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Apple iPad Mini reviews roundup

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After dominating the tablet market for more than two years with the original iPad, Apple has now entered the growing small-screen slate segment with the iPad Mini.

The new tablet computer has a display measuring 7.9 inches on the diagonal, compared to the 9.7-inch screen in the main iPad.

Whilst the original iPad kickstarted the market in 2010, the iPad Mini arrives with plenty of competition, including already-established rivals from Amazon (the Kindle Fire HD) and Google (Nexus 7), featuring 7-inch screens and running the Android operating system.


Our own Digital Spy Tech review of the iPad Mini praised the build quality and usability of Apple's small-screen tablet, but questioned whether the higher price (£269 for the base model against around £159 for rival products) is justified in such a competitive market. But here is what some other major tech websites are saying about the iPad Mini.

The iPad Mini

© PA Images / Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP

The Verge praises the iPad Mini's build quality, stating that none of the rival products in this category "come close to the look, feel, or build quality of the new iPad".

It notes that much has been made of the iPad Mini's display, which has the same resolution as the original iPad - 1024x768, and a pixel density of 163 pixels per inch (PPI). This is beaten by the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HD, which both have 7-inch displays with a resolution of 1280x800, and 216 PPI.

The Verge says that the iPad Mini screen is a "really good-looking display in general terms", but is lacking compared to Apple's other devices featuring the Retina screen technology.

"Since Apple is the company that's gotten our eyes used to the hey-look-no-pixels trick of the Retina display, it's hard to take a step back and not notice," it says.

iPad Mini

© Apple

Macworld gives the iPad Mini five stars and names it Editor's Choice. The site notes the lack of Retina display, but says that the screen is still "very high quality" and "excellent for rendering video and graphics".

In an extensive review, Macworld broadly praises the iPad Mini and concludes by suggesting that it is the "way forward" for Apple's tablet devices.

"The more you use the iPad Mini, the more you get the impression that this is the right device. It's the way forward," it adds. "This is a lighter, more portable device, than the full iPad that offers the same functionality in a more compact and useful case."

T3 also gives the iPad Mini the full five stars. It notes that most people use their iPad at home rather than out and about, with size, weight and portability being "cited as the most common restricting factors".

But the reviewer says that the Mini "not only rights these limitations but improves on an already successful product from the Apple stable".

T3 acknowledges that whether people choose to buy the Nexus 7 or Kindle Fire HD rather than the iPad Mini "comes down to your perception of value and image". But it adds that Apple's new slate is the "best of its breed".

Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide product marketing, introduces the iPad Mini

© PA Images / Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP

Engadget says that the iPad Mini is a "great tablet" in its review, but also notes the competition.

The entry-level iPad Mini is over £100 more expensive than equivalent Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HD models, yet has a technically inferior screen and processor.

The review says that the overall build quality is much better in the iPad Mini and the tablet crucially offers access to a "comprehensively more tablet-friendly App Store".

But it adds that whether this is worth the extra cost depends on your budget and feelings towards the Android mobile software.

"The iPad mini is well worth considering for anybody currently in the market for a tablet. Its cost is compelling, its design superb and it of course gives access to the best selection of tablet-optimized apps on the market," the review concludes. "To consider it just a cheap, tiny iPad is a disservice. This is, simply, a great tablet."

Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide product marketing, introduces the iPad Mini

© PA Images / Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP

Time states that people should view the iPad Mini as either "a low-cost, compact cousin of the full-size iPad or a costlier, larger-screen alternative to the 7-in. models".

The review is lukewarm on the screen, as well as the iPad Mini speakers, noting that they lack the power of the Dolby stereo audio in the Kindle Fire HD. But it says the most notable feature in the iPad Mini is access to 275,000 apps designed for the tablet, which other platforms cannot offer.

"It's by far the most bountiful, high-grade collection of tablet software and the single most compelling reason for anyone who's contemplating spending $199 on a 7-in. tablet to come up with another $130 (or more) for an iPad Mini," it adds.

CNET welcomes the iPad Mini's "ultrathin and light design", along with its front and rear cameras, support for Long Term Evolution (4G) connectivity, and greater storage options.

But the review says that the new tablet "costs too much" considering the non-Retina display, the weaker processor and the competition already on the market.

"If you want the full, polished Apple tablet experience in a smaller package, the iPad Mini is worth the premium price," the reviewer states. "Otherwise, good alternatives are available for less money."

> Apple iPad Mini 2 'to feature Retina display'
> Nexus 10 reviews roundup - iPad killer lacks app factor

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