iPad Mini Reviews Roundup: Solid Build, Great Battery, but for a Price
The amount of rumors and leaks surrounding the iPad Mini before its official launch was huge. And when it was finally launched at the event in California, many of them turned out to be real, just like it was with the iPhone 5. A few months ago, nobody could even guess that middle-sized tablets could become that popular. Now, we have so many 7-inchers around, that it’s really hard to say the iPad Mini can claim the crown that easily.
There are so many reasons on why someone should choose the Nexus 7, Kindle Fire HD or even the Nook HD. But how many reasons are there to buy the iPad Mini? Where are users placing the iPad Mini, when there’s the iPhone, iPhone and bigger iPad? Is Apple’s strategy of targeting more users working out or the competition is just too fierce at the moment? Let’s see what people think about it.
iPad Mini reviews
JOSHUA TOPOLSKY, THE VERGE
- There isn’t a single product in the 7-inch tablet market that comes close to the look, feel, or build quality of the new iPad.
- The iPad mini’s paint job is similar to the iPhone’s, but smoother, and on the black version I tested has a glint of blue and purple to it in certain light.
- Though the iPad mini sports a slightly larger display than other devices in this class, its profile feels extremely lean.
- I actually had a little trouble holding onto the device when I wasn’t using the Smart Cover due to the back being as smooth as it is, and the frame being so thin. Maybe it’s just my big hands, but I wanted a little more to grab onto. In that regard, I prefer the feel of the Nexus 7.
- Minor quibbles aside, the iPad mini stands head and shoulders above the competition in terms of design, the caliber of its components, and the solidness of how it’s been built.
- Apple is using the same treatment here as it does on the iPhone 5 and iPad, and it makes for a crystal-clear screen that seems to hover just a tiny bit beneath glass. Colors are vibrant and blacks are deep, and games, photos, and video look terrific.
- It’s easy to become used to how vast and impressive the library is for the iPad, but using the mini reminded me of just how right Apple got this part of their ecosystem. Compared to the Nexus 7 or the Fire HD… well, there is no comparison.
- Performance on the device was expectedly snappy. I didn’t see any weirdness, stuttering, or lag that would cause alarm.
- Overall, I was more than satisfied with the iPad mini’s battery performance.
If the iPhone 5 is reminiscent of jewelry, the iPad mini is like a solidly made watch.
TIM STEVENS, ENGADGET
- The WiFi-only iPad mini weighs just 0.68 pounds (308 grams), which is less than half the weight of the fourth-generation iPad.
- To us, the joy of a 7-inch tablet is walking across the office or the airport, holding the slate in one hand while tapping away at it with the other.
- Overall, the tablet is very comfortable to hold; its thinness and lightness are both attributes that must be perceived first-hand.
- The only other button is on the front, a smaller version of the same Home button found on the iPad. Curiously, it’s even smaller than the button on the iPhone, making it very petite indeed.
- Mini owners may have to make do with some resolution envy, but they at least won’t be lacking in any other regard.
- These numbers pale in comparison to the new, fourth-gen iPad but we think that in day-to-day usage the relative lack of performance won’t be as noticeable. Apps do load more slowly but most are still up and running within a second or two and when it comes to general web surfing tasks the iPad mini easily kept up with our taps and swipes.
- In our standard battery run-down test, which entails looping a video with WiFi enabled and a fixed display brightness, the iPad mini managed an astounding 12 hours and 43 minutes.
- The iPad 2 never saw HDR nor the Panorama mode that wowed us so on the iPhone 5, and neither does the iPad mini.
- This isn’t just an Apple tablet made to a budget. This isn’t just a shrunken-down iPad. This is, in many ways, Apple’s best tablet yet, an incredibly thin, remarkably light, obviously well-constructed device that offers phenomenal battery life.
Regardless, the iPad mini is well worth considering for anybody currently in the market for a tablet. Its cost is compelling, its design superb and it of course gives access to the best selection of tablet-optimized apps on the market.
