and about. Will it be the first iPad to offer 4G -- and perhaps even the first tablet here in the UK to offer 4G? We'll find out this month, all being well: Apple is set to announce the mini slate on 17 October.

Fingers crossed for 4G -- that would give the iPad mini a huge unique advantage over rival 7-inch tablets such as the Google Nexus 7 and Amazon Kindle Fire HD. I suspect the flipside of that, however, will be a much-inflated price-tag for the 7-inch iPad, whereas the Nexus 7 and its ilk are available at around £160.

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Image: Martin uit Utrecht