The folks of New York Times have it on good authority that the iPad Mini is real, but we already knew that from several other official sources. They’re reporting yet again that this will be a 7.85 inch slate and, priced much less than the current iPad.

Apple is supposed to have been prototyping a 7-8 inch iPad back in the mid 2000s, according to the Times. Steve Jobs opposed this move to smaller tablets and said that 7 inch is too small. He also claimed that aside from browsing the web in the bathroom there’s no real use for it. His words were contradicted by the huge success of the Amazon Kindle Fire and by what looks like a big success for the Google Nexus 7 as well. Amazon is also supposed to be working on a larger Kindle Fire in the meantime, to compete with the main iPad.

So, if you think that the iPad 2 sells for $399 and the newcomer should be very affordable, you’d expect something in the range of $299 or even lower for the iPad Mini. Will you be willing to jump to that smaller diagonal?