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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  • Brainling - Wednesday, October 24, 2012 - link

    So as the owner of a full iPad 2, and a Nexus 7, I really don't see much point in the iPad Mini for me, which is basically what I expected. I'm not going to sell my capable Nexus 7 just to up-sell myself to the more expensive iPad Mini, especially when I already have a full iPad to run iOS tablet apps.

    I guess I have the same thought as many other people: Who is Apple actually competing against with this? It would seem to be itself, as 329 at the low end is not going to entice Nexus and Fire buyers, it's just not. Especially now that the Nexus 7 is getting a doubling in storage capacity, with the 16GB moving down a price point and the 32GB version taking it's $249 perch.

    Now, if I didn't own a tablet of any kind, and wanted a 7" tablet...I would seriously consider the mini. Again, as the owner of an iOS and an Android tablet, both of which I love to pieces, the iOS ecosystem is just flat better for the average user right now. That's not to disparage Android as a platform, or Android tablets, it's just sort of the reality of the head start Apple had in that space. I just go back to my fear that Apple is really only competing against themselves with this device, because it's just not priced aggressively enough to compete in the space that the Nexus 7 and Fire are competing in.
    Reply
  • SunnyInBoston - Wednesday, October 24, 2012 - link

    I think many of the techies here really don't get how people think in the outside world!

    Why is Apple charging $329 for this? Simply because they can! It's the same reason that a Lexus LS costs $65K, while a Hyundai Equus (with comparable, or better specs) costs $30K. Because people are willing to pay for a premium brand! Sure, if you're in auto manufacturing, you'd say "Hey, the Lexus is just an overpriced better packaged Camry", but do you think 99.99% of the world thinks this way?

    Sine 1997 when Jobs returned to Apple, they've carefully built a premium brand, and even more so since the iPod. And people want to have a premium brand! Last summer, when the iPad2 was the flagship device, I wanted to give one to my wife for her birthday. But I just could not get one! It took me 3 goddamn weeks to get my hand on one!

    Google, Amazon and the others just haven't been around that long (hardware wise) for it to matter that the Nexus 7 has better specs in some respects! MS tried the same approach with Zune - we'll give people better specs at the same price. The marketplace said "Whatever!"
    Reply
  • aravenwood - Thursday, October 25, 2012 - link

    Not clear to me if the iPad Mini has the retina display or not. It seems like they just shrunk the thing and used an old screen. Not sure if my impression is correct. Reply
  • Wolfpup - Friday, October 26, 2012 - link

    I'm assuming not, but to me that's the only reason to go with a smaller size/worse CPU/GPU, as this could be used in place of an iPod touch! :-)

    I'm assuming that wouldn't really work though...
    Reply

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