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Apple iPad mini review

8.8/10 AVG.
RATING



8.8/10
Informr score
The Apple iPad mini currently has an Informr score of 8.8 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 42 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

Despite the late Steve Jobs’ pronouncements that Apple would never release a 7-inch tablet, Apple unveiled the iPad mini, a shrunk-down version of the 9.7-inch iPad.

The general consensus around the Web is that the iPad mini is an excellent compact tablet. But many reviews concur that the 7.9-inch iPad mini lacks the “wow factor” found in the iPhone 5 or the third-generation iPad.

Apple revolutionized the PC industry when it unveiled the finger-friendly, keyboard-less tablet in 2010, and has so far sold an eye-popping 100 million units. The iPad 3 earned overwhelming reviews for its stunning Retina display, improved camera, powerful processor, and LTE capabilities. Apple is not expected to revolutionize its product lineup every single year. Still, some reviews say that the iPad mini feels like a step backwards for Apple.

The iPad mini’s anodized aluminum back makes the device look entirely different from the full-sized iPads and is lighter (at 7.2mm) and thinner (at 312g) than previous iPad models. But other than looking like a blown-up fifth-generation iPod touch and being smaller, the iPad mini is almost identical to the two-year old iPad 2.

Almost every review notes that the iPad mini only offers the iPad 2’s A5 dual-core processor (not the new A6X chip found in the iPad 4) and the iPad 2’s 1024 x 768 display that’s relatively modest when compared to the retina display of the iPhone 5 or the 10-inch iPad 3. In addition, Apple’s refusal to add USB ports or memory card slots that are found in Windows 8 and Android tablets continues to be a drawback.

Make no mistake however. Hands-on reviews and benchmarks all report that mini is a great device notwithstanding the iPad 2-like specs. Sure it doesn’t have a retina display, but images are still bright, sharp and colorful. And while the dual-core A5 processor is certainly a notch slower than chips found in the latest-generation full-sized iPad, the mini feels fast and responsive and is great for content consumption.

As for the software, you of course get Apple's latest OS and and access to the greatest number of tablet-optimized apps found anywhere via the iOS App Store.

What about price? It's a factor as a number of critics have emphasized. The mini is a full $130 more expensive than $200 Google Nexus 7 and the Amazon Kindle Fire HD. Regardless, Apple is known for pricing its products at a premium, and the iPad mini is Apple’s first foray in the budget-tablet market. For all the innovative strides previously made by Apple, the mini leaves something to be desired.

Nonetheless, the iPad mini should appeal to anybody who’s trying out Apple’s tablet ecosystem for the first time, as well as existing iPad owners who want a more portable tablet.

Need to Know: Apple iPad mini

1. Tiny, lightweight form factor that makes the device more comfortable to carry around. (The Good)

2. Access to the most number of tablet-optimized apps. (The Good)

3. Older processor and display. (The Bad)

4. More expensive than other 7-inch tablets. (The Bad)


Operating system
iOS
Processor
1 GHz
Screen Size
7.9"
Camera
5+ MP


What the Critics Are Saying...


BGR

It’s also satisfactorily thin and light, and it’s ideal for kids. In fact, tablets make infinitely more sense for those between the ages of 3 and 13 than a phone or laptop. They’re relatively rugged, decently difficult to lose, they last a solid day or two on a charge, they only re...

- Darren Murph, BGR
Tech Advisor

The iPad mini is a premium small tablet, with a price to match. It's a shame Apple couldn't have included a Retina screen and newer processor - expect the iPad mini 2 to get those updates when it launches later this year. This Wi-Fi only model also lacks GPS. It's not cheap by any stretch, especiall...

- Jim Martin, Tech Advisor
Mobility Digest

If I was to say anything bad about the iPad Mini, if would have to be the painfully boring iOS experience that powers it. Having daily drivers like Windows Phone and Android, iOS feels more dated every time I slide to unlock. Maybe the price as well, but that is also relative. This is not a cheaper...

- Ramon Trotman, Mobility Digest
Android Central

The iPad mini is a premium small tablet, with a price to match. It's a shame Apple couldn't have included a Retina screen and newer processor - expect the next iPad mini to get those updates. This Wi-Fi only model also lacks GPS. It's not cheap by any stretch, especially if you want more storage spa...

