The iPad mini is delightful in the hand, it feels like a high-end iPhone but with sharper edges, it is amazingly thin and isn’t undersized at all. Those are the first impressions of the press members present at the Apple event.
Invited reporters had the exclusive opportunity to grab get their hands on the iPad mini well ahead of being available to the public (November 2) and the first impressions are coming in.
We picked up on some of their impressions:
The thinness and sleekness of the casing cannot be overstated. It feels as high-end as the new iPhone, but even sharper in the hand – like a slice of solid aluminum. The chamfered edges present on the iPhone 5 have been continued here, as well as the all-black treatment seen on the latest phone. The display on the mini looks incredibly sharp, and even though the resolution is lower than the 3rd and 4th generation full-size iPad, it doesn’t immediately seem like a 1024 x 768 display. The smaller, 7.9-inch surface area certainly helps squeeze the pixels
That said, the smaller iPad is clearly aimed at classrooms and readers — two sectors where frills aren’t exactly necessary. Where it excels, predictably, is the overall fit and finish. Just as the bigger iPad, this one feels delightful in the hand. If you’ve held an iPad, you know where we’re coming from. Yes, it’s lighter and more nimble, making it feel as if Apple concocted its own version of the 7-inch tablet. And indeed, that’s precisely what has happened here. It’s still not “small,” though.
… It is a super impressive piece of hardware […] The smaller iPad retains much of the charm of its larger sibling, thanks to design decisions that make the most out of a much smaller physical footprint, and you’ll be amazed at how light and easy to hold it is. The weight is really the most impressive part, though – as with the iPhone 5, but to an even greater degree, the iPad mini feels almost weightless when compared to its predecessors. It’s so thin and light as to feel almost like a prop, rather than a functional device.
The iPad mini can easily be held with one hand for reading. Menus and other onscreen items can be reached with that hand if they are close. Of course, you can’t expect to be able to navigate the mini’s screen with one hand, but you can touch and scroll. The mini isn’t a fit-in-your-pocket device, but it’s a tablet not a smartphone. It will comfortably fit in a bag and is light enough that you won’t even know you’re carrying it.
The display doesn’t feel cramped either thanks to the reasonably large diagonal size. It’s clear that the iPad mini is a nod to those who want something even more portable than the standard iPad. In terms of performance, there’s a pretty noticeable difference between the A5 in the iPad mini and the A6X in the 4th gen iPad as you’d expect. I do wish that Apple had brought the A6 to the mini, however something has to give in pursuit of the lower price point.
We will certainly line up to purchase an iPad mini. How about you?