iPad mini: reviews roundup

iPad mini: reviews roundup

Summary: The first reviews of Apple's latest diminutive tablet are out in the wild. Here's a roundup.

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TOPICS: Apple
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Lucky are those who managed to get their hands on Apple's latest new product, the iPad mini tablet, before everyone else.

But is it any good? Is there a business use case? Or is it just a tablet for tots?

My esteemed industry colleagues found out.

  • "The perfect size, but at a price." -- CNET's Scott Stein
  • "A device so good that perhaps this update was released so soon after its predecessor to maintain the appeal of the bigger, more expensive unit." -- Engadget's Tim Stevens
  • "There's something endearing about the mini that makes you want to keep it on-hand and use it often. It's a feeling the larger iPad never elicited in me." -- The Verge's Josh Topolsky
  • "In portrait, I actually find it easier to type on the Mini than a full-size iPad. All thumbs, with less distance to travel between keys, it feels more like typing on an iPhone. In landscape, though, typing is decidedly worse." -- Daring Fireball's John Gruber
  • "Unlike its closest competitors, the Mini can't play video in high definition." -- The Wall Street Journal's Walt Mossberg
  • "By pricing the Mini so high, Apple allows the $200 class of seven-inch Android tablets and readers to live (Google Nexus, Kindle Fire HD, Nook HD)." -- The New York Times' David Pogue
  • "By comparison, the regular iPad feels like you're holding a full flat-panel monitor. And the Nexus 7 feels like you're holding a piece of plastic with a screen bolted on." -- TechCrunch's MG Siegler
  • "The iPad mini is the best small tablet you can buy. The question you'll have to answer for yourself is whether it's that much better." -- Bloomberg's Rich Jaroslovsky
  • "A product in a category of one." -- TIME's Harry McCracken

There you have it. A business case? Not really. A cheaper way to occupy your kids on a long car ride? Most likely.

Topic: Apple

Andrew Nusca

About Andrew Nusca

Andrew Nusca is a former writer-editor for ZDNet and contributor to CNET. During his tenure, he was the editor of SmartPlanet, ZDNet's sister site about innovation.

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57 comments
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  • Actually what most of you miss

    ...is the fact that Apple just made the iPad available to an entire new category of the population. For $170 less, now more people than ever can afford one.
    For those of you who wished that they would trim it down even more, forget it. The year they start playing in the sub $250 is the year many pundits can declare and probably be right that Apple is doomed.
    MG537-23482538203179240121698430309828
    • RE: Actually what most of you miss

      "The year they start playing in the sub $250 is the year many pundits can declare and probably be right that Apple is doomed.

      They probably won't go quite that low. However, when the original iPad mini is refreshed in 6 to 12 months with the iPad mini 2, look for the original iPad mini to be discounted by approximately 20%. In this case, the late-model iPad mini will be priced at approximately $260 U.S. (This is the pricing strategy that Apple has used with the iPad.)

      Quoted in the article:
      "By pricing the Mini so high, Apple allows the $200 class of seven-inch Android tablets and readers to live (Google Nexus, Kindle Fire HD, Nook HD)." -- The New York Times' David Pogue

      Mr. Pogue is ignoring Apple's iPad pricing strategy and isn't looking ahead 6 to 12 months regarding iPad mini refreshes and subsequent pricing.
      Rabid Howler Monkey
      • hmmm, so Apple users know that, and still choose....

        to pay the premium and not wait. LOL!!
        You can't beat how Apple fanatics bought the first ipad when it was released w/o 3G to get their hands on the new shiny object, only to buy the 3G model about a month later because that is what they wanted. This was reported all over the country. LOL!!!!
        Apple declared "technical difficulties" with 3G models I believe that delayed it.
        So why would someone want a device Apple could not get ready for launch, but only needed 30 more days? that is hilarious!! Everything Apple is half baked but somehow they avoid the dozens of negative blogs and since journalists happen to be the one Apple niche, they get great reviews, rabid love stories just like their users in these talkbacks. . Leopard was far worse than Vista at launch but you had to go to ars technia to find that out. Every apple product is flawed. My wife got 4th gen itouch and the battery drains with the unit turned off. She sent 2 back and 3rd one doing the same thing. Takes forever for iOS to load. It's crap.
        And this blog is a load of crap. the Kindle Fire is every bit as solid and good as an iPad and Apple is, as always, copying them and others into the "mini" market.
        Luckily Apple has a fan base that has more money than brains, at least luckily for Apple.
        xuniL_z
    • The Ipad2 is only $70 more

      than the Ipad mini.

