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Apple iPad mini Review

Posted: , by John V.

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Apple iPad mini Review
Introduction:

Broadening its depth, it surely took Apple a long time to steer into new territory with its much-vaunted iPhone, but nevertheless, they introduced the world an unfamiliar iPhone with a larger 4-inch display. Strangely enough, they’re doing the same thing now with the iPad, as the aptly named iPad mini is set to appease those who have a flare for compact tablets that are easier to travel around with. And to tell you the truth, the timing couldn’t have come any sooner, seeing that we’ve been witnessing such fierce competition in the sub 8-inch category.

By now, we’re fairly familiar with what entails the iPad mini, but upon looking at its $330 starting price point, it’s still somewhat rather difficult to swallow after quickly peeking at its specs sheet. Still, beauty as we all know is more than simply skin deep – so let’s explore everything and see if there’s something more grand beneath it all.

Apple iPad mini Review
Apple iPad mini Review
The package contains:

  • Lightning cable
  • Wall charger
  • Start Guide
  • Apple decals

Design:

One quick look at its name justifies what you can expect with the design of the iPad mini. See that word attached to iPad? You guessed it folks, this baby is merely a shrunken down or “mini” version of Apple’s popular 9.7-inch tablet. Although there’s nothing fresh with the design of the iPad mini, there are a couple of noticeable differences – like how it employs the same chamfered beveled edge of the iPhone 5 around its trim. Above all, though, it stands out primarily for its impeccable construction, something that’s notably unmatched! In fact, not only does it instill a sense of durability and strength thanks to its aluminum chassis, but it’s incredible to see how skinny this thing is at 0.27-inches thin – making it skinnier than even the iPhone 5!

Of course, it’s wider to hold in the hand over other 7-inch tablets on the market, which is attributed to its larger screen size and its choice of employing a 4:3 aspect ratio. Regardless of that, we’re still able to grasp it with a single hand – albeit, we’re stretching it to the limit. Having its weight (11.01 oz) evenly distributed, we find it to complement the overall sturdiness of the tablet. The more we think about it, there’s nothing else out there within the same size category that comes close to the premium nature of the iPad mini.

We're able to grasp the Apple iPad mini with a single hand - Apple iPad mini Review
We're able to grasp the Apple iPad mini with a single hand - Apple iPad mini Review
We're able to grasp the Apple iPad mini with a single hand - Apple iPad mini Review

We're able to grasp the Apple iPad mini with a single hand


Apple iPad mini Review


Distinctively an Apple device, it sports a recessed physical home button beneath its display. Naturally, accidental presses are non-existent with it, since it requires a firm push to activate. Meanwhile, on the opposite edge above the display, there’s a 1.2-megapixel iSight camera for all your self-portrait and video chatting need, which also has the ability to shoot videos in 720p.

Apple iPad mini Review
The physical home button - Apple iPad mini Review
Front camera - Apple iPad mini Review
 

The physical home button

Front camera


Along the trim of the iPad mini, there’s nothing out of the ordinary, since it employs all the same set of buttons, ports, and switches found with its bigger sibling. Yet again, there are no problems activating its power button and separated volume control, seeing that they’re both pronounced in feel and springy in response. Next to the volume control, there’s the mute switch that places the tablet into silent mode.

On the top trim of the tablet, we find its 3.5mm headset jack and microphone – so there’s nothing different here. However, there’s a major shakeup found along the bottom edge of the tablet! Specifically, gone is the typical Apple 30-pin port from yesterday, and instead, it’s now flaunting Apple’s new and proprietary Lightning docking port. Also, the iPad mini has chosen to sport two speakers, as opposed to the single one from before, as they’re surrounding both sides of the tablet’s Lightning port.

Lastly, Apple is nice enough to bless this with a 5-megapixel auto-focus camera, which features an F2.4 lens and 1080p video recording – but there’s no flash. For a moment there, we thought Apple would merely outfit it with some paltry offering, since it was expected to be compete against some of the cheaper Android tablets on the market. So yeah, we’re glad they decided to give it some love in this category.

