The reviewer has clearly led a sheltered life if he/she thinks this out of date device is any good compared to the many cheaper Android tablets around. But then the review is clearly intended to be provocative to help page clicks...
Hitting the Apple Store shelves a whole week after Amazon's new Kindle Fire HD tablets began arriving in the post, and two months after Google launched the Asus-made Nexus 7, the iPad Mini deserves to suffer in comparison. Even Google managed to slip a new 32GB version of its Nexus 7 under the radar at the beginning of the week …
" the review is clearly intended to be provocative to help page clicks..."
That's what I assumed - the reviewer is clearly an Apple devotee so we have a "Hooray it is a little iPad!" review which I am sure is useful to some but is bound to get up the noses of a lot of regular commentards.
Have you used the iPad Mini yet? I work with phones and tablets all day long and the iPad Mini beats the hell out of the smaller tablets when viewed as a whole.
Cheap Android tablets feel like shit. They use thin, horrible plastic, they are slow and they are buggy.
If you are only basing on price alone, then yeah, the iPad Mini gets beaten, but if you add up the device features as a whole it's worth every penny.
I only got mine as a test device but my wife has been on it all weekend and will be getting her own in a couple of weeks.
"They use thin, horrible plastic"
There is somethign nice about plastic. My kids' $120 chinese ICS tablet survived way too many drops, with no damage. My pampered iPad on the other hand, has dents even though it never flew.
In fact the chinaPad is much nicer to hold with the rounded edges. And it's lighter, too.
"Cheap Android tablets feel like shit. They use thin, horrible plastic, they are slow and they are buggy."
Perhaps stop shopping for tablets in supermarkets..
" I work with phones and tablets all day long"
Translation: I work in an Apple Store.
"if you add up the device features as a whole it's worth every penny."
No it's not. No GPS, Shite maps, no NFC, no multi-use logon, and a rubbish 4:3 non-HD panel, couple with a mediocre (by Nexus7 standards) GPU/CPU, and the infamous Apple lock-in to proprietary formats and connectors and all for an extra £150...
Why comment about something you clearly no nothing about, Anonymous Coward?
GPS is included on the 4G LTE version. Apple Maps is a significant advance over Google Maps and is a pleasure to use, providing greater speed, clarity, superior data presentation, and much better offline capability. That "rubbish" 4:3 display panel was rated more highly overall than that of the Nexus 7 in a comparative test by DisplayMate Technologies (Dr. Ray Soneira) and its aspect ratio provides much better overall usability and comfort in addition to 35% larger screen area. And regarding your stupidest assertion, i.e. that the iPad mini's CPU/GPU is "mediocre" by Nexus 7 standards, you need to read the latest comparative performance test by anandtech.com. When you do, you'll note that the iPad mini's "mediocre" CPU/GPU blows that of the Nexus 7--and every other Android device--into the weeds. The only mobile devices that outperform he iPad mini are Apple's A6-based models.
Is there a decent computer application for syncing android tablets yet? Manual transfer doesn't cut it and cloud storage is 'king stupid for large or numerous files. I'd like something that will manage the data - I'm not going to rearrange the way all my media is stored just to suit a tablet so I'd like to know before I make the decision of Nexus 7 vs iPad Mini. If there's no decent syncing app then it'll have to be the Apple. Asking as I genuinely want to know.
""Cheap Android tablets feel like shit. They use thin, horrible plastic, they are slow and they are buggy.
If you are only basing on price alone, then yeah, the iPad Mini gets beaten, but if you add up the device features as a whole it's worth every penny.""
.....Oh great, compare a £259 iPad Mini with a <£100 android, 'cos that's a fair fight......................
Why not compare a 16GB/No SDHC/No HDMI Nexus 7 at £159 with a 16GB/No SDHC/No HDMI iPad Mini at £269 then I'll discuss with you. If you want to tell me that quad-core is too slow, or take umbrage at the grippy rubberised back, them I'm confused. So what do I get for paying 70% more?
My fingertip grip on a Mini in Dixons told me that it's too wide for my hands and although tethered to the display, also too wide for my inside jacket pocket.
If I have to put it in my bag, or can't grip it properly when say on the tube, then it's not fit for going out and about which is surely the selling point for a mini??
Strange, the two I've bought (for half the price of this, WITH HD screens) felt smooth, powerful and handled all the apps and games thrown at them... Not that I'm saying Apple kit doesn't, but I suspicion you of telling complete porkies about working with kit or ever having touched an android...
Oh, and while I'm in here moaning about fanbois, how can anyone really recommend a lowered spec'd alternative without HD (and that's a biggie!) for twice the price? It's a bloody tablet! IS there an affordable HD tablet in the ipad range? I'd quite like one. But can we get an impartial hack to review it please?
(An Ainovo and an Archos in case anyones wondering)
The Nexus 7 is neither slow nor buggy.
The early problem was cheap generic Android tablets. They were humorously awful. Naff hardware was Androids early trouble. The sea of $99 Chinese tablets were really giving them a bad name as a Tablet OS. But that's changed recently.
The new Nexus stuff is well made, and genuinely fun to use.
Good build quality, good battery life and very stable. Google is armed to the teeth and ready for a fight. They have changed the game on Android tablets.
I heard there were a few duds here and there and to buy at a brick and mortar store to be sure you got a good one. Mine came out of the box 2-3 charged, solid and stable.