- Jim Martin, Android Central
Expert Reviews

There’s little doubt that the iPad Mini is a gorgeous tablet which is well built, simply stunning to look at and fast. However, it’s also around £100 more than a Nexus 7 or Kindle Fire HD, two Android tablets with higher-resolution displays that are both excellent value and better for watching video...

- Tom Morgan, Expert Reviews


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Quick view

Screen Size
7.9"

The Apple iPad mini's screen size is 7.9 inches with x pixels resolution.

Processor
1 GHz

There is a Apple Apple A5 Dual core 1 GHz processor (CPU).

OS

The tablet runs on proprietary operating system firmware.

Camera
5+ MP
You can take photos or capture video with the tablet's onboard 5+ megapixel camera. There is also a secondary front facing camera with 1+ megapixels resolution.
Storage
16/32/64 GB

Internal memory is 16/32/64 GB. No external card slot is available for expansion.

Battery
16WHr

The tablet is powered by a Lithium Polymer (Li-Pol), 16 WHr battery. Apple's performance ratings are 10 hours Wi-Fi surfing.

iPad mini Specs

Overview
Release date November 2, 2012
Regions available USA, Canada, United Kindom
Networks
No cellular data
variations
SIM card No
Dual SIM No
Operating System

Compare iOS Tablets

Secondary OS No
Processor Apple Apple A5 Dual core 1 GHz
Internal Storage 16/32/64 GB
RAM 512 MB
ROM No
Digital compass Yes
Flightmode Yes
Hearing Aid Compatible No
TTY/TDD No
SAR Body: 1.17 W/kg
Languages No
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included Data Cable, Manual
Power & battery
Type Lithium Polymer (Li-Pol)
Battery Capacity 16 WHr
Removable Battery No
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging No
Battery Charge Time 3 hours
Video Playback Time Up to: 10 hours
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Up to: 10 hours
Internet Use (Celluar) Unknown
Reading Time No
Standby Time Unknown
Physical Characteristics
Material Aluminium
Colors Black & Slate, White & Silver
Dimensions [H x W x D] 20.0 x 13.5 x 0.7 cm (7.9 x 5.3 x 0.3 in)
Weight 308 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Unknown
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology LCD (IPS)
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution x pixels
Pixel density 163 pixels
Size 7.9 inches
3D No
Sensors Ambient Light, Motion / Accelerometer, Gyroscope
Graphics Yes
Themes No
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock Yes
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating Yes
Additional Display Features Capacitive touch screen
Input / Navigation
Touchscreen Yes
Sleep / Wake Key Yes
Home Key Yes
Mute Key Yes
Predictive Text Entry Yes
Physical keyboard No
Text-to-Speech No
Screen Reader Yes
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
Fingerprint Sensor No
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling No
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) No
Contact List Capacity Depends on system memory
Multiple Numbers Per Contact Email address, Other fields
Contact Groups No
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Email Client Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP
Additional Email Features -
Messaging No
Connectivity
USB Yes
USB OTG Support No
Infrared No
Bluetooth 4.0
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n
WiFi Encryption No
Mobile Hotspot No
WiMAX No
Memory Expansion Slot No
Expansion Slot Info No
PC Synchronization Yes
TV Out No
DLNA Support No
NFC No
Camera
Main Camera
Aperture
Unknown
Resolution
5+ megapixels
Dual lens
No
Zoom
Yes
Flash
No
Additional Main Camera Info
Auto focus, Face detection, Geotagging, Backside illumination, Five-element lens, Hybrid IR filter
Video Recording Formats
H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4
Video Recording Parameters
Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels)
Front Camera
Resolution
1+ megapixels
Zoom
Additional Front Camera Info
Face detection, Geotagging, Backside illumination, FaceTime video calling
Video Recording Parameters
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats MP3, eAAC, AAC+, AAC, Apple Lossless, AIFF, WAV
Radio No
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4
Mobile TV No
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers Yes
Headset Jack 3.5mm
Custom Ringtones No
Vibration Alert Yes
Apps
To-Do / Task List Yes
Calendar Yes
World Clock Yes
Alarm Yes
Stop Watch Yes
Timer Yes
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter No
Document Viewer Yes
Viewable document types DOC, DOCX, GIF, HTML, JPG, PDF, PPT, PPTX, RTF, TIFF, TXT, XLS
Weather Yes
Stocks Yes
Maps Yes
NotePad Yes
Voice Memos / Recorder Yes
Games Downloadable
Apps Downloadable, Pre-installed
Included Software / Apps -
More
Additional comments Other Names (AKA): Apple iPad mini Wi-Fi

