Pros Fantastically smooth
Battery is fantastic
Speakers are rich and loud
Extremely easy to jailbreak
Slim, sleek, and light
iPad specific apps
Great UI (user interface)
Cons Non-retina display
Summary I was a bit hesitant to spend $300+ on a non-HD tablet, seeing as the Nexus 7 is only $199, but I'm very glad that I did. I am by no means an apple fanatic, I traded my iPhone 4 for a Galaxy Nexus and never looked back. However, the tablet ecosystem is much different than smartphones right now. I find myself using the iPad mini almost always over my phone now, aside from texting and calling. Here's my list of pros and cons:Edit:
Fantastically smooth- seriously. You really don't need to compare android tablet specs with iPad's. The iPad will always have a lower clock speed and less ram, yet somehow perform beautifully and rarely have a hiccup. This has a dual core 1ghz, and my phone has a dual 1.2ghz. Yet, the iPad rarely skips a beat, while I have to occasionally kill apps or reboot my phone to keep its performance smooth.
Battery is fantastic- I use this thing a LOT. Like, a few hours throughout the day. I blast music on the speakers, surf the web, tumblr, facebook, flipboard. Yet I only have to charge it maybe once every other day. I've played a half hour of music from the (also fantastic) speakers, and the battery moved 1%. It's great.
The speakers are rich and loud as hell- I often used my roomie's laptop before I bought the ipad, and it worked. Now I have to use my ipad to listen to music, simply because it's louder and richer than the laptop speakers. And it's not a netbook, it's a standard 15.4 incher. The iPad mini is LOUD, in stereo. The bass even rocks. It's not extremely prominent, but it's a step up from the tinny wannabe bass from this laptop or my phone.
Extremely easy to jailbreak- for the tinkerers out there. I love to tinker, thus the android phone I own. But with evasi0n jailbreak, you literally plug the iPad into the computer, hit a button, 5 minutes later, jailbroken.
Slim, sleek, and light- This thing is a feat of technology, reminiscent of the first iPod nano. It just makes you think, how the hell did they fit all that into this tiny case? Holding the ipad mini for extended periods proves to be comfortable and painless, and it literally just slides into my backpack effortlessly when I'm traveling. I never wanted an iPad before, simply because they were too big, and 7 inch tablets were too narrow and small. This ipad gets it right.
iPad specific apps- This is a big point in the android vs iPad wars. Android tablets are generally cheaper than iPads, with faster and higher capacity internals. On paper, they win over the iPad in every way. But where the iPad really outshines them is the apps. Many 7 inch android tablet apps are just scaled-up versions of their phone counterparts. But the iPad, being popular as it is, has developers writing entirely new versions of their apps specifically for the larger tab. And they look great. They're functional, convenient, and reliable. Apps like flipboard, youtube, and tumblr come to mind. Whereas on a Nexus 7, these apps are just scaled up (10 inch tabs get a tablet version of youtube, which is actually pretty cool though).
UI (user interface)- Apple is known for taking simplicity and perfecting it for the masses. The iPad's UI is the pinnacle of their design. It just works, and it works well. Apps are organized in a 4x5 grid, with room for 6 on the dock at the bottom. The notification bar pulls down from the top just as it has since iOS5, and holding the home buttom gives you a nice greeting from siri. But the multitouch gestures are really where it shines. 4 fingers swiped up opens the multitasking bar. While in an app, 4 fingers swiped side to side switches between other open apps. And my favorite, 5 fingers pinched in at any point takes you back to the home screen. I had always griped about having to hit the physical home button, and this solves that issue. Also, swiping to the left of the multitasking bar gets you to quick settings, such as music control, brightness, volume, and orientation lock. Nifty.
The non-retina display- Honestly, I think the only reason this bothers me is because my phone has a 720p HD display, which is becoming the norm these days, with high end phones getting 1080p this year. The screen isn't bad, it's bright and colorful. It's just not extremely crisp. It's especially noticeable when reading smaller text. I'm sure later this year Apple will find a way to cram a retina display in, and maybe I'll upgrade. But probably not, because it's honestly not that big of a deal in everyday use. The device is still an extreme pleasure to use. And this is my only con.
Overall, I'd highly recommend the mini. It's a great tweener for the iPhone and full sized iPad. It's become my go-to device, and I really enjoy using it everyday. If you have the extra capital and are in the market for a reliable, responsive tablet, go for the iPad mini.
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Updated on Dec 20, 2013
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Pros - Great size
- Premium Construction
- Great Cameras
- iOS = Thousands of great apps
- Fast enough for most users
- It actually works (before you hate on this read my summary below)
Cons - No retina display
- No A6X chip
Summary EUREKA! it works!
I am super thrilled with this tablet after being turned away from the android offerings because of a puzzling lack of functionality.
Although this size might not be right for everyone for me the 7-8 inch ballpark is where I've always wanted to be.
Before I start talking about this iPad let me give you some background as to why I chose this offering.
First off I have recently returned a Nexus 7 and a Galaxy note 10.1.
Without doing full unwanted reviews on those products, lets just say that the particular Nexus 7 I got, had a bad wifi antenna (might just be me, but this happened on two models)
And the Note 10.1 was incompatible with most of the great apps I had purchased for my Nexus, plus, it was too big for my taste.
Flash- forward a few days, and i am first in line for the ipad mini.
The ipad mini is an ipad 2 with better cameras shrunken down to a more ideal size.
Thats all you need to know, really!
Theres nothing crazy new or revolutionary about it, but after what I had experienced with the android offerings I had chosen this worked for me!
If you like a bigger size i'd look at the nexus 10 or the ipad 4th gen but as it stands I love my new ipad.
I'm sure that soon it will include retina and A6 chips, but as for now I think I'll just enjoy owning a tablet that works!