I"m told the early ones had some issues. Bought mine this week. One thing I've always tried to do as a Machead is always wait till the revision to buy. Looks like its a general truth. like not buying the first model year of any new car.
"This has been the first non Apple piece of hardware I've really enjoyed since my Kindle 3."
While I agree that the iPad's unique selling proposition isn't related to the specifications and disagree that it's merely slaving brand devotion, I've also found the Nexus 7 to be pretty good. The one I used was fast and felt robust and well constructed. While metal's nice to the touch, the big dent in the back of my (perfectly functional) iPad 1 does prove that it has downsides too; I'm pretty sure that the slightly rubberised Nexus 7 would have survived the same drop with no lasting effect whatsoever.
Specs specs specs specs specs specs, that's all Android fans ever go on about. It must have quad core 720p etc etc.. You do realise that these things run apps and the quality of the apps is the most crucial factor?
The apps on iOS are the best for any tablet. They're optimised for the bigger screen and the quality is high. Which is why the income from iOS applications is so much higher than Google's app store, more than double!
"Specs specs specs specs specs specs that's all Android fans ever go on about"
... All thanks to its 3.1 million pixels. It’s the best mobile display ever.
The new A6X chip inside iPad is up to twice as fast as the previous-generation A5X chip,
The new iPad with Retina display features advanced Wi‑Fi that’s up to twice as fast as any previous....
And that's all from the iPad's front page,,,,
I personally couldn't give a flying monkeys what OS something is running, so long as it's priced and specc'd for what I want to do.
I use mine for web browsing & videos. So for me so long as it can output 1080p with out add on's (bar a £10 cable) and browse the web I'm happy, for others they may want more power and more toys.
Personally I've been in this game far to long to be bothered by this pointless willy waving. At the end of the day, if you are buying a device because it looks super trendy, or because it's an open platform with no restrictions and you can do what you want, as opposed to buying it because it actually does what you want it to do, then you've still yet to grow up.
So please, buy the device you want and stop this pointless he said, she said crap, some of us are really bored of it now.
"Specs specs specs specs specs specs that's all Android fans ever go on about"
Well, yes. Because that's what Android followers believe is the most important aspect when buying tech. They believe in empirically measured function over form. That's why they are Android customers.
Apple customers believe design and ease of use are most important. They believe that style and interface is most important. That's all that they ever go on about. That's why they are Apple customers.
On paper, yes, it's pants. And the price is too high. After reading about it, and seeing the (lack of) launch queues, I figured this one might be a flop. Having used one a bit though, I totally agree with the review - and this thing will sell massively.
I'm actually a mobile developer, and as such I have 4 iphones, a couple of ipods, ipads 2, 3 and mini, a few (mostly older, since developing for it turned out to be more hassle for less money) android devices. I tend to test out pretty much anything interesting that comes out.
And yes, since getting the mini I find that's the first thing I reach for, and the thing I carry around with me. For viewing photos and other things where the screen really helps I get the ipad 3, and for a long email i grab a laptop, but seriously the mini is better than them all for most stuff :)
It's like the iphone 5 I think - on paper, and looking at the photos, it's just a souped up 4S. In hand, it's nothing like a 4S. You really have to use one a bit to appreciate it sometimes.
I'm actually a mobile developer, and as such I have 4 iphones, a couple of ipods, ipads 2, …And yes, since getting the mini I find that's the first thing I reach for, and the thing I carry around with me
Two things: this puts you very much in the same camp as Mr Dabbs who openly admits his long-standing preference for Apple products; it is a more than tacit admission that Jobs was wrong to have launched the I-Pad only as a 10" device. The relative and steadily increasing popularity of the 7" devices such as the Kindle Fire really have forced Apple's hand here. Though, as usual, they have responded with excellent hardware. I'd tend to agree that for doing much other than just consuming 8" is preferable to 7" but then Samsung was there first with the Samsung Galaxy 7.7 which has GPS and now LTE.
As with other products Apple is probably going to sell a lot of these devices to existing owners who have so far not admitted that the I-Pad is actually a little too big and too heavy to be really mobile. And it will no doubt encourage a few non-owners to buy the "original" over the cheaper competition. However, as with the phones on a like-for-like basis the I-Pad mini really does have little to offer over the well-made droids who are only likely to become both cheaper and better and offer even more content and services on a par with Apple.
Full congratulations to the author. He/she has been very generous to Apple and in no way apologises for their product.
Never has an Apple product (ie. the iPad Mini) been so unkindly received by the media and the tech community.
This review is the personification of King Canute.
But Cnut/Canute's foot bath, if it happened at all, was a staged show of humility to win the support of the church (then an immensely powerful organisation) for his rule - the lesson delivered was that, although he was King, his powers were limited in comparison to "God's creation".
("if it happened at all" because the first reference to the episode pops up long after his death)
Have to agree that the review does sound a bit generous to Apple. iPad Mini could turn out to be the best sales pitch for the Kindle Fire HD.
This sentence pushes two of my pedantry buttons:
1) "personification". Seriously? Some text is the personification of a person?
2) In the incident being alluded to, King Canute was demonstrating that he in fact does NOT have the power to hold back the waves.