      I'm not sure how many more people were holding out for $70.

      The smaller size is more likely to draw in more people that found the 9.7 inch tablet just to big.
      Emacho
    • So... where they are?

      Tell me from where do you get iPad Mini with 72GB storage, MicroSD slot, 3G and GSM Voice for price $349?

      IPad mini 3G model starts from $459 but you can not get none of those features for that price and many of so great features ever.
      Fri13
  • don't pay any attention to the engadget review

    it was the worst pile of bias BS ever written, and the author was deleting comments that didn't agree it's apple's "best" tablet to date
    theoilman
    • So pretty much the same as the typical non-Apple review then

      That's usually what you find with any non-Apple product review. But I guess you guys are not used to biased reviews so we understand your feeling got a little bit hurt.
      Qbt
  • Went to the Apple store...

    So this weekend I took a trip to my local Apple store to see if, by off chance, the mini was in. Imagine my shock when I got to the place where it used to be and found it all boarded up. What?! I'm thinking... Apple's doing gangbusters. How could the Apple store have closed? So I closed in a little and saw a note attached to the boarding: "We heard you and have acted! Come see the new, larger Apple store on the 2nd floor between the Swarovski store and the Tiffany Store."

    So I ventured down two floors and... holy cow... they weren't kidding about larger. That place was massive. It was 12:30 on a Sunday, and the place was brimming with people. Rows and rows of iPads and Macbooks. All gleaming white. Sadly, the iPad mini wasn't due to be in 'till next Friday. So I guess I'll be back.

    It's impossible to escape the conclusion that Apple is basically minting money these days.

    I definitely want to check out the iPad mini, hold it in my hands an see how it stacks up, even if, at the end of the day, I'll probably go for the much cheaper Nexus 7.
    dsf3g
    • The Microsoft store

      in Seattle (their flagship store) is located just across from the Apple store.
      gregv2k
      • Unfortunately

        Unfortunately the nearest Microsoft store is about 40 minutes from me. But I will make a pilgrimage one of these days just to check it out.
        dsf3g
      • From the empty Microsoft Store in University Village,

        one can look across the parking lot into the front of the jam-packed Apple Store. Where the Microsoft store's employees frequently outnumber the curious few, Apple consumers regularly spill out onto the sidewalk. The Apple Store has greater numbers before the doors open, as Apple offers computing instruction pre-opening. If one wonders whether Microsoft is competing, one need look no further. Neither free offers nor "parking lot parties" can boost the Microsoft Store traffic to nearly match the regular Apple throngs.
        gregv2k
        • wow that is so naive!

          You can get MS products just about anywhere! You cannot get All Apple products anywhere!

          It is a lot easier to funnel people into your store when you're one of only 2 retail outlets selling your products!
          slickjim
          • Is that accurate?

            Or is it possible that Apple products are for sale on: Amazon.com and every tech retailing site? Is it possible that Apple products are sold through Target, WalMart and Costco? Could it be that Apple gift cards are found at every supermarket in America, and that radio stations are offering Apple products as incentives to participate in their contests? Is Apple in Best Buy in America, and Circuit City in Canada? You may need to get out more often.
            gregv2k
  • iPad mini: reviews roundup

    I really can't believe that not one of the reviews listed said anything bad about the iPad mini. All other reviews said it was way over priced.
    Loverock Davidson-
    • That's ok, you can quote all the bad reviews to...

      ...counter the "obviou"s bias.

      Can't you?
      Promethium
    • I only read one review saying the iPad Mini was WAY over priced.

      The author of that review was a fellow by the name of Loverock Davidson.

      All the reviewers (even Loverock Davidson) agree that the form factor for a small pad is just about perfect and a delight to hold in one's hands.

      Personally, I will wait until this Apple model segment sports a retina class display before I consider it's possible inclusion into my home ecosystem.

      Once you go retina, you can't go back! Grin.
      kenosha77a
      • I am also disappointed by not having retina.

        But, I am not buying it so I don't care. I too will wait for the next tablet announcement from Apple. Personally I would prefer something around 10" form factor. I have large hands and holding mini would make me to feel like I just came from some toy store. :D
        Ram U
      • Where is this?

        Where is my iPad mini? I want to sell it on ebay for some $$.
        Loverock Davidson-
        • Where's the Surface sales numbers?

          I hear its a "hit."
          gregv2k
          • Why do you need numbers?

            Why do you need the numbers? Its not like you can do anything with them.
            Loverock Davidson-