Apple iPad mini Review

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.

The package contains:


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.

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.

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.


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.



49. ljade.abadinas

Posts: 21; Member since: Nov 30, 2012

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

48. cnice

Posts: 2; Member since: Dec 09, 2012

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47. hamid50

Posts: 3; Member since: Nov 11, 2012

just have good price and i like it

46. robocopvn

Posts: 504; Member since: Mar 10, 2010

Cons need more: -Old hardware (not for furture) -No micro SD -High price for the performance so it cannot be 8.5 point

43. cristianer

Posts: 42; Member since: Aug 20, 2010

Waiting iPad Mini 2 with Retina Dislpay. :-)

42. soshi

Posts: 154; Member since: Mar 08, 2012

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

37. FranksGT

Posts: 167; Member since: Aug 29, 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!

36. bensch

Posts: 7; Member since: Nov 06, 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.

35. steveedojob

Posts: 20; Member since: Nov 06, 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.

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.

29. yingcong6

Posts: 22; Member since: Feb 09, 2012

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

28. twashington4

Posts: 81; Member since: May 24, 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.

25. MorePhonesThanNeeded

Posts: 645; Member since: Oct 23, 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 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.

23. Evil_SaNz

Posts: 259; Member since: Oct 20, 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.

22. yougotkilled1

Posts: 167; Member since: Apr 27, 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....

21. sonisoe

Posts: 440; Member since: May 06, 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.

20. paulyyd

Posts: 340; Member since: Jan 08, 2011

you bros sound mad

19. jed27

Posts: 65; Member since: Jun 09, 2012

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

18. twens

Posts: 1191; Member since: Feb 25, 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: 504; Member since: Mar 10, 2010

sorry guy but money covers their eyes already !!

27. RedFox

Posts: 18; Member since: Jun 25, 2012

Thanks for such a useful and helpful information .

17. josephnero

Posts: 795; Member since: Nov 16, 2011

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

15. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 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.

13. iameer

Posts: 6; Member since: Apr 17, 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.....

9. brandonrana

Posts: 57; Member since: Nov 04, 2012

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

38. Izzy_V

Posts: 216; Member since: Jul 07, 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.

7. GayAtheist

Posts: 9; Member since: Jun 16, 2012

Where is that colourful wallpaper from?

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: 10457; Member since: May 14, 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.
iPad mini
  • Display 7.9 inches
    768 x 1024 pixels
  • Camera 5 MP (Single camera)
    1.2 MP front
  • Hardware Apple A5, 0.5GB RAM
  • Storage 64GB,
  • Battery 4440 mAh
  • OS iOS 9.x

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