The left side - The sides of the Apple iPad mini - Apple iPad mini Review
Power button and a headphone jack on the top - The sides of the Apple iPad mini - Apple iPad mini Review
Volume keys and Mute switch on the right - The sides of the Apple iPad mini - Apple iPad mini Review

The left side

Power button and a headphone jack on the top

Volume keys and Mute switch on the right

The lightning docking port on the bottom - The sides of the Apple iPad mini - Apple iPad mini Review
Back - The sides of the Apple iPad mini - Apple iPad mini Review
Rear camera - The sides of the Apple iPad mini - Apple iPad mini Review

The lightning docking port on the bottom

Back

Rear camera

The sides of the Apple iPad mini



Display:


In this day and age, high definition displays are surprisingly abundant in super-affordable tablet category as well! Knowing that, we’re disappointed the most to find out that the iPad mini isn’t following suit, but rather, it decides on sporting a low resolution of 1024 x 768 with its 7.9-inch IPS LCD display. When Apple has been talking a lot of talk about its various Retina Displays (iPhone and iPad), they really would’ve made a statement by following suit with the iPad mini, but that’s sadly not the case here.

Indeed, it’s not as sharp looking when compared to other tablet HD displays, even more when its 162 ppi pixel density is a far outcry from the 264 ppi figure attached to the third and fourth generation iPads.

Beyond that, however, it’s still one pleasant looking display thanks to its neutral color production, wide viewing angles, and high brightness output – making it the ideal candidate for outdoor usage. However, we do notice that it’s not as vibrant looking as the iPhone 5’s display. No doubt, we would’ve love to see this sporting something higher in resolution, but it’s still tolerable to use with most things.

Viewing angles - Color production of the Apple iPad mini - Apple iPad mini Review
Viewing angles - Color production of the Apple iPad mini - Apple iPad mini Review
Viewing angles - Color production of the Apple iPad mini - Apple iPad mini Review

Viewing angles

Color production of the Apple iPad mini - Apple iPad mini Review
Color production of the Apple iPad mini - Apple iPad mini Review
Color production of the Apple iPad mini - Apple iPad mini Review

Color production of the Apple iPad mini




44 Comments
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posted on 05 Nov 2012, 05:02 17

1. Berzerk000 (Posts: 4108; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)


Good, Good... Next, iPad mini vs. Nexus 7!

posted on 05 Nov 2012, 05:47 7

6. brar.arsh (Posts: 158; Member since: 12 Sep 2012)


Why not Nexus 10, ipad will burst into pieces.. LOL

posted on 05 Nov 2012, 06:04 12

11. abdane (Posts: 478; Member since: 07 Oct 2011)


Nexus 10 should face the iPad 4, TBH, neither of the iPad mini or the iPad 4 can compete against the Nexus 10 ! its just so... best... tablet... Ever ! :)

posted on 05 Nov 2012, 07:36 2

16. brar.arsh (Posts: 158; Member since: 12 Sep 2012)


Adding +1 andhttp://www.phonearena.com/news/Preliminary-benchmarks-show-the-Nexus-10-Mali-T604-graphics-breaking-the-offscreen-test-records_id36280#4-

posted on 05 Nov 2012, 10:13 7

24. theoak (Posts: 322; Member since: 16 Nov 2011)


Nexus 10 is not even in the same ball park as the iPad 4. iPad 4 from a benchmark perspective sends the Nexus 10 home crying, limping and begging for mercy.

http://www.phonearena.com/news/Preliminary-benchmarks-show-the-Nexus-10-graphics-trailing-behind-the-iPad-4_id36280

posted on 06 Nov 2012, 18:01

39. Izzy_V (Posts: 216; Member since: 07 Jul 2012)


You might have learned something about the results of those benchmarks if you had scrolled down and read the comments. It's very likely the N10 that was tested was either not the final product or wasn't optimized correctly, or both. Results on paper differ from results of real-world application if you didn't know. This is further proved by the SGS2's performance in one of the benchmarks which put it above several flagships.

posted on 05 Nov 2012, 05:48 4

8. MeoCao (unregistered)


Nexus 7 wins big time, but I believe Google must add the camera, and a good one.

posted on 05 Nov 2012, 06:21 4

12. PhenomFaz (Posts: 1104; Member since: 26 Sep 2012)


this thing got 8.5 on the review...for what? Looking pretty...I mean its a superficial product but the rating shouldn't have been above 7

posted on 05 Nov 2012, 13:49 2

30. GTR722 (Posts: 241; Member since: 20 Oct 2012)


Sad "tech journalist" we have this days......so this thing wins over nexus 7 because...its pretty ??..display resolution is sub-par, no GPS, no NFC, not even a quad-core processor, and only 512 MB RAM...and yet above the other more capable tablets ??? I wonder how many $$$ apple spend in all these sites....