For 90% of people this is a near perfect tablet - of course Android lovers hate it - but they would hate it regardless as it has an Apple logo on it. It's slightly more expensive than some other Android tablets but it's so much better made, feels better in the hand, works very well. All the Android tablets I have used are just not quite there - manufacturers try and differentiate themselves by customising / adding extra software and it just ends up a mess.
business as usual then. oh, couldn't resist ;-)
though this time, the comparisons with rival products are there for all to see...and it is big. leaving the 7" formfactor means you've got to have a big hand to hold it comfortably...that image that Apple provides? thats a big hand!
Second image caption: "Comfortable to hold in one hand without straining"
Got my tape measure out to see just how "comfortable" 135mm would be in my normal human being sized hands and have come to the conclusion that either A) I would be holding it wrong, or B) I would need to surgically replace my hands with that of a Gorilla which, in Apple-world, should be no big deal.
I hold my Nexus 7 like that all the time while reading on the subway. One hand to hold on to a pole, one for the Nexus. Very secure, not going to drop it if someone bumps me or they slam on the brakes. I can even turn pages with one hand.
Apple hater plays the man not the ball. Business as usual.
Ignoring the difference in price for now (because if that was an issue, Apple wouldn't sell anything) and specs (but not performance, if it uses a 286sx16 for graphics but has smoother graphics than other tablets I don't care, if its performance is poor then that does matter), say why the tablet you own is better than the iPad mini you have tried using for a reasonable amount of time.
Come on boy, raise your game.
Bang on. Specs per se mean nothing, they exist to produce performance. Apple have always squeezed great performance out of "lower" specs, and it's performance that is required. Anyone who would rather have a "higher spec" machine that performs like a dog is an idiot.
This is up there with my other favourite quote: "data is not information".
"Ignoring the difference in price...and specs....say why the tablet you own is better than the iPad mini you have tried using for a reasonable amount of time."
Erm... those are the things that matter to me.
Because I don't give a shit about anything else, really. 2mm thinner for being wider is LESS comfortable not more, and I really don't give a crap if it looks pretty, no more than I give a crap if my mouse or desktop looks pretty. Function over form.
>glowing review ignoring reality
The last paragraph of the review was endorsing reality, real hands-on reality; to paraphrase: 'Go to shop and have a play with a demo unit before making your own mind up'. It seems to me that the potential tablet buyer has nothing to lose by taking that advice. And how knows, maybe the trip out of the house will take you near a branch of Comet having a closing down sale...
Nothing to lose?
There isn’t an Apple store near where I work so I’ll have to go at the weekend. Naturally, since I’ll be going into a major city, the Mrs will want to come… which also means bring the baby. Which then means I have to drive in and fork out for the ridiculous parking charges.
Alternatively I’ll have to drive to the other side of the city to a Mall which only an idiot would go to on a weekend.
Either way “just trying it” will cost me at least half a day of my precious weekend, plus fuel, plus parking charges, plus having to buy lunch and probably a new pair of shoes that the wife will inevitably find whilst we’re out shopping. I’m at least £100 out of pocket by now
Anyway, the whole point of a review is for the reviewer to “just try it” so I don’t have to!
>Nothing to lose?
>There isn’t an Apple store near where I work so I’ll have to go at the weekend.
Point taken, time is precious. That said, near where I live several shops sell both iPads and their Android equivalents. Your argument could be turned on its head: Should your good lady wife already have it in her head to drag you into John Lewis to look at shoes, you might find yourself with ten minutes to spend prodding things in the electronics department. Also, how does she expect you to buy her a Christmas present if you're not allowed into town by yourself? nudge nudge wink wink
Should you choose to buy your tablet over the internet, we in the UK are covered by the Distance Selling regulations- you can try it, and return it if you don't like it.
Doesn't matter - you'd have to pay ₤449 to get the version with GPS. As best I can gather, you can't hook up a bluetooth GPS adapter or even share the GPS from a phone (not even an iPhone) with your wifi only iPad.
But then, do apple maps even let you download maps for offline use like you can with Google maps on android?
A lot of you have raised the matter of the poor Maps app on the iPad Mini. This is, of course, the same poor Maps app on everything running iOS 6, including iPhones. If having a shit-hot Maps app is your number-one critical factor in choosing a Wi-Fi tablet (it takes all sorts, I suppose), avoid all iOS 6 products for now.
It seemed obvious that this was the resolution Apple would choose for this sized device. The device is too small to support the battery power required by Apples retina display so battery life would have been horrible, it would have also added to the cost. As there are many 100's of thousands of apps that support 1024 x 768 screens it was inevitable that they would choose this resolution, rather than introduce a new, not compatible one.
Having played with the device in the local Apple store, the screen, while not as nice as a retina one on the full size ipad, is lovely, perfectly useable and you'll soon forget about the lower res, if you even cared in the first place.
Device specifications, while important, do not matter to the general public and these days, have little or no bearing on the user experience. I do wish it was £50 cheaper though, it really would be a no brainer then, as I've posted before though, with the iPod touch pricing as it is, the iPad mini was never going to be under £250.
Until next year, when this'll be obsolete, and we all have to rush out and buy a new one, you mean?
If you're sad and always need the latest this may be a valid assumption. However, in my experience I tend to keep devices at least a cycle longer than fashionistas do because they *work*, and I only buy new kit if existing kit clearly needs replacing, or the new kit would notably improve my life or do something existing stuff does not manage.
