The Mini is made from the same high-quality materials as its bigger brother and is available in the same colours, storage capacities and with the option of Wi-Fi or 4G, and is every bit the premium product you would expect from Apple. Lining up at a svelte 7.2mm thick and just 308g in weight, despite the iPad mini’s additional screen size, Apple’s first 7.9-inch tablet enters the market with a more solid and reassuring build than the competition. Despite being a couple of millimetres too wide to be held comfortably across the centre for prolonged periods, you can at least do so. And, if you do grip the corner instead, the lower weight means it remains comfortable for hours on end. I find the iPad Mini to be a fantastic product, but it’s still nowhere near from flawless. I’ll now discuss some of its shortcomings. Unfortunately, it also carries the same high price tag ($39.99, which is only $10 less than the iPad version) and to my dismay it does not come in the classy black leather option. You’ll do well to get a scalpel blade between the iPad mini’s screen and its bezel. There’s no flex in the body; it’s really solid. I was using a black model; it isn’t obviously metal until you touch it. As with its bigger sibling, the headphone jack is on the top – unlike the iPhone 5, where it has migrated to the bottom.
In addition to the older processing chip the iPad Mini is outfitted with an older screen. Unlike the 3rd- and 4th-generation iPad the Mini is not supporting a Retina display, but instead last year’s 1024×768 resolution at 163 pixels-per-inch (ppi). The system worked well when we were reading eBooks on the move, letting us turn the page with one thumb while the tablet ignored the other. However, the 16:9 Nexus 7 is far better suited to video playback than the iPad, as the Mini’s 4:3 ratio gives films huge black bars on either side. On the plus side, the iPad Mini’s IPS panel reproduces colours accurately and has fantastic viewing angles, even if the glossy display is incredibly reflective.
The iPad Mini has its obvious shortcomings, but it is still a fantastic compact tablet that I absolutely enjoy using. excellent build quality; very light, comparatively large screen, not significantly wider than competition (for putting in coat pockets), excellent text rendering, huge selection of apps, music, books and films, pain-free setup from iCloud backups for existing accounts; 3G/4G LTE option; fast-growing range of accessories.