Apple couldn’t have missed the chance to dip its toe in the small tablet market so it launched the iPad mini. The delivered result isn’t all that impressive however, but since we’re talking about an Apple device, buyers were enticed by the promise of sleek design, top-notch software and overall thrilling user experience.
Most people are looking at small tablets (and tablets in general) for the sole purpose of going nuts with apps. Android tablets might be better than the iPad mini in most categories, but they’re just not there when it comes to the insane number of apps available for the iOS users. But does this justify the extra $120 you will have to pay for a 7-inch tablet produced by Apple?
When Apple iPad mini was released, everybody was shocked to learn it’s going to start selling at $329.00 plus tax. For a tablet meant to take by storm the 7-inch segment, iPad mini is at least $100 more than the excellent Google Nexus 7 ($199 – 8GB, $250 – 16 GB, both with Wi-Fi) or the really affordable Amazon Kindle Fire HD ($199 – 16GB). And what it offers in terms of tech specs is not at all more impressive than the competition’s tablets.
iPad mini runs iOS 6 on an Apple A5 dual-core processor that runs at 1 GHz speeds. But it isn’t faster than Amazon Kindle Fire HD, the Google Nexus 7 or the Barnes & Noble Nook HD. At 7.6 x 5.4 x 0.4 inches is the slimmest tablet in the market, but it is only one ounce lighter than Nexus 7. Pc Mag notes that it’s also not that comfortable to hold in your hand. The tablet’s center of gravity further from the palm and the back panel material will constantly make it feel like it’s about to slip out of your hand.
The screen on iPad Mini is glass covered and although it is better than that on iPad 2, it isn’t better than that on Nexus 7 or Kindle Fire HD. The price would have been justified if Apple introduced the Retina Display with iPad mini, but since it hasn’t, the text isn’t all that sharp. Basically, “if you’ve gotten used to reading text on a Retina Display, text will look horribly low-res here” writes Pc Mag in its iPad mini review.
Available in cellular versions too, at a $130 premium.
Wi-Fi connection is speedy: 36Mbps down on a fast corporate link thanks to the 5GHz 802.11n Wi-Fi with the channel bonding feature.
The screen reflects almost half more ambient light than Nexus 7 (DisplayMate Technologies).
Nexus 7 plays movies at a better screen ratio.
Too expensive for what it offers as a 7-inch tablet.
Buy the Apple iPad Mini only if you’re an app fan. For everything else, the Nexus 7 provides a better price-quality ratio.