WALT MOSSBERG, ALLTHINGSD
- In shrinking the iconic iPad, Apple has pulled off an impressive feat. It has managed to create a tablet that’s notably thinner and lighter than the leading small competitors with 7-inch screens, while squeezing in a significantly roomier 7.9-inch display.
- Unlike its two top small tablet competitors, the mini has a rear camera. And unlike the Kindle Fire HD, it offers optional cellular data connectivity to supplement Wi-Fi. It has very good battery life.
- there are two downsides compared with the leading 7-inch competitors, the Google Nexus 7 and the Amazon Kindle Fire HD. First, the iPad mini starts at $329, versus $199 for its two main rivals (though the Fire HD costs $214 without annoying ads). Second, it has a lower screen resolution — 1024 by 768, versus 1280 by 800 for the other two.
- Every app that ran on my larger iPad ran perfectly on the mini. I was able to use it one-handed and hold it for long periods of time without tiring.
- it’s about 30 percent thinner than the leading 7-inch competitors, the Google Nexus 7 and the Amazon Kindle Fire 7. And it’s about 9 percent lighter than the Nexus and about 22 percent lighter than the Fire HD.
- Even though the mini is thinner and lighter than the leading 7-inch tablets, its larger screen provides about 35 percent more room for viewing content like books and Web pages. I found it easy to see and read material on the screen and to tap and swipe.
- In my harsh battery test, where I play videos back to back with the screen set at 75 percent and the Wi-Fi on to collect email, the iPad mini exceeded Apple’s battery life claim of 10 hours and lasted 10 hours and 27 minutes.
- I found the cameras did a very good job. I conducted several clear video chats using the 1.2 megapixel front camera, and the 5-megapixel rear camera produced very good photos and videos. The stereo speakers sounded good to my ears.
- The mini can’t play video in high definition. Apple insists the device does better than standard definition, if you are obtaining the video from its iTunes service, since iTunes scales the video for the device, so it will render somewhere between standard definition and HD.
If you love the iPad, or want one but just found it too large or heavy, the iPad mini is the perfect solution.
SCOTT STEIN, CNET
- The iPad Mini costs too much, especially considering the lower resolution of its 7.9-inch non-Retina Display.
- The A5 processor isn’t as robust as the one in the fourth-gen iPad and iPhone 5. Typing on the smaller screen is not quite as comfy.
- What’s unique about the Mini? Without a doubt, it’s the design. It’s cute, it’s discreet, and it’s very, very light. It feels like a whole new device for Apple.
- After a week of using the iPad Mini, it seems to find a way to follow me everywhere. It’s extremely addicting, and fun to use.
- Is the iPad Mini worth its premium, at nearly $130 more than some of the competition? If you’re looking to invest in an iPad for the least amount of money, the answer is yes. If you’re investing in iOS-land for the first time, this is a very good starting point.
- The construction feels solid, stellar, fun to hold. The home button clicks crisply. It doesn’t feel like a lower-priced product in your hands. It might be, in terms of form, the most addictive iOS product in existence.
- Holding it suddenly becomes a delicate-seeming proposition. I worried I’d accidentally start an app with my big palms, or turn a page by accident. That didn’t happen to me. Apple’s worked finger-rejection technology into the hardware and software of the iPad Mini that’s context-dependent.
- Maybe most impressively, nearly every larger iPad app I’ve thrown at it feels usable and comfortable at this smaller screen size. Board games with tiny buttons, media-editing apps, games with virtual control pads, and even using the onscreen virtual keyboard. It’s book-size, but the apps feel largely the same.
- The smaller dimensions of the Mini make it a more comfortable two-handed gaming experience. Games with virtual joysticks and buttons feel much less awkward than they do on the larger iPad.
The iPad Mini’s ultra-thin and light design is far more intimate and booklike than the larger iPad, and its cameras, storage capacities, optional LTE antenna, and general functionality offer a full iPad experience.