iPad Mini review: first look and initial impressions
We go hands-on with the iPad Mini, Apple's aggressively priced rebuttal to Google's Nexus 7
It’s first impressions time and today we’re putting the iPad Mini through its preliminary paces. We got our mitts on it yesterday and after an evening and a couple of commutes we can safely say - for the most part - everything’s looking peachy.
The design is the first point of note and the iPad Mini, as expected, is very much a cat amongst the pigeons when compared to the slew of plastic Androids’ currently doing the rounds.
It also feels very delicate in the hand and the aluminium back panel is a devil for picking up fingerprints, yet despite this the overall finish is impressive nonetheless
At 7.9mm and all glass fronted, we’re not sure how comfortable we would be slinging this beauty around like we do our Nexus 7. It feels like a slimmed down and stretched out iPhone 5, being cold to the touch and machined to an impossibly high standard.
It isn’t all gravy in the design department though and, despite even weighting, the tablet does feel hollow to the tap, detracting from the stereotypically unibody solidness normally associated with Apple products.
Offering the same pixel punch as the original iPad and iPad 2 only this time spread across 7.9-inches, the iPad Mini’s pixel denstiy clocks in at 163 pixels-per-inch (ppi) and is no way near Retina Display levels of clarity. It is sharp enough for casual use, however, with text being the main area where pixels are discernible.
The interface is iOS 6 through and through. If there’s anything we can’t fault Apple for it’s fragmentation, and the iPad Mini extols the gridded simplicity of the operating system perfectly.
Everything is powered along by Apple’s A5 dual-core processor, which ensures smooth transitions across the board, decent gaming, and generally excellent UI responsiveness.
With a 5-megapixel iSight camera on the rear and a front facing 1.9-megapixel, there’s very little this almost pocketable iPad can’t do that its larger siblings can.
That said, we’ve had less than a day with the blighter, so stick around for the full run-down where we’ll cover the camera in detail, give the battery a workout and put the processor through its paces.