If you talk about obsolete kit I would suggest you don't forget that Android devices have issues with upgrades because the platform is rather fragmented. If that works for you regardless, fine, just don't go slagging off kit you have not yet used in anger just because you don't like the brand/design/users/whatever other excuse you have to blab rather than to exercise a balanced judgement. It is getting very, very, very tiring - I hate fanbois from either persuasion because they principally use the same (dead/useless/pointless) arguments to whip up emotive statements about stuff that is in essence upgraded sand, aluminium and lithium.
FFS, grow up before you end up with Repetitive Stain Injury..
Technology moves forward, always has, always will.
You are of course Inferring that Apple deliberately leave out features so they can add them in the next revision, of course you a right, no disagreement on that.
I'm not convinced its the case here though. If Apple wish to sustain battery life at current levels, there is simply not enough room in the iPad mini's case to achieve that, they would need to find a way to fit in the battery that currently lives in the full size iPad. Of course Apple may accept a drop in battery life for the extra sales a retina mini would no doubt bring.
I have a 1st generation iPad - it apparently has a camera spaced shape inside where the camera should have sat.
but they kept that for the 2.
Apple do leave out features so they can be in a factor in the upgrade cycle. I would be very surprised if next year there isnt a iPad mini with a retina display. it might get ever so slightly thicker like the old new iPad did.
Apple have a longer history of maximising revenue at the customers expense - and i say this as someone who loves his 2008 macbook pro and his macMini and his 1st gen ipod touch and his hand-me down iphone4 (from GF who just upgraded) and pretty much every other apple product i've bought (except the ipod 3rd gen with those rubbish buttons at the top - what was Mr Ive and his team smoking that day ?).
My favourite trick of theirs was the bait and switch on the old plastic MacBooks - the bottom of the line had a dvd player/cd burner for years after dvd burners were standard and, i suspect with the way volumes of units work out , they were probably more expensive for apple to source than dvd burners - but hey drag them into the store on this price and get them to cough up the extra when they realise they might want to burn a dvd. Typically Apple scummy move
Thats business though - they aren't the only company out there that behaves this way , they just make better more desirable products
I use an iPad one, a hand me down iPhone 4, a g4 tower, and a g4 PowerBook running panther at the moment. I rock the hell out of them; but you are right about everything you said here. Even apple users don't like apple as a company and know they are being used soon enough. The problem is there simply isn't a better alternative. To be honest, the market is absolutely ripe for an apple competitor, if some one where willing to do it right. As far as the screen goes, it's perfect for the battery life, and it works fabulously.
"Until next year, when this'll be obsolete, and we all have to rush out and buy a new one, you mean?"
So, just like every other manufacturer who release new models thus "obsoleting" previous versions. Please explain how Apple's policy of releasing new versions is any different from Samsung or Amazon or anyone else.
Except surely you mean Android devices - Apple devices have much more longevity - I know people with iPhone 3GS still going strong after 4+ years and still supported.
Sure some iFans will buy new models as they come out but most people do not. Do people feel the need to buy every new Nokia or HTC phone as it's released - no.
A poor review, one that only compares the iPad mini against it's full size stable mate. I got the impression the reviewer hasn't owned an Android tablet from the lack of discussion about them and how they compare in actual usability.
Considering the iPad mini is a response to the small form Android devices this is a huge omission. And as other reviewers have said means this is just a fan-boy review for other fan-boys to feel good about the fact they have ordered one.
On the other hand, if you're an Apple user who has no interest in the rubbish that passes for an Android tablet these days, and simply want to know if it's worth moving from an iPad 2 to the iPad Mini or similar, this review does the job nicely. Not everyone has the same perspective as you, I'm afraid.
Yeah because Apple released the iPad mini in an attempt to draw users away from the iPad, err, maxi or whatever tf it's currently called.
Get real, it's aimed at getting some share in the smaller tablet market, that market that according to apple didn't actually exist.
Comparing it to similarly-sized androids would make perfect sense for a meaningful review.
>lack of discussion about [Android tablets] and how they compare in actual usability.
Re-read the review.. it mentions one Android tablet by name and compares thickness and weight with respect to the ergonomics of holding it one hand. It later compares the iPad Mini in price and features to some other well known Android tablets, notes that the case on paper gives the nod to the Android tablets on both price and specs, but that the reader should make up their own mind after having had a play with an iPad themselves.
As for the OS/software aspects of usability, that is well covered else where.
An interesting device is the 5" 4:3 LG Android tablet, reviewed by RegHardware a day before the iPad Mini's release... I wonder if LG will make a slightly bigger version. Well done to LG for bringing some variety to the Android market.
I wouldn't have minded reading about how jacket-pocket friendly the iPad Mini is, but the dimensions are online, a ruler is on my desk, and my coat is hanging up. Hence the icon.
"And I do see a fair few folk out and about taking photos with tablets."
Really? I saw my first a week ago: Someone taking photos at a Halloween nightclub event with an iPad. They looked like a total, posing wanker, and lots of people told them so.
So I guess that using a smaller version helps solve that problem. Despite the fact that it has no decent camera functionality, no flash, no zoom lens, still makes you look a wally, and is 4 times the price of an acceptable compact camera.