Pros Excellent battery life
More durable than expected (so far)
Super light: Usable in one hand like a smartphone
Dual speakers louder than I expected
Non-retina display isn't hard to get used to; keeps device thin, light, less hot and less pricey
Cons No retina display yet
Summary [This is a "Response Review" written for anyone wondering if the Mini's UI, performance, and build quality stand up to everyday use compared to its big brothers, originally meant as a reply to a user, but which quickly tripled CNET's character limit for replies and morphed into a three-point look into the Mini. For the review that inspired this one, read "I returned my iPad Mini in less than 24 hours!" by MindObix]— = long hyphen
Mr. or Ms. reviewer "MindObix," thank you for sharing so much thought-out detail about your experiences with Apple's latest li'l tablet, and inspiring me to make an account just to go over a few things with the Denizens of the Interwebs. As an iPad Mini owner myself, there are a few things that drove me absolutely nuts about some of the reviews it received (yours included), so I'll touch on those points and reference your review for the groundwork.
First, iPad Mini Performance:
For someone who stated to have decent exposure to multiple iPads, it was jaw-dropping to see you consider the Mini to be "sluggish." You do realize that the Mini has exactly the same performance (A5 @ ~1GHz) as the iPad 2 and iPad 3, right? All three are, on average, twice as fast as the A4 in the original iPad, which still hasn't become exactly a slouch even by today's high standards, and all three are a bit faster than the 800MHz A5 that's in your iPhone 4S—the second-hand flagship device for another year, and a device which many, including yourself and yours truly, don't seem to mind using.
Since the Mini is as fast or faster than all iPads with one exception, are you suggesting that every single generation until the 4th iPad has been trash in the performance department? I don't think that argument can be soundly made, saying the least.
Secondly, Text & UI size:
This one didn't completely drive me up a wall like the performance comments, as I can empathize with less-than-stellar eyesight. But from 2010 until March of this year, you and all other iPad users have been using 1024x768 iPads with horrible pixel density (stretched out, blurry text and images at 132ppi). Now, you have a much sharper, cleaner version of that same resolution, with a pixel density, UI size, and text size that's exactly the same as the first iPhone, the 3G, and the 3GS (all 163ppi), and it's suddenly crap?
I don't really follow the logic. Were one to say that they simply couldn't read iPhone UI elements until 2010 with the retina display, then I may be able to understand (your review stated that you'd rather use Mail on your 4S). This reveals—however—that you are in fact ok with the size of text and UI on the iPad Mini and all iPhones, but that you simply need that UI with more pixels. But, if one were to say they loved their 3GS but couldn't read anything on the iPad Mini, you can see how this wouldn't make sense (again, given that both devices have the same pixel density, font size, and UI size, only one has more real estate).
Lastly, qualms with Anodized Aluminum and Build:
I can't disagree with MindObix and similar reviewers more on this one. To me, my anodized black iPad Mini feels like a high-class "bite me" to all dark plastic tech devices. It's the "Darth Vader" way to make black gizmos instead of flimsy, hollow materials. The silver/white models look equally cool in my opinion, more angelic than 'Vader-esque. I've also been less than completely gentle with my Mini, and I haven't had a single scratch, mar, or ding show up yet (knock on wood), even though I expect them from my gadgets nowadays. Some say that the 4/4S and other iPads "feel" more durable, but I'd urge such people to check out drop tests of these new anodized Apple toys on the googlywebs; their durability seems to often be better than their thicker, heavier forebears, and sometimes better than their competitors. Plus, videos are always more entertaining than feelings.
When people say they'd rather buy an iPad 2 instead of an iPad Mini, my brain translates that into saying, "I'd rather pay $70 more for the same speed processor and graphics, a less crisp stretched out version of the same resolution screen, worse front & back optics, older, worse wireless hardware, and twice the weight.
I'd totally pay money for that."
Not me, Mr. Anonymous Internet Person. I'll keep my dollars and extra features.
Sent from my iPad Mini
Updated on Nov 27, 2012
This is how CNET's text editor prints long hyphens, apparently. Sorry for any trouble reading. =(
Pros At 308 grams, the iPad Mini is really easy to hold in one hand. The keyboard is large enough to type easily (hunt and peck or with two thumbs). It is great for use with AppleTV and as a reader, where the larger iPad needed to be rested on something.
Cons Resolution is adequate from 18 inches (45 cms) but when reading text at 10 inches (25 cms) you are aware of the pixels.
Summary The Mini is large enough and light enough to be comfortable for reading online books and magazines. I would have liked a retina display but not if it meant a heavier tablet. If you already have an iPad and can afford to have a separate reader, the Mini is ideal for you. If you are looking for a lighter laptop substitute, stick to the iPad.
Pros Portable, Battery Life, Bright Screen, One Hand Use, Loud Speakers
Cons Recharge Time, Tiny Text Occasionally.
Summary Just like the new iPad my family is Mini, me, my wife, and our 5 month old in a one bedroom apartment. As you might imagine space is at a premium. We use the Mini all the time as a second computer, an eReader, and to watch video.
If you have a baby you know you spend a lot of time swaying, walking, and soothing, last night I did so while reading my favorite sports column. In the unfortunate event you spend time in the hospital with your kiddo the Mini fits well on the cluttered surfaces of pediatrics room. Since it is small we can use it while holding a sleeping child. We find it the perfect size to just grab and use, and sometimes more importantly, put down in a hurry to attend to a baby.
Compared to other small tablets the Apple is a very polished, finished device, the use of aluminum and the evolutionary iOS combine for a sophisticated intuitive system that can be just about anything you like. The Mini is a mobile television, eReader, computer replacement, gaming system, and with siri a family scheduler/reminder system.
For more on our little family here is my wife's design/family blog www.everafterblueprint.com