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iPad Mini Review - -

Design 8.5
Features 8.5
Usability 8.0
Value 8.5
Distributor: Apple
Review Date:
Dec 2012
Peter Bourke


iPad Mini

Welcome to the next generation of the tablets with the iPad Mini! Boasting similar  and amazing features as the new iPad, the biggest difference with the iPad Mini is the size. Unlike the previous iPad, the mini measures at 200mm (height) x 134.7mm (width) x 7.2mm (depth) and weighs in at a featherweight of just 380 grams. It's super tiny but considerably larger than the iPhone 5 and comes in two colours that include black/slate, white/silver with WiFi or WiFi+Cellular.

In terms of storage, the mini offers three models that include 16GB, 32GB and 64GB. Our review unit from Apple was for the 64GB WiFi model. The new iPad Mini also comes with the latest Bluetooth technology which is version 4.0, ensuring improved connectivity and even Apple TV support.

The Review!

Setting up the iPad Mini was a breeze and when we powered on the tablet, it immediately found our wireless connection which we setup and then we linked the unit to an existing apple account. Best of all, we did not need a PC or a Mac to setup the iPad mini and the installation process took only a few minutes. Nothing is better than being up and running in no time!

The CPU of the iPad Mini features a Dual-core A5 CPU that is lightning quick and allowed us to play the latest iPad games and apps with no issues whatsoever. The display of the iPad has a resolution of 1024 x 768 at 163 pixels per inch on the 7.9 inch LED-backlit multi-touch screen with icons, pictures and apps almost jumping out of the display.

The only issue with the screen is that if you have used a retina display before on another Apple product, text is not as sharp. Even though the screen is smaller than the new iPad, I actually found it better to use than its big brother. This was due to the smaller size of the mini which made it easier to hold.

The button layout is similar to the new iPad with speakers located at the bottom of the Mini with the lightning connector in the middle. The Mini also has a 3.5mm stereo headphone jack, a screen rotation lock, microphone and two cameras. The front facing camera is the FaceTime HD Camera which allows the user to take 1.2 megapixel (mp) photos or 720p HD video.

The camera on the back (iSight Camera) is a 5mp camera which can take some impressive shots. Both cameras support face detection and even photo/video geotagging. In reference to video recording, the iSight Camera supports 1080p HD recording, video stabilization and face detection.

The battery life of the mini lasts around 10 hours for general use such as surfing the web or listening to music. If you are playing graphical intensive games, the battery will be used faster. The battery of the mini is a lithium-polymer battery and can be charged via the USB adapter to your PC/Mac or through the mains. 10 hours is quite impressive considering what the iPad Mini can do.

As mentioned earlier, the screen of the iPad Mini is quite decent and pictures/videos really jump out of the screen thanks the vibrancy of the screen. The only downside to the mini is that it does not support the Retina Display of the new iPad which looks absolutely stunning.

The Mini supports a variety of video formats that include MPEG-4, AVI and MOV to name a few examples. The audio quality of the Mini is decent and although you cannot beat a standalone speaker system, the Mini still provides clear audio and good music. The mini supports a variety of audio that include AAC, MP3, Apple Lossless, AIFF and WAV. The inbuilt microphone is perfect for making your own videos or using Apple FaceTime.

Straight out of the box, the iPad Mini comes with a variety of apps that allows the user to get started. These include an internet browser called Safari, Mail, Messages, FaceTime (video conferencing), App Store (download applications for your iPad Mini), iTunes (download music), Maps, Photo Booth (create some bizarre photo effects), Calendar, Reminder, Clock, Camera and Notes.

When it comes to gaming, the iPad Mini delivers and we tested a vast variety of titles that included Batman Arkham City, Need for Speed, Lili, Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour. Interestingly enough, gaming was actually better to play on the iPad Mini due to the size of the tablet which made it easier to hold. Word Processing, Paint Programs and other apps all performed as they did on the new iPad in terms of speed and performance.

Final Thoughts?

The biggest draw back with the iPad Mini is probably the cost which starts at $369AUD for the basic model that is quite reasonable. However as you increase storage space or purchase a model with WiFi+Cellular, the price jumps to $509AUD for the 16GB and $729 for 64GB.

A high end "new" iPad with Retina Display (Wifi+Cellular and 64GB) is priced at $899 which is larger than the mini and also comes with a far superior screen thanks to the Retina Display. Nonetheless if you're looking for a smaller iPad or tablet than the Mini is still our definitive choice. The iOS for the iPad family is just far superior than its competitors. Recommended!

For more information, visit Apple at -


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