Though it's been surpassed and largely outclassed by theiPad mini with Retina Display (Est. $400 and up) , the original iPad mini remains available. It's a pokier performer than the latest mini, and it lacks the beautiful Retina display, but it is still worth considering for those looking for an excellent Apple iPad experience -- complete with access to more tablet apps than any other platform -- at a more wallet-friendly price.
Good, but not great. The iPad mini packs the same dual-core A5 processor and 1,024-by-768-pixel display found in the iPad 2 (Est. $400 and up) rather than the more up-to-date internals of the fifth-generation iPad Air (Est. $500 and up) . Those specs mean the iPad mini trails even cheap Android tablets like the Google Nexus 7 (Est. $230 and up) and the Amazon Kindle Fire HDX (Est. $230 and up) on the performance front, although it's still decent overall. Reviewers say websites can look a bit blurry and you'll notice some lag while opening apps and gaming, but its epic battery life outlasts even the iPad's class-leading charge.
A miniature iPad. The iPad mini's biggest feature is its small size: It's a more portable version of the legendary iPad. It comes with full access to the 475,000-plus iPad-tailored apps available in Apple's App Store and a pair of cameras with FaceTime video chatting capabilities. A 4G LTE-equipped iPad mini (Est. $430 and up) is also available.
Tablet perfection personified, almost. The iPad mini is lightweight, long-lasting and a cinch to navigate. The only drawback is the slight and occasional lag introduced by the older processor. Some reviewers say that, with the slightly larger screen (7.9 inches) than its 7-inch Android rivals, the iPad mini doesn't fit as comfortably in the hand.
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The iPad mini's excellent build quality and full access to all 475,000-plus iPad apps is enough to earn it an Excellent rating at CNET, although Stein declines to give it an Editors' Choice award. He says the $330 price tag is too high for the low-resolution display, and aging and average processor.
Review: iPad mini Review: The Perfect Size, but at a Price, Scott Stein, Updated Oct. 22, 2013
Sascha Segan states that the selling point of the Apple iPad mini is definitely the extensive range of apps you can get for it. The size of the mini doesn't fit comfortably in the hand, and the screen isn't as hi-res as that of the full-size iPad. If you aren't already invested in Apple, then he suggests looking at the Nexus 7 or Kindle Fire HD.
Review: Apple iPad mini (Wi-Fi), Sascha Segan, Nov. 7, 2012
3. Laptop Magazine
In this review, the Apple iPad wins the battle of the 7-inch tablets over its "bargain" Android rivals. The iPad mini "premium aluminium device" serves up a vast array of apps on a device with dual cameras and a bigger screen than the aforementioned budget tablets, justifying its higher price.
Review: Apple iPad mini Review, Mark Spoonauer, Nov. 6, 2012
4. Expert Reviews
Yet another home run review for the Apple iPad mini, with a full 5 out of 5 stars. The iPad mini is "simply stunning" to look at, well-built and fast. However, it's not as good as its lower price competitors -- the Amazon Kindle Fire HD and the Google Nexus 7 -- with higher-res screens for watching movies.
Review: Apple iPad mini Review, Tom Morgan, May 13, 2013
Gareth Beavis astutely points out that the Apple iPad mini isn't about being the best tablet but about beating the 7-inch Android tablets, namely the Google Nexus 7 and the Amazon Kindle Fire HD in the budget stakes. Beavis says that the iPad mini is the best iPad that Apple has made so far and, even though it is overpriced, it's better than most others out there.
Review: iPad mini Review, Gareth Beavis, Apr. 11, 2012
This review is an update five months after the original review. The "stunning" brushed metal case of the Apple iPad mini has just a few scratches, despite being tossed around in its everyday life, and the screen is undamaged. The reviewer still considers this tablet the "must have device on the 7-inch tablet scene."
Review: iPad mini Review, Luke Johnson, Oct. 7, 2013
Engadget.com's Tim Stevens is more bullish than other reviewers. "The iPad mini isn't just an Apple tablet made to a budget. This isn't just a shrunken-down iPad. This is, in many ways, Apple's best tablet yet," he says. Comparing it to $200 Android tablets isn't fair, he argues, saying the deep app selection and superb build quality outshine every 7-inch Android tablet out there despite the average performance and display.
Review: iPad mini Review, Tim Stevens, Oct. 30, 2012
8. The Verge
The app selection, build quality and outstanding battery life lead Topolsky to award the iPad mini a rare score of 9 out of 10 at TheVerge.com. "The iPad mini hasn't wrapped up the 'cheapest tablet' market by any stretch of the imagination," he says. "But the 'best small tablet' market? Consider it captured."
Review: iPad mini Review, Joshua Topolsky, Oct. 30, 2012
Walt Mossberg's review doesn't rely as much on benchmark tests as higher-rated sources, but he's known for succinctly summing up how a piece of hardware appeals to the everyman. "If you love the iPad, or want one but just found it too large or heavy, the iPad mini is the perfect solution," he says. He especially likes its incredibly thin design.
Review: Sizing Up the New iPad mini, Walt Mossberg, Oct. 30, 2012
The portability and full-fledged iPad experience of the iPad mini could open new doors and create new fans for the already popular Apple tablet, Siegler says. He calls the $330 price tag in line with its high quality and deep app selection.
Review: With the New iPad, Apple Accelerates; With the iPad Mini, It's Pedal to the Metal, MG Siegler, Oct. 30, 2012
Apple's iPad mini is popular among the over-1,000 customer-reviewers at Amazon.com, where over 75 percent give it full marks, and most of the rest award 4 out of 5 stars. Users tend to give lower scores when comparing the iPad mini to the full-blown iPad rather than looking at it in its own right.
Review: Apple iPad mini MD528LL/A, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of November 2013