Actually, Psyx, it has excellent camera functionality for both stills and video and includes ergonomic features like touch to focus, face detection, automatic realtime stabilization in video mode, and automatic location data. It also provides instant photo display, photo sharing, and built-in basic editing functions. All in all, no point-and-shoot compact camera comes close.
"Actually, Psyx, it has excellent camera functionality for both stills and video and includes ergonomic features like touch to focus, face detection... [list of things that don't make it a good camera]"
You hit it on the head: It has excellent FUNCTIONALITY.
Bells and whistles and 'press to tag and upload to facebook and identify faces' functions DON'T make it a good camera. A good lens assembly with optical zoom, a quality sensor and good hardware and firmware are what make a good camera (and the ability to shoot RAW is nice). And a flash is pretty much essential on a point-and-shoot camera that's going to be used indoors, too. If your camera can't even give you sufficient light, then your pictures are always going to suck.
"All in all, no point-and-shoot compact camera comes close."
Speaking as someone who actually works in the photography businesses, that statement is utter horse-shit.
Any compact camera over fifty quid is going to have a much better lens and sensor, and the going only gets better from there. It is not physically possible to make a camera the size of the one on the iPad as good as a normal compact. And you may be surprised at the functionality of compacts these days, too. Read it and weep:
Of course, if you just want to snap a blurry pic and spoil it via posting it on Instragram, I guess the iPad cameras are just fine. But don't EVER start to consider the tiny thing jammed into a tablet or a phone is a 'good' camera. Ever. Regardless of what brand is on the case.
iPad Mini 16GB : £269
Google Nexus 7 32GB: £199
Kindle Fire HD 16GB: £159
Playbook 64GB: £129
I use a Playbook and a cheap Android tablet for long car journeys as it's loaded up with movies for the kids, can do web surfing and email, etc. I need my devices to be small, cheap and replaceable.
I'm just not sure that it's worth an extra £60-140 unless I've already committed to Apple products.
Just the 16 gig.. basically I needed a new kindle but I normally carry 3 separate magazines around with me. All these mags are available on the newstand and look pretty good on the device so I save a significant amount of weight on my cycle to work...
Few points to note from it:
1. Its a bit pricy compared to the competition, but as a user of other apple products it is far simpler to keep in the family? For me, turn it on and work with all my other stuff is worth a few quid
2. Lack of retina really a pain - So my use case is for reading (kindle app) and magazine subscriptions. The text is a little big jagged and in zoom mode sometimes a bit fuzzy as well, not sure if its the apps
3. Size is actually perfect - I reckon they nailed it. Back to back with a kindle it's slightly wider and slightly taller but I can confirm reading magazines one-handed on the train this morning squashed up against commuters was a breeze. I can't do that with my magazines so works for me.
In summary, if you in the android camp you'll no doubt hate it and if you are Apple fan you'll love it... For me it was this or a Kindle paperwhite and what I got was a paperwhite that can also be used to read my mag subscriptions on the commute... for me that outweighed the benefit of a longer battery or e-ink display
Note: Just in case anyone wanted a reasoned use case for potentially buying the thing
For the record, the paperwhite is pretty fantastic too.
Whilst I have various tablets and have even resorted to using phones to read at night (iPhone/Galaxy Note) due to size the paperwhite is easily the best thing for your average novel. The glow won't disturb anyone and the ease on the eye is far less demanding than a tablet screen in the dark.
Yeah I don't doubt that... if it wasn't that I have some books with heavyweight diagrams and the previously mentioned mag subscriptions I'd have been all over it... loved my Kindle 3G Keyboard.
My only concern with Kindle is if you have a lot of diagrams such as in technical books then the Kindle becomes a bit more tricky.
That being said, if you need long battery life and less eye strain and don't have the mag requirement I reckon the Kindle Paperwhite would win hands down
According to Apple, special software determines whether you're actively touching the screen or just resting (a thumb) on it. So even in portrait it works as if it had a bigger bezel.
That's the theory; no idea if it works in practice but this reviewer seems to think it does.
I went to the local Apple store to check out, what I first thought was an overpriced Gadget compared to the competition. (I mean Nexus not Kindle whose business model doesn't suit me).
It just felt right, all sorts of people were commenting how light and usable it was.
The screen size is actually very good.
I always thought the Nexus was good enough but not perfect, this does feel very close to perfect.
The lightness is incredible, besides the sides of the screen can tell whether you are just holding it or actually clicking on something.
I've tried various company remote App with it. They all worked great and it actually felt like I have been using them wrong on my laptop for all these years.
I didn't miss the lack of retina at all and I now can't see the point of the iPad2.
Going from 9.7 inch to 7.9 inch doesn't feel like you're losing anything.
It's not a shrunk device, it's a different device.
I still think it should be £239 though not £269
Have to agree. Thanks to work we get to play with everything and can use whatever we want as our daily device and the mini is now my favourite small tablet and possibly favourite tablet.
The form factor is stunning and for me 4:3 over the 16:9 that really does it. 16:9 on a 7" tablet feel very restricting, especially in portrait. This is much nicer.
Once the 3G one is out I'm switching from my iPad 3 3G.
I would like Apple to go with the rubber back approach of some of the opposition though, but of course that could kill a whole case/skin market.
It works both ways. I do love a gadget that feels like a solid lump of steel - it feels good. The iphone 4/4s were like that, and the ipad 3 is like that. On the other hand, it's good to have something lightweight that doesn't give you arm cramp or weigh your trousers down heavily on one side.
