Pros Screen size. Weight. Fit in hand. Ideal if you use iPhone, Mac, etc. Good speed. App Store. Smoothness of OS (especially when compared to the performance of a Kindle Fire HD).
Cons While I don't watch a lot of movies/tv shows on my iPhone 5, I apparently have been spoiled by the screen clarity as I notice a slight drop off with the mini. Connecting iMessage on the mini to my phone number and not my wife's was an epic nightmare.
Summary While I realize we are probably only a few months away from a Mini with Retina display, this format serves its purpose. I have a major international trip on the horizon and my 3 year old has overtaken my iPad 1. I really love the size and feel and the app store puts this way ahead of other offerings. I do wish they would have offered a higher costing mini with Retina display to begin with.After a month of use, I must say this is my favorite tech purchase of all time. With the Amazon Instant Video App, Newsstand, and iBooks, I now travel with only this device as a carry on. The 7.9" screen size is perfect. The battery is very good. Go for higher memory and skip the cellular capabilities. My iPhone 5's Hotspot works perfectly when no other wifi is available.
Updated on Jan 13, 2013
Pros Light weight, awesome battery life, portable, fast, well made, looks great and lightning fast Wireless and LTE (Verizon Model).
Cons Price, No Retina Display
Summary I am in no way a Diehard Apple Fan, I get to play with a lot of various electronics at my work. I went to purchase the Mini when it came out but after playing with it I decided that I would wait for the Cellular Version as it is so portable and lightweight while still feeling like a high quality unit. Sure an iPad with a Retina display would be great but at what cost?
Seriously before you knock this go and play with one, you will see why it is the perfect size for portability. I use it more than the iPad 4 that I have access to.
Battery life in insane, I've been seeing 12+ hours even with LTE.
Pros 1. 200,000+ customized tablet apps run beautifully on this device from Day 1
2. It is super light, and weighs next to nothing.
3. Better resolution than iPad 2
4. Very intuitive operating system
5. GREAT gift for kids and grandparents alike!!!
Cons 1. Sure, a better processor might have been nice for some things, but it would have impacted battery life. My iPad 1 is STILL powerful enough for what I use it for, so this is an upgrade.
2. Retina would be nice but it would add $50 and drain battery
Summary Well, Steve Jobs was wrong.. there is a need for a tablet of this size. Over time I have often wished my iPad 1 was a little easier to hold with one hand, and often do wish it wasn't almost the size of a small laptop. The iPad mini is small enough to fit in a purse or a jacket pocket and does everything--very well! This is compared to something like the Surface RT that does nothing very well, is bulky and confusing. In my opinion the iPad mini is the VERY best tablet that money can buy, dollar for dollar, and the iPad 4 is the second best. The Nexus 7 and 10 come in 3rd and 4th in my book, as Android 4.1 & .2 are definitely better than previous versions of Android.. but, there are just SOOOOOOOO many more cool apps for iPad and iPad mini. If you will ONLY use your tablet for internet and email, then, maybe get an Android, but if you're like me and want AWESOME apps that are only available for the iPad, like this: https://evernote.com/penultimate and these apps: http://www.omnigroup.com and these: http://www.algoriddim.com and these: http://www.korg.com/iPad_Apps ... Not to mention all the incredible apps for education and for kids!! For more on this check out.. listen to someone else's take on this: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2401676,00.asp In addition, if someone has an iPhone, it's realllllly nice to sync the iPhone and the iPad to iCloud so all your pics show up on the iPad instantly. Sure you can probably pull off this kind of thing with Android if you're a techy but most people I know, including this techy, don't want to work so hard to get their devices to "just work!" That's what you get with an iPad. It just works, and it's awesome.
Pros Works with ipad apps, one hand operation, excellent size, smaller boarder than ipad, portable
Cons long charge time (adaptor is not the same as ipad)
Summary This is by far my favorite iOS device. We have the ipod touch 4G, ipad 2 and now the ipad mini. The size makes this device much more useful than the others. Apple reduced the boarders on the ipad mini proportionately compared to the ipad and it makes the device much smaller. I would have liked to have the retina display, but I think the cost will be higher.
Pros Screen Size
Weight... or lack thereof
Cons A5 chip - wish it was the faster chip...
Buttons close to edge when in portrait mode don't always work first time
Summary I think this is a great tablet. Especially if you want to read books on it.
Obviously it can do all the things the 9.7' iPad can do, just in smaller size... so that a big plus.
I think it is a better gaming device than the 9.7' ipad as far as size and holdablity..., just wish they would have put the better chip in it since it will get dated as soon as new, more graphically intensive apps are released.
My other gripe is the buttons on the edges not working the frist time sometimes... It might be that i just have to get used to pressing them...