Apple iPad Mini
• Extremely portable and light
• Runs iOS6
• Sturdy aluminium design
• Still quite pricey
• Running old hardware
• Seems to not fit in any market
Apple made this to take on the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HD, which were taking some of the tablet market space. By pricing this at $329 starting, we believe Apple have made a new market and the Mini will not affect the sales of the Nexus or Kindle Fire HD. It is still a very good product, but we don’t see what Apple are trying to achieve.
Apple make a meal out of the Retina Display, whenever you see an Apple event and there is a product with Retina, you can be assured you are going to hear about it; at least five times.
It wasn’t a surprise, given the amount of rumours we had followed up, but we still don’t understand why Apple didn’t add Retina to the iPad Mini. Instead, they opted for the iPad 2 resolution, which is significantly lower.
On the plus side, the iPad Mini looks a lot better in terms of display then the iPad 2, because of the condensed size.
We found that with the new iPad, there wasn’t much room to be lighter, thinner and more beautiful. The third generation iPad was an incredibly beautiful device.
The Mini is lighter due to the size difference and we believe it is a little thicker, although you will barely be able to notice it.
Aluminium is a great product that Apple work with a lot and the design of the iPad Mini is, like most Apple products, a premium one that feels so much better than the rubbery plastic you get with the Nexus 7.
The newest update to iOS brought Maps and Passbook, amongst other little changes to Siri and kicking the native YouTube app off the operating system.
Overall, we found that iOS6 was still the easiest operating system to use and keep secure, given Apple’s incredibly simplicity and security.
Problems we found was that the operating system is very static and starting to go on the verge of dull. With live tiles and widgets being the new feature to have, it is surprising that Apple has invested in neither on the new OS.
To make matters worse, we are still stuck with the one-size buttons that aren’t customisable or live. Apple seem to be so against customising that it is starting to make the OS boring compared to Android and Windows.
Android may hold the number one spot for the biggest apps store, but we still find that Apple’s Apps Store is packed with better apps.
While the Android store consists of mostly free apps, Apple provides you with a ton of premium quality paid apps. Unless you are really against paying for apps, this is the Apps Store of choice.
Apple also still has the best music store; iTunes, an incredible Books store; iBooks and a good amount of apps that you can buy or download for free.
The iPad Mini comes with 4G choices that will cost you extra, the $329 Mini is a WiFi only model and we find that this is a device you will be taking wherever you go.
iPad Mini’s camera displayed sluggish performance and we really, like usual, didn’t see a point in it. You may argue that seven inch tablets are capable of giving good photos, but when we took a few shots we had a selection of poor images.
We found that the front camera was good for FaceTime calls, although we prefer the experience on the new iPad.
The iPad Mini has about 10 hours of battery life, around the same as the iPad 2. When we reviewed the iPad 2, it had very dedicated battery life that didn’t slug when you were playing games.
Storage options expand to 64GB’s and start at 16GB’s, with many different iterations if you want the 4G package or WiFi only.
You can go up to $900 if you really want the best package with all the Apple accessories.
Realistically, you are just looking at a smaller iPad 2. It is around the same price as the iPad 2 as well, so you can choose what size you would rather have.
On terms of how good the device is, we found the Mini was very good at handling most tasks and looks gorgeous, like all Apple products. We still wouldn’t buy it over the Nexus 7, if given the choice.
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