I'd say low weight is definitely best for a tablet. The mini is a massive improvement, but I'd still like it to weigh less. On a phone, it's a mix - the iphone 5 feels *too* light in hand to me, but just right in pocket. The 4s was right in the hand, too heavy in the pocket.
I am a fan of the jacket-pocket form factor. I've been using a Nexus 7 for the past few months to carry around reams of scanned and annotated documents in PDF format.
Over the weekend I confirmed that the Mini is substantially quicker at rendering these PDFs than the Nexus - using Kindle reader for like-for-like comparison.
Not only that, but there's better support for my favourite Plexx add-ons - and the BBC iPlayer works on the Mini too.
Factor in the cost of the rear facing camera, in addition to the benefits of IOS , and the Mini isn't as over priced as it first appears.
Sorry, how much do Google want to upgrade a Nexus 10 from 16 to 32GB again? The flash in the Nexus 7 is known to be cheap & slow, don't try to use that as a benchmark either.
Companies exist to make a profit. If you don't like what they are offering then you are free to buy elsewhere or not at all. If people don't pay what they are asking then the price will come down or they will discontinue the model. Simple as that.
This time the presentation/videos went to went to lengths to tell us that 7.9" is the "Perfect Size" as they glossed over the fact their now standard "Retina" display tech was missing from their latest product.
When they do the Retina version and drop the price a bit it might be the first tablet I'd consider buying since I got my HP TouchPad at firesale price.
Then again it won't fit in a pocket so perhaps 7" might have been more "perfect"
> How can you have a device that doesn't know when Leeds won the FA cup?
'Cos, like Cloughie knew, they didn't deserve it :
"Well, I might as well tell you now. You lot may all be internationals and have won all the domestic honours there are to win under Don Revie. But as far as I'm concerned, the first thing you can do for me is to chuck all your medals and all your caps and all your pots and all your pans into the biggest fucking dustbin you can find, because you've never won any of them fairly. You've done it all by bloody cheating."
This article was just a puff piece designed to OUTRAGE sensible Android users and drive us into a posting FRENZY! How STUPID do you think WE are? Like we're going to KEEP falling for that, no matter how often you do it!!!!
(disclaimer: I haven't actually used an ipad mini, nexus 7 or any small form factor tablet.)
Good review. Ergonomically it's near-perfect, and the build quality, update chain and app/accessory ecosystem make it honestly the best choice at this size right now (unless you want to will Android apps into existence by buying the N7, and all power to you if so, but they aren't here for me yet) but I'm sure the next version will have Retina displays.
And that means I'm not getting it yet, because I know the next version will be such a massive leap ahead.
It's not mentioned because that's been the case with all iPads since they came out, likewise iPod Touch v iPhone. Really, it's not news: the GPS bit is part of the 3G chipset (AIUI), so if you don't have the 3G bit you don't have the GPS.
If you want to use a wifi iPad for navigation, though, there are bluetooth GPS adaptors available, which compensate for not being built-in by using their own power so they don't drain the iPad's battery. So there are options.
Q: Realistically how much do Apple save by missing out the GPS chip on non 3G models? £2.50? Less?
A: Probably no net saving when the cost of manufacturing 2 different mainboards is taken into consideration.
Suggesting owners buy (from Apple?) a GPs dongle to make up for the fact Apple were too mean to include GPS is laughable!
The iPad mini is a nice looking kit, reasonable specs, has 1/2 millions apps avaiulable. However it's way overpriced and the OS is way too locked down.
Come back in 12 months and see how Android tablet market share is continuing onwards and upwards... whilst Apple's continues to decline. Apple are greedy and arrogant, which has ultimately broken numerous well known tech conpanies in the past.
I have a Nexus 7 and tried an iPad Mini the other day. I found that I liked the iPad much better than the Nexus with the exception of the pixel density and the price. As an appliance the iPad is better, as a cheap touchscreen-computer the Nexus is better (and cheaper). So depending on what you actually expect from a tablet it's perfectly reasonable to like one or the other better. No need to rant, really.
I have the Nexus 7, the only things I don't like about it is that despite having "more pixels" its screen is a bit more washed out and less crisp than than the Mini, and the Nexus 7 has a truly horrible speaker.
But I'm enjoying the speed, and double the space at 2/3 the price, and I'm having a blast customizing it. I had never owned an Android device before and when I opened the box, the stock launcher made it look like a Kindle Fire. I was tempted to pack it up and send it back till a good friend pointed me at Nova Launcher. That changed it for me.
Since then, its bee fun making it MY device not just A device. It makes me think of Lego blocks as a child. I start with a flat surface, and stick bits on till I like the shape of it. Its reminding me a lot of why I used to love pre Gnome 3 Linux.
St Jobs was WRONG!!! OMG we're all going to die
I remember at the release of the iPad certain statements along the lines of 7" is too small, have to sharpen your fingers etc etc etc and yet in these very comments we have fanboys declaring that Apple seem to have hit on the right ergonomic dimensions. Suddenly 'too small' has become 'perfect' - oh to live inside the RDF what a world that must be
Only the naive ever took Steve Jobs at face value. And that's nearly everyone. He just said the competing 7 inch tablets were a bad experience, because that's what Apple needed people to hear. And they were and are a relatively bad experience. Launching at 10 inches was essential to give the iPad its own identity and its own distinctive apps. Apple even discontinued laptops below 13 inch years before, to create an extra kick start from Apple loyalists. But no-one can seriously believe Apple/Steve Jobs didn't know that 7-8 inch would outsell 10 inch, just as 3.5-4 inch (iPhone) outsells both. Apple never were as stupid as the average commentard (obviously).
