As our longtime readers know, TUAW usually scoffs at rumors, so we've been avoiding any mention of the iPad(s) that will most likely be unveiled on Tuesday, October 22. However, when a reputable case manufacturer provides exact dimensions of a device a few days ahead of an Apple product launch, it's hard to ignore. Not surprisingly, the dimensions show a thinner design that should make holding the device a bit easier.
Our source revealed that the case dimensions are 240.10mm (9.45 inches) tall x 169.60mm (6.68 inches) wide x a "wafer-thin" 7.5mm (0.295 inch) thick. By comparison, the existing fourth-generation iPad is a tad taller at 241.2mm (9.50 inches), quite a bit wider at 185.7mm (7.31 inches) and thicker at a chunky 9.4mm (0.37 inch).
The change in the width and thickness are the most significant features of the new design. Making the device 16.1mm (0.63 inch) less wide means that the bezel on either side of the Retina display has been made much thinner, similar to the iPad mini design seen in the post image. That, and the extra little bit of thickness shaved off, should make the new full-sized iPad more comfortable to handle for long periods of time.
It's widely expected that the new iPad(s) and possibly some refreshed/updated Macs will be unveiled at the Apple event on Tuesday. Be sure to join the TUAW team for our usual metaliveblog as well as a special edition of TUAW TV Live at 5 PM ET Tuesday.