Interface:

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.



Functionality:

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.

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