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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  • KPOM - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    I'm a bit surprised they kept the iPad 2 rather than position this as the "cheaper" iPad. The specs are fine for the intended audience. Again, with Apple, it's all about thinness, so by keeping the processor a bit slower they were able to keep the battery life up. The 3rd gen had an A5X, so I wasn't expecting an A6 for the Mini since it doesn't need the power to run the screen. I was actually surprised they updated the larger iPad with the A6X as quickly as they did.

    My guess is that this is a thing of beauty in person. Remember, the target audience doesn't care about the processor or RAM.
  • name99 - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    So what exactly are you claiming? That none of these products will sell?
    Give a number --- Tim told us 100 million iPads sold over the last 2.5 years.

    So: I'll bet you a thousand dollars that at least 30 million iPad minis will sell over the next year --- which is VASTLY more than all the Nexus 7s, Tab/Note 7.7's and Surfaces put together.
    What do you claim will happen, with your superior knowledge of what the dead think and the future?
  • UpSpin - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    Apple were one of first to hoffer high density displays, they even risked it with their Macs.
    The competiton often used displays with higher pixel count than the iPad 2 but not meaningful more. However, now most new tablets offer a density which makes it hard to see individual pixels. Even the Nexus 7 has a HD resultion on a 7 inch display.
    Yet, Apples latest iPad mini only has XGA resolution on a 8 inch display. So they use a several years old display technology, combine it with a two generations old SoC, the same the iPad 2 uses, and sell it for a premium price. Just take a look at a 32GB LTE iPad mini: $560 for two generations old hardware.

    Sure, specs aren't everything, but those specs are really really bad.
    To read text the display isn't up-to date, text is jagged compared to any other tablet, to watch movies the display has the wrong aspect ratio and, again, too low resolution. To play games the SoC may be capable for current versions, but with the much improved iPad 4 SoC, soon to get released games won't run on it any longer.

    It's also odd that Apple hasn't lowered the price of the iPad 3, or do they even sell it any longer. It's probably cheaper to buy a used iPad 3 than a new iPad 2, and you get a much better device.
  • KPOM - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    My guess is that we're a year or so from cost effective 7.9" Retina Displays. Apple already "fragmented" the iPhone, so they probably didn't want to do the same with the iPad.
  • EnzoFX - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    Really really bad? Are you serious. Grow up. 1024x768 is not that far off from 1280x800. They're both relatively close to 720p.
  • UpSpin - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    Nexus 7: 1280x800 @ 7" = 216 ppi
    iPad Mini: 1024x768 @ 7.9" = 162 ppi
    iPhone 3GS: 320×480 @ 3.54" = 163 ppi

    so you get the display you know from the iPhone 3GS, if you enjoyed its resolution, fine, but the difference between the PPI of the Nexus 7 and iPad Mini is noticably.
    The Nexus 7 can show 720p without rescaling, the iPad Mini has to heavily downscale them to fit it to the 1024 width. If you do the math you'll see the Nexus 7 shows 100% of 720p quality, the iPad Mini only 64%, that is far off again!
    The iPad Mini has a larger display with lower resolution than the Nexus 7 and costs much more!
  • cmdrdredd - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    Just wait until the end of the month. If the rumored Nexus 10 tablet is announced with 2560x1600 in a 10" screen with all the goodies like quad core CPU etc. It could really make Apple's iPad lineup look beyond silly depending on the pricepoint. It's still rumor but I can totally see it happening.
  • uhuznaa - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    But, honestly most of the existing Android apps are already bad enough on the 7" Nexus. Using them on a 10" 2560x1600 screen will be pathetic.

    I mean, I more or less can get over that on the Nexus 7 but how on earth do people cope with silly smartphone apps with some tiny buttons in the top-left corner and everything else behind the menu button on a 10" hi-res display?

    I wouldn't be surprised if the 4000 WinRT apps were more than the existing tablet apps for Android. I don't see a bright future for Android on tablets at all.
  • steven75 - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    I personally doubt most iPad owners spend much time watching movies. They're too busy using any of the 275,000 tablet apps.

    Android tablet users don't have that luxury.
  • Alawishis - Thursday, October 25, 2012 - link

    270,000 so-called tablet apps on iTunes. Wooptiedoo, it will not take GooglePlay log to catch up and overtake that number. They have already caught up to Apple in total apps and will soon over take them there. Really how many apps does any one person use 10-20 tops.

    The difference to the Nexus7 is more than $80 much more. Google is doubling the storage of the entry Nexus to 16GB and retaining the $199 price. That alone makes it a $180 price difference. Add to that Apples proprietary connectors Adapters are $49 each, OUCH! Nexus7 uses the ubiquitous mini USB. Apps in GooglePlay are typically cheaper than on iTunes, and there are a much greater number of free apps boot. I'm sure if someone was ambitious enough to do a full cost-based anaysis you would wind up spending $200-$300 more over the life of your tablet to by the Apple offering.

    The killer me, besides the high price, is that mini-iPad's lack of a GPS.

    If you read the posts of people who actually own a Nexus7 it's pretty clear who the winner is. I think Apple really missed the boat here. I predict deep discounts before Christmas on the mini-iPad to clear dead stock.

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