Apple iPad Mini

The iPad Mini is in direct competition with other 7” tablets. Apple aren’t planning to win that battle on just price alone. Lets take a look at the iPad Mini and tell you what we see.

By Chris Messenger | Published 12/11/2012

The Good


Dual core processor. Super speedy!


Small and extreamly portable


Perfect for reading


Full iCloud intergration

The Bad


Lower resolution than previous iPads


Price does not match other 7" Tablets


The only new iOS device without Retina


No reason to buy if you own iPhone/iPad


Apple made two very big announcements recently. The first was that they were releasing their new 4th Generation iPad (which was in reality just the 3rd Generation iPad with a fancy new processor and a ‘Lightning Connector’ – whatever one of those is) and the second was that their new 7” tablet, the iPad Mini, was about to be released.


The iPad Mini, (not unlike the iPod Mini or the iPod Nano) is a scaled down version of the main iPad. It is being aimed in direct competition with other 7” tablets, namely the Google Nexus and the Kindle Fire HD, although, as ever, Apple aren’t planning to win that battle on price. Lets take a look at the iPad Mini and tell you what we see.


The Specs

The first thing you’ll notice about the iPad Mini is that it is incredibly sturdy. There’s almost no break in the casing. Not only does this make the product feel tough and secure, it also adds to the aesthetic allure that has helped make Apple Inc so much money over the last decade or so. 


The Mini is also very thin, much more so than most 7” tablets. In addition, the iPad Mini is extremely lightweight, so much so, that it shouldn’t be much heavier than your phone.


The iPad Mini runs an Apple AX5 processor (the very same one that Apple are now declaring as ‘old hat’ following the release of their new iPad) and follows the storage capacity of the latest iPad exactly. Overall, this one promises to be the world’s best 7” tablet, just as its big brother is the world’s best 10” tablet.



The Price

So, if the iPad is going up against the 7” inch tablets, it has a problem. Or, to put it another way: two types of people buy 7” tablets, those who prefer a smaller device (for whatever reason) and those who are looking to save money. The second group ought to just look away now.


Although the 16GB model is £269 (which isn’t bad), the 64GB model will set you back to the tune of £482. That’s a lot of lolly.


The smallest version isn’t a million miles away from the Google Nexus in terms of price, but you can still get a 32GB Nexus for just £228. Then there’s the Kindle Fire HD, retailing at £199 for the 32GB version.


The Performance

Despite not being a Retina screen, the iPad Mini’s resolution is actually glorious. It renders web pages nicely and plays video with expressive clarity and confidence. The clear, lightweight design and efficient functionality make this an effortless device. It seems to genuinely enjoy being used.


If that sounds a little bit weird, consider this: you get all the benefits of an iPad 3 without the heft. Starting to make sense now?


If you have an Apple TV, you can experience the joy of ‘throwing’ content from your iPad Mini over to the much larger screen. At the moment, this is little more than a pleasant distraction that will impress your friends, but there may come a day when this is the main way of transferring data between devices (and hacking becomes known as ‘interception’ or ‘pass interference’).


Overall, this is a joy.


What Other Users Say

The user response has generally been very positive. Online and print reviews are tripping over themselves to heap praise upon the little guy, even that bald fella who writes the really good tech column in ‘The Guardian’ gave it 5 stars.


Over on Amazon, the userbase is just as happy. Of the 11 reviews (its still quite a new device), 9 of them offer perfect 5/5 scores. The highlighted ‘critical’ review (which only offers 3/5) laments the fact that it would have been £40 cheaper at ‘PC World’ or direct from Apple. So no real complaints then.


Our Verdict

Well, I’m sold. The iPad Mini is everything it promises to be and more. As fast, responsive and user friendly as it is petite, light and portable. The iPad Mini is delivering on the promise of tablet PCs in the way we all hoped it would. It costs a lot more than its contemporaries, but those looking to save money will have long since abandoned Apple as an option anyway.


This is, without opposition, the best 7” tablet in the world right now.



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Tags: Apple iPad Mini Tablet PC Review, Tablet PC Review


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