The first iPad mini reviews hit the web on Tuesday, and as expected, many award high marks for the tablet’s build quality and components, but warn the price and lower resolution screen may be deal-breakers for some.
I’ve been testing the iPad Mini for several days and found it does exactly what it promises: It brings the iPad experience to a smaller device. Every app that ran on my larger iPad ran perfectly on the Mini. I was able to use it one-handed and hold it for long periods of time without tiring. My only complaints were that it’s a tad too wide to fit in most of my pockets, and the screen resolution is a big step backwards from the Retina display on the current large iPad.
No, this isn’t Retina, but maintaining the same resolution as a 10-inch display shrunken down to 7.9 means a necessary boost in pixel density: 163ppi. That’s a nice increase over the iPad 2’s 132ppi, but it still falls short of the 264ppi of the fourth-generation iPad — not to mention, the iPhone 5’s 326dpi.
This isn’t just a shrunken-down iPad. This is, in many ways, Apple’s best tablet yet, an incredibly thin, remarkably light, obviously well-constructed device that offers phenomenal battery life.
Minor quibbles aside, the iPad mini stands head and shoulders above the competition in terms of design, the caliber of its components, and the solidness of how it’s been built. But it also has another quality, one that’s nearly as important: the device has personality.
I am a firm believer in “you get what you pay for.” The iPad mini is a perfect example of that. If you want to save $50 and buy a cheap-ass tablet, go ahead. If you want quality the iPad mini will be waiting for you when you come to your senses.
Preorders for Apple’s iPad mini sold out less than three days after going live last week, however consumers eager to purchase the new device will have a shot at picking one up at a brick-and-mortar Apple Store on Friday.