Related Links Manual (PDF)
Apple iPad mini Reviews
Where to buy Apple iPad mini
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Critic Reviews


BGR

The best tablet you can buy

from BGR

It’s also satisfactorily thin and light, and it’s ideal for kids. In fact, tablets make infinitely more sense for those between the ages of 3 and 13 than a phone or laptop. They’re relatively rugged, decently difficult to lose, they last a solid day or two on a...More

It’s also satisfactorily thin and light, and it’s ideal for kids. In fact, tablets make infinitely more sense for those between the ages of 3 and 13 than a phone or laptop. They’re relatively rugged, decently difficult to lose, they last a solid day or two on a charge, they only require input via digits, and they’ve access to an App Store that’s chock full of entertainment and education. The new iPad mini is tantalizingly quick — I tried iOS 7 on a third-generation iPad, and the lag was impossible to ignore. The good news is that the A7 is actually capable of pushing Apple’s newest mobile operating system the way it’s meant to be pushed. No stuttering, no annoying pauses. If you’ve been secretly concerned that the iPad mini with Retina display would somehow be hamstrung in the performance department, rest easy. It’s just as fluid as the iPad Air, but in a more portable package.

Read full review

Less

Tech Advisor

A premium small tablet, with a price to match

from Tech Advisor

The iPad mini is a premium small tablet, with a price to match. It's a shame Apple couldn't have included a Retina screen and newer processor - expect the iPad mini 2 to get those updates when it launches later this year. This Wi-Fi only model also lacks GPS. It's not cheap by any stretch, especi...More

The iPad mini is a premium small tablet, with a price to match. It's a shame Apple couldn't have included a Retina screen and newer processor - expect the iPad mini 2 to get those updates when it launches later this year. This Wi-Fi only model also lacks GPS. It's not cheap by any stretch, especially if you want more storage spare or the 3G/4G cellular version, but it's great value compared to a full-size iPad. You can save a chunk by buying a Nexus 7, Nook HD or Kindle Fire HD, but if you must have an iDevice, it won't disappoint.

Read full review

Less

Mobility Digest

Boring, but damn it's good

from Mobility Digest

If I was to say anything bad about the iPad Mini, if would have to be the painfully boring iOS experience that powers it. Having daily drivers like Windows Phone and Android, iOS feels more dated every time I slide to unlock. Maybe the price as well, but that is also relative. This is not a cheap...More

If I was to say anything bad about the iPad Mini, if would have to be the painfully boring iOS experience that powers it. Having daily drivers like Windows Phone and Android, iOS feels more dated every time I slide to unlock. Maybe the price as well, but that is also relative. This is not a cheaper iPad, its simply a smaller iPad, when you understand that, you’ll be able to understand why its a bit more than the competition. Overall, I would recommend the iPad if you’re in Apple land. If you’re looking for a new tablet or even something smaller, the mini is a great buy, but better specs could be had for cheaper.

Read full review

Less

Android Central

It's great value compared to a full-size iPad

from Android Central

The iPad mini is a premium small tablet, with a price to match. It's a shame Apple couldn't have included a Retina screen and newer processor - expect the next iPad mini to get those updates. This Wi-Fi only model also lacks GPS. It's not cheap by any stretch, especially if you want more storage...More

The iPad mini is a premium small tablet, with a price to match. It's a shame Apple couldn't have included a Retina screen and newer processor - expect the next iPad mini to get those updates. This Wi-Fi only model also lacks GPS. It's not cheap by any stretch, especially if you want more storage spare or the 3G/4G cellular version, but it's great value compared to a full-size iPad. You can save £80 by buying a Nexus 7, which has double the storage, GPS and NFC, but if you must have an iDevice, it won't disappoint.

Read full review

Less

Expert Reviews

An excellent compact tablet

from Expert Reviews

There’s little doubt that the iPad Mini is a gorgeous tablet which is well built, simply stunning to look at and fast. However, it’s also around £100 more than a Nexus 7 or Kindle Fire HD, two Android tablets with higher-resolution displays that are both excellent value and better for watchi...More

There’s little doubt that the iPad Mini is a gorgeous tablet which is well built, simply stunning to look at and fast. However, it’s also around £100 more than a Nexus 7 or Kindle Fire HD, two Android tablets with higher-resolution displays that are both excellent value and better for watching videos. However, thanks to the ease of web browsing, reading and the sheer number of apps available, the iPad Mini is a superb compact companion to the iPad.

