Apple's iPad mini is finally here and the reviews are in -- and they're as mixed as ever. Generally, most folks agree that the lack of a Retina Display is downright tragic. Some also have complaints about the slower, outdated A5 chip. Others are just happy that Apple finally has a direct alternative to smaller Android-based tablets, namely Amazon's Kindle Fire lineup and Google's Nexus 7.
The price point, while still significantly less than the company's full-sized iPads, is a touch more than those rival 7-inch tablets. On the other hand, Apple's software and hardware are considered superior by many. And let's not forget that a tablet owner running iOS has far, far more app options than one on Android. Still, it's a matter of personal preference (and price) for many. So, we've rounded up some of our favorite iPad mini reviews on the Web to help you decide whether or not Apple's tinier tablet is right for you.
: "That's this, the 7.9-inch, $329 iPad mini that sports a screen with the same resolution as the iPad 2 -- only smaller. As we put this one through its paces it quickly became clear that this is far more than a cheaper, smaller iPad. This is a thinner, lighter device that deserves independent consideration. In many ways, it's actually better than the 10-inch slate from which it was born."
"With a price tag starting at $329 and heading all the way up to $659 (with LTE and 64GB of storage), this isn't really a step down from the existing iPad (well, the iPad 2 at least) as much as it is a step to the side."
The iPad Mini is really a shrunken-down iPad 2. Or, a larger iPod Touch. The original iPad was a larger iPod Touch, too, in a lot of ways. That didn't make it any less appealing. Here, the use case isn't laptop alternative -- it's Kindle alternative. This is a compact reader/viewer. Of documents, magazines, movies, games. Maybe even of editing or creating. And it's spectacular at being portable."
The New York Times: "
Sadly, the Mini doesn’t gain Apple’s supercrisp Retina display. Nobody’s going to complain about the sharpness — it packs in 163 pixels per inch (ppi) — but it’s not the same jaw-dropping resolution as the big iPad (264 ppi). Gotta hold something back for next year’s model, right?"
The Wall Street Journal: "
I've been testing the iPad Mini for several days and found it does exactly what it promises: It brings the iPad experience to a smaller device. Every app that ran on my larger iPad ran perfectly on the Mini. I was able to use it one-handed and hold it for long periods of time without tiring. My only complaints were that it's a tad too wide to fit in most of my pockets, and the screen resolution is a big step backwards from the Retina display on the current large iPad."