Well, the iPad Mini reviews have begun pouring in, with the product being announced exactly a week ago and being priced at $329. We’ve gathered some of the most relevant reviews out there, that seem to have a few things in common. First of all, everyone likes the design and the product overall, but they don’t quite like the screen resolution. We’ve gathered the impressions of Engadget, CNET, The Verge, Techcrunch and Slashgear and summed everything up in the following lines. Let’s see!
The folks of CNET (Scott Stein in this case) handled the 7.9 inch tablet and gave it a thorough review, also finding that the battery on the device gives them over a day of full use and them some. That includes playing games, streaming videos, doing downloads and more, but it’s very hard to deplete that battery. CNET mentions that the product is priced past the budget range of the rivals from Amazon and Google and what they regret the most is the lack of Apple A6 CPU, maybe a lower price and a Retina Display.
Even without those, they call the device incredibly appealing, since it is after all one of the least expensive iOS gadgets. It all comes down to choice…
First of all we find out that the iPad Mini is a stereo device, in spite of the Apple spec page saying it has a mono speaker. Engadget’s Tim Stevens got a crazy 12 hours and 43 minutes of functioning time on WiFi from this device, that sounds amazing. They also scored 751 points n GeekBench, compared to 721 on the iPad 2 and 623 on the iPhone 4S. They even praise the display, for its pixel density of 163 ppi. Brightness and color reproduction are said to be improved over the iPad 2 and you get a very bright and clear picture.
The camera takes decently good video, shooting at 1080p, but the image stabilization sucks. Overall, the review is filled with joy and they insist that it’s a joy to carry this product around with you.
The Verge’s Joshua Topolsky is also excited about the product, but more moderately than Engadget, giving it a 9 out of 10. They criticize the lower resolution of the screen and claim that it can be awkward to hold at times, plus it’s expensive. On the plus side we’ve got the fantastic design and build quality, incredible choice of apps and once again great battery life. Performance is described as snappy, without lag or other stuff like that. The iPad app selection is huge and leaves Amazon and Google crying in the dust. The 1024 x 768 pixel resolution is the same as the one of the original iPad, but the problem is that pixels are noticeable, especially on web pages, books and email and that’s distracting.
Overall the iPad Mini is seen as an excellent tablet, but not one cheap to buy. They feel that Apple could have gone lower with the price, but they chose not to, which is a flaw of the slate, according to them.
Techcrunch has an interesting approach to this, saying that the product doesn’t actually compete with the Nexus 7 or Amazon 2012 slates. It’s in a league of its own, the iPad league and people love iPads. They do say that there’s no excuse for such a big price and that’s a fact. The iPad Mini runs over 275,000 iPad apps, that are tailored for the use on the slate. They also praise the gaming on the device, saying that if Apple intended this as a gaming device, it would beat every other console out there. Some of the iPad games feel like they’re custom made for this format, says the reviewer, MG Siegler.
The first thing one notices about the iPad Mini is how light it is and it’s a big a shock as the one of holding an iPhone 5 for the first time. In the end they praise the product, as part of a league of its own, not compared to other devices.
Slashgear’s Vincent Nguyen discusses some interesting facts related to the 7.9 inch tablet. The 5.3 inch frame of the device is very easy to grip with a single hand and with your fingers tucked around the edges it also feels great, without stretching. The 7.87 inch length allows excellent thumb typing in portrait orientation. The LCD IPS screen runs at 1024 x 768 pixels, but it’s bright and clear. The iPad Mini’s UI will flip to suit any of the 4 orientations, a hint at the Nexus 7 blocked portrait orientation in Home screens. You should also know that apparently the average human eye can’t discern between a Retina Display tablet and this one.
All the regular apps are here and the Apple A5 is enough to keep everything moving smoothly. Video editing may work slower on it, but at decent levels. Overall the person who spends much time on the go needs this tablet.
So there you have it, 5 reviews from the most proeminent tech blogs out there. They all agree that the design is great and that the battery is very impressive, but the screen is a letdown for some of them. Others don’t feel the need for a Retina Display and all of them really like the huge number of apps that can run on this model, specifically tailored for iPad use. So, now we’re waiting for the product to play with for ourselves and decide our grade… but I have to say that battery is a huge factor here.