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

Detached Retina

I won’t defend Apple over this. The inability to view every pixel of an HD movie on a display only 160mm wide is something that will matter to some people more than others. You can play at 720p resolution externally from the iPad Mini wirelessly using AirPlay and an Apple TV, or physically through an HDMI cable and a £39 Lightning-to-VGA or -HDMI adapter.

Apple iPad Mini

FaceTime supported by a mini Smart Cover

As usual, Apple stands to earn plenty of moolah by selling a whole new generation of adapters like this, having ditched the long-standing 30-pin connector for its smaller Lightning connector as first seen on the iPhone 5.

You can, however, capture video in 1080p and 720p, or photos in 5Mp or 1.2Mp, with the tablet's rear- and front-facing cameras, respectively. Unfortunately, the miserable weather over the weekend made it impossible to test these thoroughly, and there's no iPhone-like flash to assist with indoor shots. But I felt a lot less conspicuous holding up a Mini to take a picture than I did last time I took one with a regular iPad. And I do see a fair few folk out and about taking photos with tablets.

Apple iPad Mini

Makes light work of gaming

Apple's iOS framework continues to prevent you from doing anything as simple as transferring videos and images from device to computer via a cable, or even directly over the air by Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, at least not without running iTunes. Third-party file-transfer apps, such as Ecamm’s PhoneView, will at least let you drop files over a cable into downloaded apps’ sandboxes.

The iCloud service and improvements in iOS 6 have made it a little easier to share your media files but getting at your 100MB+ videos continues to be a major pain in the arse. Email them to yourself? Yeah, right.

Apple iPad Mini

Thumbing a tune on GarageBand

I don't want to brush these limitations to one side, but it's one thing to bitch about Apple's connectivity policy and another to pick up an iPad Mini and play around with it. The size and weight make it ideal for so many everyday situations. 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, but I don't think twice about whipping out the iPad Mini.

Somehow playing a quick game, dashing off a brief email, interacting with Facebook and twiddling with Garageband – with thumbs! – seems so much more convenient on a smaller screen, as any iPhone owner will tell you. Frankly, I couldn't leave the bloody thing alone. Even back at work, the iPad Mini took up so little space on my desk that I left my full-size iPad in my bag.

Apple iPad Mini

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Next page: Can't put it down

More from The Register

next story
Xperia Z3: Crikey, Sony – ANOTHER flagship phondleslab?
The Fourth Amendment... and it IS better
Microsoft to enter the STRUGGLE of the HUMAN WRIST
It's not just a thumb war, it's total digit war
Tim Cook: The classic iPod HAD to DIE, and this is WHY
Apple, er, couldn’t get the parts for HDD models
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
Sporty in all but name: Peugeot 308 e-THP 110
Car of the Year? Arguably. Engine of the Year? Indubitably
Caterham Seven 160 review: The Raspberry Pi of motoring
Back to driving's basics with a joyously legal high
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
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.
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.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
How to simplify SSL certificate management
Simple steps to take control of SSL certificates across the enterprise, and recommendations centralizing certificate management throughout their lifecycle.