Read full review

Less

What Hi-Fi

Beautiful build quality, fantastic feel

from What Hi-Fi

When it comes to Apple products, you’re always going to be paying a premium over products that do a similar job. After all, the 16GB Mini costs £110 more than the equivalent Google Nexus 7. But then again, the Mini looks and feels the business, executes multiple roles with clinical precision and delivers impressive pictures and sound.

Read full review

When it comes to Apple products, you’re always going to be paying a premium over products that do a similar job. After all, the 16GB Mini costs £110 more than the equivalent Google Nexus 7. But then again, the Mini looks and feels the business, executes multiple roles with clinical precision and delivers impressive pictures and sound.

Read full review

Less

Laptop Magazine

A compelling tablet and hotspot in one device

from Laptop Magazine

Despite its premium design and power, from a practical point of view the Iconia W700 doesn't feel as though it's worth twice as much as an iPad. As one of the first devices to deliver the full Windows 8 experience on a tablet PC, Acer is off to a good start. But if you're going to spend this much...More

Despite its premium design and power, from a practical point of view the Iconia W700 doesn't feel as though it's worth twice as much as an iPad. As one of the first devices to deliver the full Windows 8 experience on a tablet PC, Acer is off to a good start. But if you're going to spend this much money on a Windows 8 device, you might be better off getting a convertible like the IdeaPad Yoga.

Read full review

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Venture Beat

The best iPad experience yet

from Venture Beat

The iPad Mini is all about tradeoffs. Instead of a sharp Retina screen and powerful hardware, you’re getting a slimmer device that’s far more convenient. For me, the tradeoffs are worth it.

Big tablets certainly have their place, but I think we’ll see those becoming increasingly specialized. Most consumers would be better off with the size and price of the iPad Mini than splurging for the iPad fourth-gen. And as for big Android tablets, the Nexus 10 is really the only one worth considering....

More

The iPad Mini is all about tradeoffs. Instead of a sharp Retina screen and powerful hardware, you’re getting a slimmer device that’s far more convenient. For me, the tradeoffs are worth it.

Big tablets certainly have their place, but I think we’ll see those becoming increasingly specialized. Most consumers would be better off with the size and price of the iPad Mini than splurging for the iPad fourth-gen. And as for big Android tablets, the Nexus 10 is really the only one worth considering.

I’ve been recommending the iPad Mini without hesitation over the past week. If you’ve been holding out on getting a tablet, it’s almost a no-brainer. You can save a bit by going for the $200 Nexus 7, but you’ll be giving up a far better tablet app ecosystem.

If you can’t swallow the compromise with the iPad Mini, then hold off until next year’s update. And if you already own one of the Retina Display iPads, then you’re probably better off waiting as well (or just starting pricing your iPad on a gadget reseller service like Gazelle).

If anything, I feel vindicated by the iPad Mini. Here’s a device that proves, once and for all, that smaller slates are far better at fulfilling the promise of tablets.

Read full review

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ITProPortal

Beautifully designed and built with huge selection of apps

from ITProPortal

If you’re just looking for a 7in tablet, with no preference to OS or ecosystem, it will be hard to ignore the value proposition of the Nexus 7. But if you’ve already bought into the Apple ecosystem and want a light and slim tablet to extend that ecosystem, the iPad mini is exactly what you need.

Read full review

If you’re just looking for a 7in tablet, with no preference to OS or ecosystem, it will be hard to ignore the value proposition of the Nexus 7. But if you’ve already bought into the Apple ecosystem and want a light and slim tablet to extend that ecosystem, the iPad mini is exactly what you need.

Read full review

Less

Mobile Orchard

This has a lot to offer over even Apple’s more expensive tablets

from Mobile Orchard

When we first saw the specs for the new iPad Mini we were perhaps a little disappointed, however after having tested it for a week we really think this is in many ways one of the best tablets on the market. Not only is it incredibly thin and remarkably light, but at $329, this has a lot to offer...More

When we first saw the specs for the new iPad Mini we were perhaps a little disappointed, however after having tested it for a week we really think this is in many ways one of the best tablets on the market. Not only is it incredibly thin and remarkably light, but at $329, this has a lot to offer over even Apple’s more expensive tablets.

Read full review

Less



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