posted on 05 Nov 2012, 05:21 15

2. Birds (Posts: 1028; Member since: 21 Nov 2011)


I'm not really surprised it got a score that high. Overall, it is still an impressive tablet, considering it's a refresh of the iPad 2. I mean I still think it's over priced and I still think that the Nexus 7 is a better deal, for a variety of reasons, but the iPad Mini will sell (Mainly because it is made by apple) and Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Barnes & Nobles ECT will have some stiff competition.

posted on 05 Nov 2012, 05:24 12

3. ElektronicGeek91 (Posts: 105; Member since: 26 Sep 2012)


OVER RATED!!..... OVER RATED!!.... OVER RATED!!....#college game

posted on 05 Nov 2012, 05:24 5

4. thelegend6657 (unregistered)


Fandroid will come and say : it's overrated ! It deserves a 7

posted on 05 Nov 2012, 06:04 11

10. nobelset (Posts: 270; Member since: 17 Oct 2012)


No one did. You fail

posted on 05 Nov 2012, 23:27

34. thelegend6657 (unregistered)


You win

posted on 05 Nov 2012, 05:35 3

5. mydi.maus (unregistered)


ipad mini w/low resolution but still beats nexus 7 and kindle fire hd,and if apple continues to make mini 2 or what ever,still will crush those 7 inch tablets next year.

posted on 05 Nov 2012, 07:25 2

14. PapaSmurf (Posts: 8922; Member since: 14 May 2012)


So what makes this better than the Nexus 7 other than a rear camera? You can take your iPad Mini but I'll get much more out of a $199 16GB Nexus.

posted on 05 Nov 2012, 05:48 2

7. GayAtheist (Posts: 9; Member since: 16 Jun 2012)


Where is that colourful wallpaper from?

posted on 05 Nov 2012, 05:50 3

9. brandonrana (Posts: 57; Member since: 04 Nov 2012)


How come its equal to a surface ? Naah overall it should get 7.8

posted on 06 Nov 2012, 17:36

38. Izzy_V (Posts: 216; Member since: 07 Jul 2012)


Anything above a 6/6.5 is being too generous. The same thing over and over again and for a reason (or lack thereof) PA reviewers keep giving apple's trash high ratings and bad ratings to other devices that are more than worthy of 9 ratings if not higher.

Also, I know I posted a comment before but the applearena staff must have deleted it. Hardly any of the sheepple's comments are being moderated and they're letting some of their alts. cause more and more trouble. Come on applearena staff, don't make it blatantly obvious that you favor them.

posted on 05 Nov 2012, 06:35 6

13. iameer (Posts: 6; Member since: 17 Apr 2012)


Next product cycle of ipad mini will be the 'Resolutionary ipad mini 2'.... with retina display, new i sight cam with panorama..... and every person will be queuing up for this nonsensical upgrade as apple makes u believe..... Grow up people.....

posted on 05 Nov 2012, 07:29 2

15. PapaSmurf (Posts: 8922; Member since: 14 May 2012)


An 8.5/10. Ha. Not surprised. It distant reserve anything over a 8. iOS 6 isn't different from iOS 5, recycled specs, and a $330 price point is what stops many people from buying it.

Way to go Apple, you released a product just to see if people will buy it.

posted on 05 Nov 2012, 07:45 2

17. josephnero (Posts: 325; Member since: 16 Nov 2011)


Am i the only one who skips the interface part of apple products review?
Cause is been same like since first iphone

posted on 05 Nov 2012, 07:56 12

18. twens (Posts: 700; Member since: 25 Feb 2012)


8.5? Phone arena, you forgot to mention that,the iPad mini like all apple products despite being responsive can not do the following basic mobile needs.
1: no file manager or file transfer between a PC without the use of iTunes
2: safari can't download or even upload files in 2012?????
3: no Bluetooth file transfer with other Bluetooth devices????
4: no NFC????
5: no true multitasking????
6: no form of customization????
7: individual mp3 songs cant be uploaded or send through whatsapp
8: the entire OS realise heavily on third party apps to make the phone functional.
All this flaws and yet you guys never mention them when reviewing an apple device???
I have people who have actually returned their apple products simple because it doesn't support Bluetooth file transfer. Don't you think its time you educate people about the basic missing features in IOS rather than always focusing on responsiveness?

posted on 05 Nov 2012, 10:21

26. robocopvn (Posts: 215; Member since: 10 Mar 2010)


sorry guy but money covers their eyes already !!

