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 - 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 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
Pros This is real iPad, very good form factor, lightweight, good battery, compatible with large great app library, really portable.
Cons Low screen resolution.
Summary Very good small tablet. Nice design, lightweight, every bit an iPad. Only one draw back: is screen resolution, witch is very important because it is the only way to interact with product. But it my not be a problem for some one new to apple retina world. I own iPhone, MacBook Pro retina, so I live in retina world. And for me it is an issue. If you on a market to get small media player (iPod touch), I would really recommend to take a look at this product. You won't be sorry!