Feeds
80%
GooPad

Apple iPad Mini 8in tablet review

The tablet even Apple haters won't be able to leave alone

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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.

Apple iPad Mini

Apple's iPad Mini: a terrific little device?

Practically all commentators argue that Google and Amazon have forced Apple into undue haste to develop its own 7in tablet, so it only stands to reason that the result will be a bodged rush-job... surely?

As it turns out, surely not. The iPad Mini is a terrific little device.

For starters, it is not “just a shrunk-down iPad” – as if doing so would somehow have made it easier to manufacture. Those familiar with full-size iPads will have no trouble locating the power and home buttons, volume controls, option switch and headphone socket. However, the shape of the device as a whole has been altered to allow it a narrower bezel on the long edges. Note that an overlapping thumb touching the edge of the screen does not interfere with scrolling.

Apple iPad Mini

Comfortable to hold in one hand without straining

There are more dramatic differences. Every time I handed the iPad Mini to someone for the first time, they’d make the same two observations: “Oh, it's really light,” invariably followed by, “it’s really thin”. The iPad Mini is comfortable to hold in one hand without straining, in much the same way that you'd hold an e-ink Kindle or Kobo. By comparison, Amazon's Kindle Fire HD is almost a third heavier and thicker.

Despite being the same width and only a little bit taller than the Fire HD, the iPad Mini presents a significantly bigger screen area that Apple rates as 7.9in diagonal. What this bigger space doesn't give you is more pixels: it’s not a Retina display. Instead, the iPad Mini’s screen resolution is just 1024 x 768 pixels, exactly the same as for the original iPad and the iPad 2 but compacted to 163ppi. In this regard, it’s left standing by the beautiful 1280 x 800 pixel competitors from Amazon and Google.

Apple iPad Mini

Hurrah! All your existing apps work immediately, unmodified. But Siri remains as useless as ever

Worse, it means the iPad Mini’s screen is unable to play HD movies at full 720p. It has the width, sure, but 1280 has to be squeezed down to 1024, and thus 720 to 576.

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Next page: Detached Retina

More from The Register

next story
Xperia Z3: Crikey, Sony – ANOTHER flagship phondleslab?
The Fourth Amendment... and it IS better
Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event
Microsoft to enter the STRUGGLE of the HUMAN WRIST
It's not just a thumb war, it's total digit war
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers
Hardware: Check. Software: Huh? Licence: Licence...?
The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters
Fandroids, Windows Phone fringe-oids – you wouldn't understand
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.