posted on 05 Nov 2012, 10:25

27. RedFox (Posts: 17; Member since: 25 Jun 2012)


Thanks for such a useful and helpful information .

posted on 05 Nov 2012, 08:32 2

19. jed27 (Posts: 65; Member since: 09 Jun 2012)


You should add iOS 6 to the CONS. Also, what's with the never-ending exclamation points?

posted on 05 Nov 2012, 08:47

20. paulyyd (Posts: 327; Member since: 08 Jan 2011)


you bros sound mad

posted on 05 Nov 2012, 09:00

21. sonisoe (Posts: 336; Member since: 06 May 2009)


I think apple is being careful, the screen isnt retina display, cos they dont want people switching to the mini with a lower profit margin.... I just hope at least apple put in the a6 processor instead of a5. i have an ipad2 which u know is installed with the a5, and it lags or unresponsive at times.

posted on 05 Nov 2012, 09:19

22. yougotkilled1 (Posts: 167; Member since: 27 Apr 2011)


The price should be a con too. I would much much rather buy a nexus 7 for 200$ with a quad core than this with an old A5 chip....

posted on 05 Nov 2012, 10:07

23. Evil_SaNz (Posts: 258; Member since: 20 Oct 2011)


How much did they pay the reviewers? A smaller ipad 2 with worse screen 8.5...We're in 2012! Should get 8.5 maybe a year ago, today it's a plain 7.

posted on 05 Nov 2012, 10:21 3

25. MorePhonesThanNeeded (Posts: 645; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)


"Factoring in its hardware specs and all, it would lead anyone to believe that this latest iPad is rather over-bloated at $330, which is still seen as a considerable investment over other highly prized tablets. Despite the less-than-stellar hardware in tow with this one, its unbelievable construction is proof enough to make us believe that its price point is every bit warranted. Looking at it, there’s no doubt that plenty of love was placed into the design of the Pad mini!"

Lol, now all of a sudden construction of the device warrants the bloated price? You sir are an enabler, basically telling people it's great to indulge in this stupid farce. Lowest resolution of the best 7" pads out there, old CPU and half the amount of RAM. Yet you marvel at how it can run and do so much, with a dimunitive OS which is basically an app launcher what the hell, the processor isn't actually doing anything else so it can afford to run games. But you praise the iPhone for retina display, this things display is comical at best. You biased and ridiculous reporters are terrible, you turn a con into something less than. Typing on the screen is a bit hard, but oh in landscape mode we find ourselves typing faster as our hand could easily reach across the entire screen...wtf? Logic dictates this is a give you malcontents. The system stutters when playing games, the lack of support for the popular codecs yet they go on to say the video played smooth enough and kept our attention. Speakers have minimal distortion, means it distorts don't crank it to max.

This review reads like a sales pitch, every con is met with oh it's not that bad and then comes the kicker, you justify the price tag with build of the device? You guys are the worst, a bunch of cons and I see one on the review score of 8.5. The reviewer buffed out all those other cons and was left with one he couldn't buff out. Disgusting writing if you ask me, deceptive tactic used to sell products. Can't wait to see the comparison reviews, that should be a hoot.

posted on 05 Nov 2012, 10:55

28. twashington4 (Posts: 81; Member since: 24 May 2010)


Anyone think it's interesting that the IPad Mini supports Siri and you can't even get it on the IPad 2 and it's basically the same stinking hardware. Apple is full of it with that one.

posted on 05 Nov 2012, 22:54

33. nwright94 (unregistered)


I think it's because the iPad mini has audience noise canceling technology and the iPad 2 doesn't meaning Siri would listen on for forever.

posted on 05 Nov 2012, 13:09

29. yingcong6 (Posts: 22; Member since: 09 Feb 2012)


There is one more con:"price", so it's at most 8 points

posted on 05 Nov 2012, 22:52

32. nwright94 (unregistered)


I have an iPad 3 and love it but for $300 I'm getting the nexus 7 32gb with hspa+ while saving $30. Get NFC and a higher resolution display. I'm positive the iPad mini will give a great user experience, but for $30 cheaper you can get much more. The main downside to picking the nexus 7 though is the tablet app selection is severely lacking but hopefully that will change.

posted on 06 Nov 2012, 05:04

35. steveedojob (Posts: 1; Member since: 06 Nov 2012)


