iPad Mini Review

Posted on Monday, Nov 12 2012 on 10:00 AM
  0

Rumors of a mini version of the iPad had been laughed at, dodged and denied - not necessarily in that order and often all at once. But here it is - the iPad mini is finally a reality. It caused due measures of excitement and perhaps a bit of disappointment. Yet, in typical Apple fashion, it's an excellent piece of hardware. In short, it's a polarizing device that may as well be the next best-selling tablet.

 

Apple iPad mini Apple iPad mini Apple iPad mini Apple iPad mini
Apple iPad mini official images

 

You have to hand it to Apple's R&D team - they know how to design hardware. The iPad mini is super thin and light, with a cool aluminum shell. Sure, they swore they'd never make a 7" tablet and the truth is they still haven't - the 7.9" screen of the mini offers 36% more real estate than the screens of the Google Nexus 7 and the Amazon Kindle Fire HD.

 

Less bezel on the left and right of the screen combined with the ~310g of weight make it reasonably comfortable to hold with one hand. Apple did make some compromises, which drew a lot of ire. Here's the summarized list of what's good and what's bad about the Apple iPad mini:

 

Key features

Compact body: 200 x 134.7 x 7.2 mm

7.9" LED-backlit IPS LCD touchscreen, 768 x 1024 pixels; scratch-resistant, oleophobic coating

Dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n connectivity, carrier-dependent hotspot support

Optional 2G/3G GSM, CDMA, LTE connectivity (data only, separate models)

Optional GPS with A-GPS support (for the 3G model only)

Apple A5 SoC, dual-core Cortex-A9 @ 1GHz chipset

512MB of RAM

PowerVR SGX543MP2 dual-core GPU

iOS 6 with Siri, iCloud support and activation

16/32/64GB of inbuilt storage

Weight of 308 grams (312 grams for the Wi-Fi + Cellular option)

Bluetooth 4.0

16.3Wh battery

Accelerometer, compass and three-axis gyro-sensor

Compatible with every iPad and iPhone app without any modifications

The base version costs less than a SIM-free iPhone 4, only $30 more than iPod touch

5MP auto-focus camera

1080p video recording at 30fps

1.2MP secondary camera capable of FaceTime calls, 720p recording

Four and five-finger gestures

1080p TV-output with the Apple Digital AV Adapter (purchased separately for $49), 1080p video streaming

Supports magnetic cases

Lightning connector

Stereo loudspeakers

 

Main disadvantages

More expensive than 7" Android tablets, only $70 cheaper than iPad 2

No Retina display, 162ppi only

Same chipset as iPad 2, now two generations old

iTunes still required for most of the content uploads

Reflective screen struggles outdoors

No standard USB port, Lightning accessories still rare and expensive

No GPS receiver in the Wi-Fi version

No memory card slot

Lack of basic iOS apps - weather, stocks, calculator, voice memos

Voting Results
Total Votes: 2