"The perfect device for travel."5.0 starson by PatTheCat1948
Pros: Perfect size for travel: bigger than an iPod Touch but smaller than an iPad 2. Light: It's the lightest of the small tablets but still has a bigger screen than the other small tablets. Lots of apps. And, being Apple, it "just works." Runs Kindle app.
Cons: Not retina. Apparently they cannot shrink the retina display and maintain the pixel count. It's still very sharp. Reading on it is not as nice as on my big Kindle DX, but it's acceptable for travel, and half the weight. Pages cannot read odt files.
Summary: I've been waiting for a travel device bigger than my iPod Touch but under a pound, as I do not like a heavy carry-on bag. I considered all the small tablets. The Nexus 7 looked very nice, but in the end the iPad Mini won out because, although it's $70 or $80 more expensive, it's also both lighter (which is worth money to me) and has a larger screen (also worth money to me). With the biggest screen and lightest weight of all the small tablets, for me it was the clear choice.
The big surprise was that reading with the Kindle app on the iPad Mini is surprisingly comfortable. Not as nice as the e-ink on my Kindle, but very acceptable for travel, where weight is an issue: The Mini is about half the weight of my big Kindle DX.
Then I downloaded the electronic version of a magazine I subscribe to, and the Mini is worlds better than reading the glossy print version. (I hate glossy paper!) And the videos are right in the magazine.
The two or three problems I had were just a matter of finding the appropriate functions, and Apple support was excellent, talking me through. There was even a free seminar at the local Apple store.
I use NeoOffice on my Mac, and although NeoOffice can read the Word format files Pages produces, Pages cannot read the Word format files that NeoOffice (optionally) makes. But I don't really need to move files from the mac to the Mini. I'll just be writing journal entries on the Mini and later saving them to the Mac.
I'm still learning the device, but I'm very happy with it. Normally I would not buy a new gadget the day it's released, but with a trip coming up soon I made an exception and I'm very glad I did. This is my first tablet (if you don't count the iPod Touch) and I'm very happy with it. Now I'm off for another free Apple seminar: Going further with iPad.