Following months of speculation, the iPad Mini has now arrived. But does it have the Google Nexus 7 quaking in its casing? Will it put out the flame of the Kindle Fire? The iPad Mini wasn’t Apples best kept secret, with many expecting its arrival this autumn. However, some were a little taken aback by Apples endorsement of a smaller tablet (something they said they would never do). We haven’t had very long to put the iPad Mini through its paces, but here are our initial thoughts.
iPad Mini – Build
The iPad Mini is amazingly light and thin, and fits very snugly in one hand. But at the same time the edging is very evocative of the widely popular iPhone 3G, and it certainly feels sturdy enough to chuck in a handbag. The volume control and screen rotation buttons have been moved to the right hand side. The headphone socket has been moved to the top (it always made sense not to turn the device upside down in your pocket) and the stereo speakers and lightening connector are logically positioned on the bottom.
iPad Mini – Screen
The 7.9 inch screen certainly doesn’t disappoint. With its 1024 x 768 resolution and 162ppi, the images and text are crisp, and the colours are deep and intense. Identical to the iPad 2, this means that any apps will work without “letterboxing” around the screen.
iPad Mini – Camera
The rear facing 5 MP iSight camera, is what we’ve become accustomed to seeing on the larger iPad’s. Although its smaller size makes it much easier to take pictures or video than with the iPad (thankfully we can go back to taking photos with one hand) It’s just so much easier to handle!
iPad Mini – Performance and Battery
It doesn’t come with the A6X dual core powerhouse of its larger brother, but the A5 dual core is plenty good enough. The apps, games and websites rendered quickly and smoothly. It comes with 4G connectivity, and 5GHz WiFi means super-fast browsing. A very nice surprise, but it does explain the price somewhat. Apple is claiming the standard battery life is 10 hours, and that’s what we think they’ve delivered. Not bad considering that will include some 4G usage.
iPad Mini – Verdict
It’s too early to give a final verdict, but overall we were pretty impressed. We already had an inkling that the iPad Mini would provide a much better mobile experience than the larger iPad. Day to day manipulation and mobility is so much easier being that bit smaller and thinner, but with no reduction in quality. Apple has again created yet another premium device.
The only thing that raised a few eyebrows was the price. At £269 for the entry level model, it’s a whopping £100 more than the Google Nexus 7 and the Kindle Fire HD. As we’re approaching Christmas, there’ll be plenty of customers clamouring for one, but there’ll still be a big gap in the market for Android – is that wise move from Apple? Due to be released 2nd November – only time will tell.
Come back soon for a full iPad Mini review. In the meantime, check out our full in depth review of the iPhone 5