Perhaps the biggest weakness of the Android seven inchers is their dependence on scaled up phone apps and UI. There simply isn't the motivation for the average app developer to make a special 7 inch UI and by allowing cheap 7 inchers into the Android market first, there never will be a well defined full sized Android tablet UI. Apple's willingness to spend years constructing its own market is what keeps it so very far ahead of both competitors and pundits, who delude themselves that Apple's position is the result of hype, and style over substance. Meanwhile, the iPad mini is here, ready for Christmas, ready to outsell every other tablet, and ready to be upgraded to retina resolution in 6 months, with the current model continuing at £249, and the ten inch model unlikely to be seriously challenged, even by Microsoft, whose Surface is just the latest incarnation of the PC.
Having held a Fire HD though, I'd say the weight of these devices is a none issue. The Fire, and my Nexus, are both eminently comfortable for reading, compared to my iPad 2. So the iPad Mini's extra lightness is nice but not a huge advantage. Apple should have given their new toy a retina display at the cost of a little extra weight IMHO.
So, would I buy an iPad Mini? Well I bought the Nexus 7 as a stop gap and I see no reason to buy Apple'e new toy. Maybe the Mini 2, next year.
I think what your review boils down to is:
"Apple got the form factor wrong with the original iPad. 7-8" is where it's at."
With the benefit of hindsight the original iPad was a bit of a turkey, albeit a game-changing one, so I'd wait for next year's iPad Mini 2 with retina display and A6X processor.
"I wouldn't dream of heaving out my iPad 3 to read a book or newspaper or magazine on public transport for fear of dropping it or having it stolen"
Really? So what do you use your Ipad for if not when travelling? Seems a bit pointless to have a tablet that is only allowed out under controlled, secure circumstances!
Somehow I managed to leave it alone. I qualify as a hardcore Apple fan. Three Macs, two iPods, and an iPhone 4s.
And for my first tablet, I now have a Nexus 7. I prefer iOS for my phone, but so far I'm really enjoying Android as a tablet OS.
Apple lost me on tablets. I waited for ages for them to make a small tablet, and as much as it pains me to say, they dropped the ball on this one. If they had had better stats, maybe, if they had made the base model 32 gig, probably. But they didn't. At this point, If I decide I want a larger tablet, a Nexus 10 seems like a very attractive possibility,
... when you take into account the generally very active market for secondhand Apple products.
I've been able to sell several of my Apple products for very close to what I paid for them, whereas I've ultimately had to recycle similar products from other manufacturers since I couldn't find buyers.
I wouldn't be surprised if you could sell this iPad Mini for maybe $200 in a couple years, equating to ~$60/year to use the device... probably the same or less than other tablet purchases.
Tablets are so dull, arguments over different tablets make me want to cut my eyes out.
Smartphones and Tablets are mere gadgets, people that frequently state they have had "5 Iphones and 28 different tablets" seriously need to get out more and enjoy what life has to offer.
People that state they "can't put it down", should take up proper hobbies. How long can you really browse the web, watch videos on a tiny screen (whilst looking like a dick if in public), and use mediocre apps whose usefulness are exaggerated to justify the purchase of the device (take a look at the "top app" charts to see what I mean).
The people I have encountered with tablets:
- IT managers: generally clueless dicks
- People on the underground: Looking like morons reading a book or watching a film.
- Friend's girlfriends: Sitting at home on social media sites, purchasing stuff from websites, and then typically posting said purchase on social media sites.
- Kids playing games.
Why would anyone want to become part of that group? Let alone then argue about pixel density, MicroSD and how one company only has 99% of the "vital" apps that the other has.
I hope people get bored of these soon and something more interesting comes along. Although that would screw Apple over seeing as their main product line seems to now consist of almost identical products but just in different sizes.
I already have a Nexus 7 and a Kindle, I will probably buy an iPad mini as well (I have access to an iPad but find it too heavy).
Right now I prefer Android for its openness, but in my corporate environment Apple is king at least as far as tablets go (for computers it's still Windows). At home I use a Mac except for games, then it's Windows or fire up the Xbox, PS-3 or Wii depending upon which game I want to play.
How do I plan to link these devices together? Amazon do a good job of this for music and books. I generally only rent films so no problem here either since it doesn't matter which platform I use. Google handles my 'photos and e-mail.
Maybe I'll buy a Surface next year after I've seen one in the flesh. Surface has the benefit that it supports a keyboard and Office.
Anonymous because this will probably upset everyone.
I've used iOS and Android but Android is just a mess, insecure and I could not really recommend it to any family or friends. Sure if you are a geek / tinkerer it may be for you - but for the majority of normal people the iOS / Apple experience is far better.
AND don't get me started on support - you too could be without a phone for over 3 weeks while it goes back to manufacturer then tell you you are happy with the "service" - oh then they send you a poor quality refurb. Apple phone goes faulty - back to store - 20 minutes later you walk out and carry on.
