When it comes to evaluating the next big thing, we turn to our secret weapon: the TUAW braintrust. We put the question to you and let you have your go at it. Today's topic is the (presumed) iPad mini.

In order to compete in the 8-inch tablet market, most rumors have hinted that the iPad mini has been designed for compromise. Some sources say no cellular data. Others say no Retina. Still others say the price has to be compromised to accommodate the iPod touch.

To ship a consumer-friendly device, what special sauce can Apple cook into the iPad mini product? Should we expect a FaceTime-capable camera? Or could Apple partner with telecoms for inexpensive restricted data for shopping? What are some ways that Apple can expand the mini beyond a repackaged iPad 1 in a smaller frame?

You tell us. Place your vote in this poll and then join in the comments with all your analysis.

What is the iPad mini\'s special sauce?
It's the price. I'm happy to pay less if I get at least the processing power of an iPad 2 and the base functionality of an iPad 1.211 (15.4%)
Expect to see iPad 2-level features across the board including at least one, but possibly two, cameras. It's Apple's entry-level unit in a petite package.423 (30.9%)
It's always about communications. Apple a good Telco bargain may be able to match up against the Kindle HD data deal.26 (1.9%)
It's about a deal alright, but not with the Telcos. Apple might be able to swing an agreement with textbook companies plus education pricing with grants.67 (4.9%)
The base unit may be stripped down but Apple would be foolish to exclude buyers willing to pay a premium for newer device features like cameras, cellular data, and so forth. The special sauce is all the existing sauce.294 (21.5%)
Squirrel.303 (22.1%)
Something else. I'll tell you in the comments.44 (3.2%)

This article was originally published on Tuaw.