Saturday, November 3, 2012

iPad Mini Review

What can I say about the new iPad Mini? How can I start this review off? When I went to the Apple Store to review this item, a woman walked up beside me with a young child and said, "Here is the iPad mini! I still don't understand the point of it."

So I'll start my review off this way, the point of the iPad mini is…

The iPad Mini can so all the wonderful things that the regular iPad can do only is not as Big and Heavy! So the point is that you can hold it in one hand and you can hold it for much longer periods without getting hand fatigue.

The only questionable thing about the iPad Mini is the screen quality.  Since iPad is all about the display, that’s where I'll start. If the iPad Mini is too small then it is just an iPod Touch or iPhone . It had to be big enough to do all the things you love to do on iPad. And it had to work with all the apps made for iPad. Apple  determined the perfect size for the iPad Mini's screen should be  7.9 inches; not 7 inches for which Steve Jobs was quoted to say "you would need to sand down your fingertips down" to use a 7" tablet. 

The iPad Mini has the same 1024-by-768 resolution as iPad 2 — in a size that’s significantly smaller.  The iPad mini display has 35 percent more screen area than a 7‑inch tablet. Many who have reviewed this device have made remarks that the iPad Mini should have included the Retina display as the new iPod Touch. iPhone or 3rd and 4th generation iPad. While it would be nice to include this, but it is not a negative that it doesn't. When the first iPad came out, it had this screen resolution. The iPad 2 had the same screen. Are you saying that a screen quality that was the standard for a tablet just 8-9 months ago is not good? That would be crazy to even suggest. There is nothing wrong with the screen resolution. I may prefer to have a Retina display, but it isn't significant to make or break the purchase of the iPad Mini. 

The second thing about the iPad Mini is that raises eyebrows is the starting price of $329 for the 16GB wifi model. Many have expressed that it is too high. Hogwash! It is a great price. The truth is the iPad Mini is priced right.  The next available priced iPad is the $399 iPad 2. Even if the iPad Mini was just a smaller and exact featured iPad 2, would it be priced at $299? You could make the point, even though making it smaller doesn't make the cost of the components smaller. 

The iPad Mini has an improved FaceTime HD front facing camera with 1.2MP photo taking ability and 720p HD video capabilities. Compare that to the VGA resolution for both photos and video. The rear-facing camera of the iPad Mini us 5MP instead of sporting the iPad 2's 960 by 720 camera.  Video recording is increased to 1080p HD from the iPad 2's 720p HD. Bluetooth is improved from Bluetooth 2.1 to Bluetooth 4.0 technology which significantly improves the performance. The iPad Mini has LTE capability instead of the iPad 2's 3G antenna. 

It includes the new Lightning port, keeps the 10 hour battery (even though it is thinner and lighter) and gives you Siri!  IS all this not worth the extra $29!?  iPad mini is 23 percent thinner, 53 percent lighter, and fits in one hand — yet it can do everything an iPad can do. You can't compare this to the $199 Nexus 7 or $214 Kindle Fire HD (without Special Offers - Ads)! You are not getting the same device.  I would pay the extra $115 - $130 difference for the iPad Mini.

This isn't exactly an even match, as the iPad mini is actually larger than these smaller screen tablets. Apple iPad Mini's 7.9-inch screen is significantly larger than the 7-inch screens on both the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HD; even those their 1,280-by-800-pixel screens are actually significantly sharper than the 7.9-inch 1,024-by-768-pixel screen on the iPad mini. The cameras are much better on the iPad Mini than the other two; the Kindle Fire HD doesn't even have a front-facing camera and the rear camera is laughable. It is not about the technical specifications at all.  The average person does not care about this; to them it is all about the user experience.  Apple wins in this department without the iPad Mini. Now that Apple has a light, thin and extremely portable and mobile addition to their lineup, they are primed to extend their tablet lead.

I was planning to get my daughter the new iPod Touch for Christmas; maybe the iPad Mini will show up under the Christmas tree this year.

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