Apple iPad Mini review

Reviews Basil Kronfli 11:49, 9 Nov 2012

We review the iPad Mini, a 7.9-inch screened tablet set to challenge Google's Nexus 7 head-on

Rating: 
3.5
Pros: 
Premium look and feel Incredibly thin and light The iOS app selection is huge Great battery life
Cons: 
Sub-par screen sharpness Mediocre camera 4:3 aspect ration not suited to movies Too wide
Verdict: 
The iPad mini is a fantastic tablet and our favourite iPad, though falls short in some key areas.

The iPad Mini has arrived. Seen by most as Cupertino’s reaction to the slew of 7-inch Androids out there, it’s a solid proposition nonetheless, combining Apple’s premium design with an A5 processor and iOS 6.

Costing almost £100 more than its Android alternatives though, is the extra expense warranted or would you be better off with the Google-powered Nexus 7?

iPad Mini review - Design

If Apple are recognised for anything it’s design. The iPod was the seminal portable piece of design brilliance, with the iPhone and iPad lines taking centre stage since they hit the market. 

The iPad Mini is a worthy addition to the range. It sports a 7.9-inch display with the same 4:3 aspect ratio as the original iPad. We would have prefered a longer, narrower tablet for ease of handling, though the aspect ratio isn’t without its merits thanks to Apple’s design know how. 

For starters, the width makes it great for eBook reading when coupled with the extreme lightness of the tablet. Classical design and metal backing meets a 7.2mm thickness and a weight of just 308g for the Wi-Fi version. 

As with other iPads, buttons are kept to a minimum with a single home button on the front. The right hand side houses a volume rocker and a customisable switch, by default set to silence your iPad. Up top is a simply a power button and 3.5mm headphone jack. 

While we’re undeniably impressed, we’re also left with mixed feelings towards the iPad Mini. Despite being beautiful, its size is awkward, being too big for a pocket and too small for a bag.

iPad Mini review - Screen

The 7.9-inch IPS LCD display delivers a resolution of 1024x768 pixels as well as a pixel density of 163 pixels per inch. Sharper than the original iPad and the iPad 2 it may be, but pitted against the Google Nexus 7 by Asus or the Amazon Kindle Fire and clarity simply isn’t competitive with discernable pixels, especially evident when reading fine text.

Brightness is a different story. With an incredibly bright panel, colours look rich, outdoor viewability is better than the competition and viewing angles are great.

Specifications

Typical Price £269 - £529
UK Launch 2nd November 2012
Network O2, Orange, Three, Vodafone
Phone Style Tablet
Thickness 7.2mm
Length 200mm
Width 134.7mm
Weight 308g
Built-in Memory 16-64GB
Connectivity Wi-Fi + Cellular
Screen Size 7.9-inches
Camera Resolution 5-megapixel
Flash No
Video Resolution 1080p
Browser Safari
Talktime 10 hours

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