We’ve known about the iPad Mini for a few days now and this morning the first reviews have hit the street about this 7.9 inch beauty from Apple. Apple has been traditionally very selective about which media they get to release the first review of their devices, it’s usually guys who have been known to be pro -Apple. Regardless, we think that some good points have been presented in the reviews from the US media. We’ve rounded up the general consensus for you here but think that you should keep an eye out for more review when it hits the general public. We’ll actually be flying to Hong Kong to pick our up, then we plan on doing a very special kind of drop test.
Tim has taken on the iPad Mini test and he really does think that this is more than just a scaled-down iPad. He sees the advantage of a 7-inch model in that it can be operated easily with one hand, that is unless you’ve got small hands then the wider 4:3 ratio makes it harder to handle than the Nexus 7. Nevertheless his opinion of the device is positive. Here is an excerpt from the Engadget Review:
This is not just an Apple tablet made to a budget. This is not just a shrunken-down iPad. This is, in many ways, Apple’s best tablet yet, an incredibly thin, remarkably light, obviously well-constructed device that offers phenomenal battery life.
Joshua Topolsky has taken on the task for The Verge and also doesn’t see the iPad Mini as simply a smaller iPad but as its own category that actually supplements the normal sized iPad. Josh talks about the price of the iPad Mini being higher than its competition, but he feels that Apple provides enough incentives to buy in its superior build quality and design it is an industry leader. Here is an excerpt from his review:
There’s no tablet in this size range that’s as beautifully constructed, works as flawlessly, or has examined an incredible software selection … The iPad mini has not wrapped up the “cheapest tablet” market by any stretch of the imagination. But the “best small tablet” market? Consider it captured.
Once again, we come to the conclusion that the iPad mini does exactly what Apple has promised. It fits comfortably in one hand, because of its low weight it can be used for a long time and delivers all of the apps that you already know and love from its big brother. However, it can’t be over looked that its display doesn’t stack up to its competition.
But the lack of true HD gives the Nexus and Fire an advantage for HD video fans. In my tests, video looked just fine, but not as good as on the regular iPad.
John Gruber likes the iPad mini – but that Apple included a standard display was a miss. The Retina display has raised the bad and for Apple to use a standard definition display is a step backwards. Here is his conclusion:
If the Mini had a retina display, I’d switch from the iPad 3 in a heartbeat.As it stands, I’m going to switch anyway. Going non-retina Particularly is a bitter pill for me, but I like the iPad Mini’s size and weight so much that I’m going to swallow it.
Let’s take a look at what CNET thought ofthe iPad Mini, it has fine build quality and it’s very thin and light, but they do criticize its regular shape and the price:
The iPad Mini costs too much, especially considering the lower resolution of its 7.9-inch non-Retina display. The A5 processor is not as robust as the one in the fourth-tions iPad and iPhone 5 Typing on the smaller screen is not quite as comfy.
They also address the value of the tablet in their review:
If you want the full, polished Apple tablet experience in a smaller package, the iPad Mini is worth the premium price. Otherwise, good alternatives are available for less money.
We can’t wait to get our hands on the device ourselves, but for now we’re going to have to be satisfied with the impression of other bloggers and press.