We just spent a good amount of time with the iPad mini and the easiest way to describe the device is that it's lighter than you'd expect. The build quality and finish both feel good as you'd expect, but the device is just considerably lighter than the iPad which results in superior in hand feel. 

The display doesn't feel cramped either thanks to the reasonably large diagonal size. It's clear that the iPad mini is a nod to those who want something even more portable than the standard iPad.

In terms of performance, there's a pretty noticeable difference between the A5 in the iPad mini and the A6X in the 4th gen iPad as you'd expect. I do wish that Apple had brought the A6 to the mini, however something has to give in pursuit of the lower price point. 

The LTE version of the iPad mini has an RF window at the top of the unit similar to the standard iPad, although it does blend in a bit better on the black model. 

Check out more photos and impressions in the gallery and video below.

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  • steven75 - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    Once you accept the fact that the competition is sorely lacking in the software department, and that the most important factor in buying a tablet computer is the software it's capable of running, it makes perfect sense. $239 for a tablet with hundreds of thousands of apps or $200-$250 for one that has a few thousand at best.

    The 4th gen iPad is a more interesting story.
    Reply
  • Fleeb - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    So I guess a single user owns at least 10000 apps for the hundreds of thousands of apps to make sense? Reply
  • Bubbacub - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    what useful apps are there on ios that arn't available on android (other than some overpriced games) Reply
  • Scannall - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    I use this one all the time. Though it is fairly specialized.

    http://www.foreflight.com/

    Garageband for the iPad is pretty spectacular as well.
    Reply
  • Sevenfeet - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    Most of you guys here aren't seeing the proverbial forest for the trees and once again are getting bogged down by specs.

    News Flash: Apple has to deliver a product with a premium experience at a price people can live with. Yes, Google and Amazon came out with lower priced products, but neither of those devices feel as good in your hand, and both products are being sold AT COST. Amazon is hoping you'll buy content from them over two years and Google us happy to data-mine the heck out of your life in exchange for ad dollars. Apple just wants your money upfront...that's their business model. It's not a surprise. Most companies have a similar model. Deal with it.

    Second, getting bogged down in the ppi specs forgets that a 1024x768 screen means developers have to do NOTHING in order to play on this device. Anything made for the iPad family will run. A retina display in a device like this will jack the price up to something no one will want, and the build yields would probably suck anyway, meaning you couldn't get one. Those of you looking forward to 1080p on your phablet Android phones next year forget that you're still paying for your device on contract for two years...not an option in the tablet market.

    Yes, the A6 would have been nice, but no one else is stuffing their devices with the latest quad-core hotness and trying to sell it for $200. None of you guys seem to get basic economics. And Apple is still giving you two cameras, LTE options, etc.

    One thing is certain, none of Apple's competitors are happy that they finally entered the market in this space. All they have to hang their hat on is that Apple went for $329 as MSRP which means they may still have a shot on the low end. And the 4th gen iPad pretty much nullifies any reason to get the Surface Pro, unless you want a thicker tablet with vent holes and lousy battery life just to get that extra performance. The business customers are already well into their first generation of owning an iPad and this will just keep them coming back for more. All the enterprise software firms are developing for iPad first, Android second. Surface isn't even being discussed right now.

    Get a grip, people.
    Reply
  • Fleeb - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    So an enterprise application that already works in Win7 would not work in Surface Pro? I see. I guess this is reason enough we should not even consider Win8 devices. Reply
  • Sevenfeet - Wednesday, October 24, 2012 - link

    It's not that Win7 apps won't work on a Surface Pro. We all expect them to. But most of those apps weren't designed for a tablet. And the few ones that are were designed for Tablet PC, which is now obsolete. I have a friend who's a physician who uses Tablet PC in his office and his problem is that those pen-based PCs are getting harder to find now.

    Surface has to survive by making a suitable value proposition and that's going to be to Enterprise customers, most of which are already using iPads. And yes, developers have to get on board but the big enterprise software companies have been developing for iOS for a while now. So have their customers. This isn't a slam dunk anymore for Microsoft.
    Reply
  • Impulses - Wednesday, October 24, 2012 - link

    All that explains why it makes sense for Apple to do exactly what they did with the mini, and I agree, but it doesn't necessarily make it the best small tablet on the market... Not by a long shot IMO. It largely depends on usage case and what ecosystem you're already married with, I'm betting Apple's banking largely on the latter tho.

    Had they waited another year to release a small tablet at a sub $350 price point they might've been too late, so they built the best they could without sacrificing their healthy profit margin or compatibility, good for them, probably fine for a lot of people too. Great timing too, I imagine it's gonna fly off the shelves on Christmas.
    Reply
  • Alucard291 - Tuesday, October 30, 2012 - link

    So what you're saying is - you bought apple products because of the prem... logo on the back right? Reply
  • nbcbubba - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    Sevenfeet hit the nail on the head. Reply

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