iPad mini Review

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Spawned in the horrendous heat of a Los Angeles winter, James was born with an incessant need to press buttons. Whether it was the car radio, doorbells on Halloween or lights, James pushed, pressed and prodded every button. No elevator was left unscathed, no building intercom was left un-rung, and no person he’s known has been left un-annoyed.

16 Comments to iPad mini Review

  1. Cheaper Than A Shrink

    I love the fact that it fits nicely into my hand. However, I do IT work so I prefer the iPad to remotely support client computers. If I did not have to do so, I’d prefer the iPad mini.

  2. Charlie Horse

    I am not here to argue but some of the facts he posted are off by a bit andthis is a COMPLETLEY biased post

  3. IMO the iPad Mini resolution is just fine. I’ve never really understood why people make such a huge deal about the Retina display. In the iPhone, the difference is definitely night and day. Not so much with the iPad. I compared the Mini and 4th Gen side-by-side and did not see much of a difference, save for the sharpness in text. I regularly use both my iPhone 4S and my wife’s iPad 2, and never have issues with the latter’s resolution (I barely notice the difference).
    As far as why the Mini doesn’t have the same tech specs as the 4th Gen iPad? Who would buy the 4th Gen iPad if it did? Wise move on Apple’s part. It maintains the product heirarchy. I can see it having an upgrade next year, and more than likely a retina display, but it will never have the same specs as the full-size model. Next year it will probably be a smaller version of the 3rd Gen iPad.

    • James Pikover

      From a business perspective, it makes perfect sense for Apple to make the iPad mini as powerful as the iPad 2. But not from the standpoint of users, especially if you own an iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, or an iPad 3/4.

      The reason why is simple: it is obsolete on day one or makes another device obsolete. Which isn’t a problem for many, mind you, but it is worth mentioning for people curious about purchasing a mini who own one of those devices.

      Furthermore, the iPad mini doesn’t need to replicate the iPad 3/4. It could have the same components as the iPhone 5 (an A6 processor with 1GB of RAM), and without a Retina display (a Retina display would require the additional compute power of the A6X). That would be fine; a veritable trade for better performance.

      Because it doesn’t, the only reason current iOS users would want the iPad mini, based on my findings, is the size. It isn’t faster nor is it more capable than any current or last-gen iOS device.

      • I see your point, and I agree. It’s interesting trying to evaluate the user market on it. For instance, I am an iPhone 4S user and yet I will be getting the iPad Mini next week. I fall into the category you describe: I like the form factor. It also falls along the same reasoning I had for not upgrading to an iPhone 5: it’s virtually the same device, minus a bit of a bump on the specs.

        Personally, I have no need for the 4th Gen’s processor or Retina display. If it performs as well as or better than my wife’s iPad 2, which it does, I am more than satisfied. The hardware may be “obsolete”, but still more than capable for many people’s needs.

        For people who prefer the heavy-duty, graphics-intensive games, I can see why some would be disappointed. I haven’t tried any of the newer ones on the iPad 2, so I can’t say either way on how much of a performance drop it offers.

        • James Pikover

          Exactly. The real difference between the iPad 3/4 vs the iPad 2/mini for gaming is twofold: graphical performance is less than half. The more important loss, specific to the iPhone 5/iPad 4, is half the general performance, especially with web browsing. The two are worlds apart there…but the size of the iPad mini is to die for.

  4. You say you don’t know why the A6 processor and retina display are not in the iPad mini? It seems obvious to me; size and price point. I loved my 1st gen and 2nd gen iPads. I felt no compunction to update to the larger (slightly), higher resolution iPad 3. I have no problem with the display resolution on the mini, and yes, I do have an iPhone 5 and have spent some time with the retina iPads. A more powerful (A6) mini with retina would have cost more (and remember all the howling when a sub $300 mini did not materialize) and in order to maintain the battery life it would have had to be thicker and heavier to accommodate a larger battery. After all the gushing you did about the thinness and lightness of the mini, why would you have trouble recommending the mini because of this completely understandable design trade off? There are plenty of cheaper, clunkier tablets out there. In my mind none of them come close to the mini (except maybe the Note 2 although that’s not a fair apples to apples comparison).
    If apple releases a retina iPad mini with A 6 next year I’ll probably pass unless its as thin and light as the one I’m writing on right now.

    • James Pikover

      Excellent points, though as I answered to @mike above, that’s the business perspective. The review is for actual buyers, not for Apple.

      So as I wrote above, the size is exceptional, and more importantly much better than any competing tablet. It’s more expensive than other tablets, but the design and app ecosystem make it worth having over Android tablets for most people and for most needs.

      • Do you recommend getting the iPad Mini for a 12 year old for a Christmas present? I want to get my daughter one, but I don’t know if it’s appropriate. Thanks!

        • James Pikover

          Sure! I think the better question is whether the iPad mini or the iPod Touch is a better gift. The two are identical in nearly every way except for size; the iPod Touch fits in a pocket and is handheld; definitely better for smaller kid hands. It also doesn’t need a case, comes in multiple colors, is sturdier (the iPad mini will break if you drop it. The iPod Touch is light enough that it won’t), and for $300 comes with twice the memory (for music, apps, and games) than the iPad mini at $330.

          So I definitely recommend the iPod Touch (make sure you get the newer one, that comes in colors, not the older black/white one) for kids. Plus there are plenty more apps available on the iPod Touch than the iPad mini. It isn’t as big or as shiny, but I think anyone under 13 (or any kids who haven’t already turned into teenage monsters that want nothing to do with their parents and just want to show off to their friends) would rather have the smaller iPad mini.

        • Charlie Horse

          Just saying but when my sister was 12 she got a freaking dollhouse. Im not judging you on how to parent but dont spoil your kids too much just because of all the faggot kids that are spoiled by their parents and act really stupid

  5. Fair review. I own an iPhone 5 and iPad mini and don’t really notice any difference in image clarity between the two. In actuality, I’m often stunned by how great stuff looks on the mini. Do you think that non-techies would really notice much difference between the mini and retina display devices, particularly on smaller screened devices?

    • James Pikover

      Not really, not at first anyways. But considering the performance difference between the mini and the iPhone 5 (for iPhone 5 users) and the difference in the display resolution, I have no doubt the same problem for iPad 1/2 and iPhone 4/4S owners will crop up, even if the screen isn’t as pixelated compared to the 8.9″ display on the iPad.

      For me, the bigger issue was the performance, not the display. In fairness though, the biggest reason I used my iPhone 4S over the iPad (1) was because the iPad just lost it’s power and was too bulky. The iPhone doesn’t have that problem.

      Non techies likely won’t have that problem…I think the biggest boon for the iPad mini is the size and weight, which is just incredible. But it is worth considering, especially for iPhone 5 owners.

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