I will probably get one, partly cos Im kinda locked into the the whole Apple thing with music and books etc, but secondly cos I want one, I wont pay the silly money apple want for an Iphone so use droid phones but will be looking for one of these to use in conjunction with my ipad 2
I currently have a phone with gingerbread on it. The first thing I noticed, compared to the iphone I had given up, was that android was incapable of synchronizing with anything but exchange or google's services. I had to buy 3rd party software just to connect to my zimbra OSE box, and even that's not 100% stable. When I looked at the ICS tablets, they also couldn't do it.
The new Nexii apparently use android 4.2. Has this finally been fixed yet? I don't care what device I get as long as it does what I need it to. If Android *still* can't handle such things, then my only option will be an iDevice, regardless of how better/worse the specs are.
Hmm, lets see......
No external storage,
Sub-par display for the price,
Stupidly overpriced for the specs on offer,
Locked down os,
and fucking itunes.
Why on earth would anyone buy this over a cheaper, higher spec Android tablet?
To be honest, most people only use a tablet for web browsing, messaging and email once the novelty has worn off anyway, so why spend more to get less when pretty much any Android tab over £100 will do the job perfectly?
GPS built-in on the 4G LTE model
Additional external storage rarely needed given the 64 GB built-in option along with transparent iCloud support
Display rated overall superior to the Nexus 7's by DisplayMate Technologies latest comparative display tests
"higher spec Android tablet" -- There are no higher spec'd Android tablets.
Good try though, Mickey.
"GPS built-in on the 4G LTE model"
what use is that in the uk?, and why isnt gps a feature on all models?
"higher spec Android tablet" -- There are no higher spec'd Android tablets."
Ahahahahaha, apart from the ones with higher res screens,gps as standard, removable storage,nfc and faster processors you mean? Most of em are cheaper as well.
And none are saddled with a locked down os and the abomination that is itunes.
Did i do better this time? :-)
"To be honest, most people only use a tablet for web browsing, messaging and email once the novelty has worn off anyway, so why spend more to get less when pretty much any Android tab over £100 will do the job perfectly?"
I use an Android tablet, and I agree about the value for money issue. But I can't agree about just using it for web + email. It's extremely useful for document viewing at work via Dropbox, and for updating files on the go. And there are plenty of good apps if you want them.
I've fallen equally between Android and iOS over the years. My dads Galaxy Tab 7.7 with AMOLED screen is very nice indeed. I started out with an Android tablet. But quite simply, beauty is more than skin deep here.
I've come to realise after switching between the two that there's something about the whole iPad+iOS package that gels intangibly, and makes it a pleasure to use day in day out. Androids always seem to be straining to get that completeness.
I was intending to get a Nexus 7 after my iPad2, but after fondling an iPad Mini in the Apple Store, it was love! The weight, the build, the feel, the tactility...I didn't expect it to have that impact. I'm aware that I still need to hold a Nexus as it may well have the same effect, but I'm just saying not to damn the Mini until you've tried one. I'm still open to Android but basically you either embed yourself in Android Apps or Apple apps, and I've built up more of the latter.
P.S. one thing I DESPISE about iOS : Slide to Open. When my tablet is at home I don't want to have to unlock it! (Android could probably disable this).
Damn, I should have written something that ended with "...in the world".
Seriously, Maxson, you have to appreciate that the whole point of a product review is to express to the reader what a product is like to use in real life regardless of the spec. Often these things fail to match up. I guess it's a bit like the difference between a restaurant review - in which the writer reports the ambiance, comfort, service, food freshness, flavours, availability of tap water, etc - and just standing outside reading the menu.
@Maxson: I don't think the review admitted that the iPad mini is either "overpriced" or "underspecced," Maxson. I think it admitted that it was the most desirable product overall in its class.
In any case, it would have been a clear error to state or imply that the device was "underspecced" when, in fact, it's the best spec'd and by far the best performing device in its class.
I think Apple thought "we've overcharged in the 10" tablet arena for years now, let's do the same with a smaller version". The problem is that the 7" tablet market is pretty cut-throat - you've got cheap Chinese imports (some of which are starting get decent specs) and major players like Amazon, Google and B&N spec/price-fighting each other regularly (often subsidising the hardware price to get the money back on content, whereas Apple never do the former!).
Apple walk in with a 4:3 tablet with a relatively low PPI that can't play HD movies and will show big black bars at the top and bottom if you try to do so. So that's HD video struck off the list already (apart from running apps/playing games, this is one of the major reasons to use a tablet over a phone).
I worry about the width of the iPad Mini - it could be a bit of a tight fit in some coat pockets (I can just about get my Nexus 7 in my coat pocket). And finally, they launch it a stupendously high price (that gets even more astonishingly wallet-draining as you add 3G or extra storage). Let me see - 32GB Nexus 7 = 199 quid, 32GB iPad Mini = 349 quid (!! And that's with no 3G or GPS either...). Are you *seriously* telling me that an iPad Mini is 75% better than an N7 when it can't even play HD video?!
One mystery that still confuses me - Apple finally realised that widescreen is the way to go with phones (years after all their competitors had released widescreen phones) and they finally got it right with the iPhone 5. So why have we had five 4:3 tablets from Apple - several of them useless for playing HD video - and not one widescreen tablet yet? I guess we'll have to wait until next year to see if Apple "innovate" and go widescreen for tablets at long last.
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