8.5 for the smaller Ipad 2???? Sure this reviewer from Phonearena is the Apple fans like Eldar Murtazin from Mobile-review. Nice design??? All apple design look the same nothing special...You all know why all Apple product for example cannot directly transfer photo etc via bluetooth to PC or other product other than Apple product??? Because Steve Jobs want a monopoly, buy Apple product don't buy other product so you can transfer file easyly. Wakaka.

posted on 06 Nov 2012, 07:02

36. bensch (Posts: 7; Member since: 06 Nov 2012)


It is highly interesting when people comment on Apple products, specifically this year. Some claim they are extremely good, innovative, others say they are nothing special compared to Android devices. The truth about Apple devices, and in this case the iPad mini, is that Apple has a market on its own, which is what makes them so successful. Their success is not completely fan-base; they do in fact offer very good products with an outstanding build quality and a very user-friendly UI/OS. This applies to their computers as well as mobile devices. When buying an apple product you get two things: build quality and reliability. Of course this comes at a very high price (in this specific case, an unreasonably high price). Android devices should not be compared with Apple's. There are tens of brands running Android, and that is where comparisons should be made, between those devices. Apple's devices should not compete in the same league, thus we should not get so upset. Apple and Android based devices are not competing for the same market. If you are a geek and enjoy customization go for android, if you are a show off who simply enjoys browsing the internet, checking stocks and become part of the Apple community, buy Apple.
The iPad mini, though, is slightly different. With the iPad mini Apple decided to enter a market which Apple has not yet set a standard upon with previous models. Whereas in the case of the iPad and the iPhone, previous models have set a certain standard in the mobile world. The iPad mini attempts to challenge the 7 inch market, which is a market completely owned by Android so far. Apple is stepping out of its territory, and that is something I do not approve. The advantages of the iPads have always been the screen size/colour reproduction, the GPU and the usability. Prices have always been very high compared to the "competition". With the iPad mini Apple is offering nothing special in terms of specs. They don't offer a good screen, and in terms of prices they have truly exaggerated. The build quality cannot serve as an excuse because Android devices in the 7 inch reign have already shown off some very good aluminium bodies and gorilla glass surfaces paired with HD screens.
Bottom line: there is a reason Jobs did not want to enter the 7 inch market, and that is because he believed Apple had no chance of entering such market successfully.

posted on 06 Nov 2012, 09:50

37. FranksGT (Posts: 167; Member since: 29 Aug 2012)


Overall performance. You guys didnt test the damn thing whatsoever then. Just playing with the Ipad Mini at my Local walmart steered me away from it. Downloaded a Racing game and it was just as slow as my old HTC Inspire. Only thing it performs normal in is low resolution games, and browsing the internet. I wanted a Ipad so bad for a tablet and the Mini would of done so fine, but I was drawn back by horrible display, the walmart lighting had that thing hard to stare at. Horrible proccessing power, High price point. Turned to the Nexus 7 and will never look back!

posted on 07 Nov 2012, 04:52

42. soshi (Posts: 154; Member since: 08 Mar 2012)


iPad mini is sell to testing loyality to apple's costumer

posted on 07 Nov 2012, 18:05

43. cristianer (Posts: 41; Member since: 20 Aug 2010)


Waiting iPad Mini 2 with Retina Dislpay. :-)

posted on 09 Nov 2012, 10:47

46. robocopvn (Posts: 215; Member since: 10 Mar 2010)


Cons need more:

-Old hardware (not for furture)
-No micro SD
-High price for the performance

so it cannot be 8.5 point

posted on 11 Nov 2012, 05:53

47. hamid50 (Posts: 3; Member since: 11 Nov 2012)


just have good price and i like it

posted on 09 Dec 2012, 11:22

48. cnice (Posts: 2; Member since: 09 Dec 2012)


I found a great website that shows great tips tricks, hacks and updates for android, apple, and gaming consoles at, electronicshacked.yolasite.com/

posted on 17 Dec 2012, 05:44

49. ljade.abadinas (Posts: 21; Member since: 30 Nov 2012)


For me, I will give it a 6 rating... Sorry Apple! :P

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Display7.9 inches, 1024 x 768 pixels (162 ppi) IPS LCD
Camera5 megapixels
Hardware
Apple A5, Dual core, 1000 MHz, ARM Cortex-A9 processor
512 MB RAM
Size7.87 x 5.30 x 0.28 inches
(200 x 134.7 x 7.2 mm)
11.01 oz  (312 g)

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