Apple iPad mini Review
Following in form, this latest iPad is running the same iOS 6.0 experience we’ve been seeing of late, so there’s nothing particularly new here. Rather than detailing all the specifics surrounding it, we’ll just mention that it’s simple, easy to learn, and intuitive – making it the platform of choice to introduce tablet newbies to. As much as we appreciate the static and simple nature of the platform, it’s still clearly lagging behind the competition when it comes to personalization, as it lacks the dynamic and visual allure of what Android and Windows RT has to offer. Then again, we still adore its choice of employing the iPad’s practical gestures – like its 5-finger pinch gesture to get back to the homescreen and the four-fingered swipe one to quickly switch cycle/switch between all the opened apps.
Of course, all of the iOS specialties are intact with the iPad mini experience – such as giving us access to posting social networking statuses via the notifications panel. Additionally, Siri’s service is available as well on the iPad mini, giving us our very own personal digital assistant to keep us up to snuff with our schedule. As a whole people, there’s nothing relatively different about the experience on this when looking at other iPads running the iOS 6.0 software. Even though it’s packing a smaller display, we don’t find it handicapped in the very bit when it comes to running all the same tasks with its bigger siblings.
By now, it’s quite evident that Apple didn’t do anything new with the iPad mini’s experience, since it delivers the same set of functions and presentation with its core organizer apps. In fact, as we take a peek at some of them, like the calendar, clock, and reminders, we’re able to quickly adapt since they’re identical to past offerings. Can we say that we’re not surprised by this revelation?
Downsizing this time around, as opposed to sizing up with the iPhone 5, it’s more challenging to actually use the landscape keyboard option on the iPad mini. Whereas before, we didn’t have any issues using it on the 9.7-inch iPad, but with this, the tighter confines of its layout reduces our rapid rate of input. Interestingly enough, we actually find ourselves faster with the portrait option, seeing that our fingers encompass its entire layout without the need to stretch out our digits to hit something.
Finally, the email experience is characteristically iPad – meaning, we’re presented with an ideal interface that keeps us productive. Relying on that familiar two-panel layout we’re accustomed to seeing, one showing us our various accounts and the other showing the contents of the selected email, we’re able to juggle around our emails with relative ease. Obviously, it also helps that the setup process is a painless one.
Processor and Memory:
After a cursory look at its specs sheet, some might scratch their chins and wonder why this seems all too familiar. Well, this might come to some people as a shock, but this “mini” iPad is sporting hardware similar to what’s found on the iPad 2! Yes folks, you read that right! Truthfully, the iPad mini is packing a 1GHz dual-core Apple A5 processor with 512MB of RAM, which isn’t all that spectacular on paper when compared to other things out there. Frankly, it might not turn heads, but when it comes to real-world performance, it has enough processing power to get by with most tasks – especially with more processor intensive ones like gaming, as it’s able to exhibit instantaneous and fluid executions with nearly everything we threw at it. Although it rears its ugly head every now and then, its performance isn’t diminished by any consistent levels of slowdown or lag.
Following in form, the iPad mini is available in a variety of storage capacities – 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB versions. As usual, you’ll want to choose wisely, since there’s no other storage expandability seen with it.
Internet and Connectivity:
For what it’s worth, we really can’t complain about the web browsing experience on the iPad mini. Delivering smooth navigational controls, fast page loads, and proper rendering, it has all the ingredients to make it an admirable offering for web browsing. Sure, it might not have the extensive tertiary functionality found with the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, but nonetheless, we’re satisfied by what it has to offer. Naturally, you can expect speedy cellular connections if you happen to pick up a model with support for 4G LTE.
Since the iPhone 5 is being sold by three out of the four major players in the US, it doesn’t surprise us in the very bit that the Apple iPad mini is being made available in LTE form with AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon. Along for the ride as well, it’s also packing connectivity features like aGPS, Bluetooth 4.0, 802.11 a/b/g/n, and mobile hotspot functionality.
1. Berzerk000 (Posts: 4103; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)
Good, Good... Next, iPad mini vs. Nexus 7!
6. brar.arsh (Posts: 158; Member since: 12 Sep 2012)
Why not Nexus 10, ipad will burst into pieces.. LOL
11. abdane (Posts: 477; 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 ! :)
16. brar.arsh (Posts: 158; Member since: 12 Sep 2012)
24. theoak (Posts: 320; 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.
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.
8. MeoCao (unregistered)
Nexus 7 wins big time, but I believe Google must add the camera, and a good one.
12. PhenomFaz (Posts: 1098; 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
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....
2. Birds (Posts: 1020; 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.
3. ElektronicGeek91 (Posts: 105; Member since: 26 Sep 2012)
OVER RATED!!..... OVER RATED!!.... OVER RATED!!....#college game
4. thelegend6657 (unregistered)
Fandroid will come and say : it's overrated ! It deserves a 7
34. thelegend6657 (unregistered)
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.
14. PapaSmurf (Posts: 8815; 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.
9. brandonrana (Posts: 57; Member since: 04 Nov 2012)
How come its equal to a surface ? Naah overall it should get 7.8
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.
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.....
15. PapaSmurf (Posts: 8815; 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.
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
18. twens (Posts: 696; 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?
26. robocopvn (Posts: 198; Member since: 10 Mar 2010)
sorry guy but money covers their eyes already !!
27. RedFox (Posts: 17; Member since: 25 Jun 2012)
Thanks for such a useful and helpful information .
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?
21. sonisoe (Posts: 332; 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.
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....
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.
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.
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.
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.
29. yingcong6 (Posts: 22; Member since: 09 Feb 2012)
There is one more con:"price", so it's at most 8 points
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.
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.
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.
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!
42. soshi (Posts: 154; Member since: 08 Mar 2012)
iPad mini is sell to testing loyality to apple's costumer
43. cristianer (Posts: 41; Member since: 20 Aug 2010)
Waiting iPad Mini 2 with Retina Dislpay. :-)
46. robocopvn (Posts: 198; 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
48. cnice (Posts: 2; Member since: 09 Dec 2012)
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49. ljade.abadinas (Posts: 21; Member since: 30 Nov 2012)
For me, I will give it a 6 rating... Sorry Apple! :P