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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  • Calista - Monday, October 29, 2012 - link

    I'm just like you. Everyone seem to talk about all those hundred of thousands of apps and the huge advange Apple have. I think I'm just using fifteen apps 99 percent of the time I use my tablet.

    Browser - default (Chrome seem lacking still)
    Gmail client
    Comic reader
    Adobe PDF reader
    Gallery app
    File manager and Root Browser
    Google Maps
    Youtube app
    TED app
    uTorrent client
    And a few odd games..

    I'm not saying more apps are not needed, it's just that those are the things that I'm interested in doing on a tablet. If I plan to work with pictures I have a proper desktop, If I plan to work with office I have my laptop as an option, If I need to do SOMETHING SERIOUS the computer is always my first choice because even if a tablet *may* be able to do it using a computer is just so much faster. Just try to copy and paste a text, how much longer would it take on a tablet - three times longer? Five times longer? Maybe ten times longer even if you need to switch application?
  • puggsly - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    It does!

    Larger display, and still smaller and lighter. Good quality rear facing camera and superior graphics performance at only a $80 premium. Combine these things with the applications, customer support, build quality, and over all ecosystem and I think this is a serious competitor.
  • Zink - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    The key thing is it still offers the full tablet experience at 80% size. Every iPad app you load on it shows the same detailed view that you see with the heavy 10" tablets. Something like the Nexus 7 ships with the DPI set higher than a 10" tablet so you get a view that is half phone, half tablet. Lowering the DPI works well, the only downsides are that many people don't know how to do it and it makes phone apps look even sillier.

    Android apps are getting there but many companies have been slow with releasing anything more than a phone app. Phone apps aren't too bad on a Nexus 7 but they are very different than a native iPad app. There is a section at 55:30 in the keynote where the Nexus 7 and iPad are compared. I know they handpicked apps but over the last 2.5 years every iOS app has optimized for tablets while android is still inconsistent, even from big brands.

    There is also the slightly large diagonal and fatter aspect ratio that gives you 33% more surface area and 66% more application real estate in landscape mode where the onscreen android controls sap display high. The difference that a smaller display and onscreen controls makes looks very noticeable when trying to use full sized web pages or detailed applications.
  • Calista - Monday, October 29, 2012 - link

    An iPad Mini with 64 GB is quite expensive when compared to an Android with 8/16 GB and a 64 GB SDXC-card (I think this is a very valid comparison since many wish for more than 16 GB). So it's not an iPad for those on a strict budget but for those wishing for a more portable tablet. And for that I think it works well. It's not like many people have complained about the G2 iPad feeling slow.

    But "only a $80 premium" is only partly true.
  • Aikouka - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    Anand, do you have any speculations on the amount of RAM in the iPad Mini?
  • tipoo - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    A5 SoC = 512MB. I'm certain it's not 256mb or 1024.
  • jaydee - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    Seems like the the chassis of the iMac is too small to dissapate the heat of an IB quad + Kepler + mech HDD. I'm betting big thermal problems for this gen iMac until Haswell + integrated GT3 graphics + SSD comes around.

    Was hoping Mac Mini would have a 128GB SSD, perhaps in conjunction with the 500GB HDD. If Apple is serious about promoting a great "user experience", they've got to beat PC's in ridding their machines of mechanical HDD's, at least for the OS/Apps, if not altogether.
  • tipoo - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    Looking at the pictures on their website, there is now a hole on the imac back behind the stand, as well as holes along the bottom, I think they can cool it just fine especially with Kepler and IVB.
  • name99 - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    What are you talking about? You CAN buy the mac mini with
    - an HD only
    - an SSD only
    - a fusion config (which I'm guessing is 128GB SSD + a 900 GB HD)

    Go to the Apple store, buy the 1TB version, and then custom configure to swap the drive to what you want.

    I can understand them retaining the HD only version. For many of the most common uses of a mac mini (like HTPC) an SSD is not worth the cost --- the usage model utilizes large disks, but has no need for rapid random access.
  • dyc4ha - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    This is poorly done even by Apple's standard. I would be more willing to give it a shot with an A6, but all the other specs point to a substandard product. This is almost like the Samsung 7.7 tab from a year ago... I am so glad I can now buy an iPod XL..

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