iPad Mini Review

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For years people have been speculating about a mini iPad. Now it’s finally here.

Apple products invoke a lot of emotions in people.  It’s amazing.  People line up outside in the cold to purchase them the minute they come out.  People come to America, buy as many as they can and head back to their native country where they can sell them at a premium before the products are released in that area.  Some critics laugh and mock.  I even heard one critic say, “I was expecting more.  The iPad mini is just a smaller iPad!”  Pause… OK, now think about what you just said.  Apple products certainly are carried along by feelings as well as functionality.

Starting at $329, it’s not an impulse buy – but it’s getting closer.  The base price of the gen 3 iPad is $499, so it’s a much easier entry point to the realm of tablets for a lot of people.  The trouble is, this is competition for the Kindle Fire HD which starts at $199 (or is this just intended to stomp down Microsoft’s big Windows 8 tablet entry?).  Still, at $329, I think a lot of kids will have one under the Christmas tree this year.

Everything about this device (with one major exception) feels great.  It weight less than half of the gen 3 iPad.  It easily fits into one hand – and feels just as good if not better than the Kindle.  The aspect ratio of the device is similar and the aspect ratio of the screen is exactly the same as the full sized iPads so all your apps should work without a problem.

It’s only 7.87 by 5.3 inches compared to the 9.5 by 7.31 inches on the iPad 2 or gen 3.  It’s thin.  Super thin.

This device is a great device for browsing the web, reading a book, using Facetime with a friend.  Playing games and even reading, you’ll have an OK experience.   Why just OK?  The lack of a retina display.

Not having a retina display is the only thing about the device I don’t like. The screen is a giant step backwards compared to the gen 3 iPad. The screen inherently looks slightly better than the iPad2 due to the smaller screen size, but since I’m used to the retina display of my gen 3 iPad and my iPhone 5. Text and graphics look fuzzy after spending all those hours on my gen 3 iPad.

I’m sure I’ll come to love the Lightning connector.  The only issue I have with it now is that I only have 2 cables – one for home and one for the office, while I have dozens of old school cables scattered all over the place so I always have one within arm’s reach.

All in all, it’s a good entry point to tablet products for people.  Entry point, or gateway drug…  I can see a lot of people using the iPad mini upgrading shortly afterwards to a gen 4 iPad.

One last thing… This device should be great for watching movies and TV, I’ll think I’ll have to further my testing by re-watching Doctor Who series 7.  I’ll be back in a few hours.  

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