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Initial Reactions Over the iPad Mini Less and Less Mixed

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Trusted opinions regarding the iPad Mini, like those coming from John Gruber over at Daring Fireball, are starting to roll in and the news doesn’t seem great… unless you read all the way to the end.

The iPad Mini doesn’t have a Retina display. We wish it did, we don’t know why it doesn’t, but get over it. After you accept that the resolution isn’t going to rival what you are used to seeing on the iPad 3 (or 4) or your newer model iPhone, you can start to be objective about the real reasons for owning the iPad Mini.

At less than half the weight of a full-sized iPad, the difference is “tremendous.” Gruber describes the Mini as “just plain fun to hold,” and that makes sense –anybody who has held a Kindle or Kobo reader for any length of time will tell you that the dimensions and weight are very comfortable to manage.

Typing on it seems comfortable (and in some ways makes more sense, particularly in portrait mode where you can hold the tablet with two hands and type with your thumbs quite easily), the performance is equal to that of the iPad 3 (despite initial concerns that it would be slow) and the exterior design (complete with “chamfered edges, less tapered back and metal rather than plastic buttons”) is being described as ‘elegant’.

So should you get one? Maybe. Should you opt for the iPad Mini instead of the traditional, larger iPad? Maybe. It’s all about having the right tool for the job.

If the primary uses for your iPad include reading or social gaming, you want a device for your children or you are always traveling and on the go –don’t hesitate. If you don’t expect 10″ of iPad out of your iPad Mini, you will be thrilled. If you are looking to use an iPad instead of a laptop at home or you want to work with the kinds of apps that are dependent on high-resolution graphics or lots of screen real estate, keep looking.

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  • Overall consensus on the iPad mini is that it’s well-built and a fantastic device. The only major downside is no retina screen. The review on The Verge calls it the “best small tablet.”

    Edit: I’m spoiled by retina from using the iPhone so I’m going with the iPad 4. But I’m sure the mini is a great device.

  • anon

    No retina display, no A6X CPU, no thanks!

  • Next version should have the retina display, if its build quality continues and processing just gets better, I can see this doing well even against the iPad itself. But the public is fickle so who knows.

  • I will try it for a week or 2 if I find I don’t like it ill send it back and get an iPad 4 .. Simple as that . I’m used to the non retina as i had an iPad 2 so not having doesn’t really matter to me .

  • djepsilon

    This device is perfect for someone like my wife. Doesn’t care about specs, just wants to read, play games and watch movies on a device lighter then the iPad. I think this is the type of person this product is geared to, not us Apple nerds. That being said, we both want to see one in person before we pass any judgement.

  • ????Dennis

    I’m right there with you Anon! What a waste at $329! Let the fanboys buy an oversized 3GS. I’ll wait till March, when Apple releases the retina version 😉

  • BugNo2

    The real title should be: “iPad 2 Mini”

  • Erik Kappel

    #corrections 4th paragraph: particularly in *landscape* mode…

  • LoveAppleH8fanboys

    Hahaha really? What’s the iPad mini going to do for my hands that revolutionizes the way I hold things? Get real. You can’t sell me an over-ripe banana by telling me it feels better in my hands – I’m more concerned about the taste. Horrible argument… Reeeeaching haaaard

  • hank

    $329 … seriously? stop
    ipod touch production and sell
    ipad mini for $200. done.

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