The iPad mini with Retina display is finally here, and so are the reviews. And the verdict is in: This is the iPad mini we have been waiting for. Of course, the enhancements come with a price increase, and some reviewers have quarrel with it. But in the end, all of them agree that the Retina display (among other things, of course) propels the iPad mini 2 above all other small tablets currently available on the market.
Here is how John Gruber of Daring Fireball puts it: With the Retina iPad mini 2, Apple erased categorizations such as “main” or “regular” or “standard” iPad. “Last year, Apple billed the iPad mini as ‘every inch an iPad,’ and that was true, but it was every inch an iPad 2. This year, it’s every inch a top-of-the-line iPad.”
Just one year ago, those were the compromises Apple was forced to make. They could shrink the year old iPad 2 into the Mini form factor, or go retina and A6X with a thicker and heavier battery.
This year, there are no compromises, there is no or. The iPad Mini has gone retina and provides just a hair less than the full performance of the Air, with no appreciable increase in weight or thickness over last year’s Mini.
CNET praises the Retina display and the A7 processor, as well as the improved Wi-Fi and LTE connectivity, alongside the battery life but queries the starting price of $399 and mentions the lack of the innovative Touch ID fingerprint sensor introduced with the iPhone 5s.
Without a doubt, if you’re a big reader, the massive jump in screen resolution is the most welcome change on this Mini. But what’s most impressive, and hard to truly appreciate at times, is that there’s no drop-off in pixels in the smaller screen size compared with on the Air. And, the Retina Display already looked good on the Air’s 9.7-inch display.
According to the Verge, customers who opt for an iPad just can’t lose: The iPad mini is the device for those who are price-, space-, and weight-conscious.
To those people, I say: go for it. You can’t lose. I’d buy a mini for myself, because I love having something that doesn’t take up much space in my bag and that I can wield even on a crowded subway. But the mini is now so beautiful and so immersive that you’ll never want to look away from the screen, and the Air now so portable and usable that you’ll rarely need to put it down. The mini used to be the lesser one, the reductive one, the one you bought if you couldn’t fit or afford the iPad. Now it’s just the smaller one.
According to Wired, last year’s iPad mini was a terrific product, but the second generation “is the iPad mini we’ve all been waiting for.”
Apple stepped up its game for this year’s iPad mini. The new mini is essentially the same tablet as the 9.7-inch iPad Air, right down to its 2048 x 1536 resolution Retina display. It’s just packed into a smaller package. A new A7 processor meshes with iOS 7 to create a super-powerful slate that gets all-day battery life. The only real difference between the two is the pared-down size, and the $100 cheaper starting price.