Product Type: Apple Tablet PCs / eBook Readers
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Apple iPad mini Wi-Fi 16GB Black
Member Name: tigger1992
Apple iPad mini Wi-Fi 16GB Black
Advantages: Size. Screen. Audio. Camera. App range. Lightening cable. Portability.
Disadvantages: Apps take longer to download & some are not sized for ipad mini. Typing? Screen glare! Price.
I received an iPad mini as part of my graduation present (for getting a First!) from my parents. I have wanted an iPad for a while, although they are really expensive and I am a student. My sister has an iPad mini and I loved it - my parents also have an iPad 2 which is the large one and I am so glad I received the iPad mini.
- Product description (from Apple UK)
"Right from the start, there's a lot to love about iPad. It's simple yet powerful. Thin and light yet fully featured. It can do just about everything and be just about anything. And because it's so easy to use, it's easy to love."
- Product specification
*Height: 200mm, Weight: 308g, Width: 134.7
*Storage, 16gb, 32gb, 64gb
*Wi-Fi, Bluetooth enabled (cellular available)
*7.9" LED screen with multi-touch displayed
*Apple A5 duel core processor
*Facetime camera: 720p video, face detection, backside illumination
*isight camera: 5mp photographs, autofocus, face detection
*Video recording: 1080p video, video stabilisation, face detection, tap to focus while recording
*10 hour battery, lightening cable, built in speakers/microphone
- About the product
An iPad is basically an iPod, camera/video, computer and aspects of the iPhone in one package! I use my iPad mainly for apps, the camera, the internet/email, shopping and TV/film. The iPad mini I have is the 16 GB version although it is also available in 32GB and 64 GB memory sizes. The iPad is also in Black and White - I personally hate the white Apple products, they looks a bit tacky in my opinion although I know a lot of people like them and it is an iconic feature of Apple products.
- Setting up and restoring
For setting up my iPad, I just followed the on screen instructions, it is so quick and easy. The set up took about five minutes maximum, including selecting the language/location, internet and Siri etc. The internet set up is very easy, if your internet is secure like ours is, you just need the router password. When I reached the end of the set up, I was asked whether I wanted to use the data/information from my iCloud account/Apple account or to start as a new iPad. As I have had an Apple account for about eight or so years I used the information from my iPod touch so my iPad started to download all of the apps from my iPod which is fairly quick and easy. Music and video recovery is a bit more time consuming, I will talk about this more in the iTunes section. You can also delete everything easily and start again.
- Screen and bevelling
The screen on the iPad mini is almost the same size as the screen for the larger iPad 2; the only difference is the bevelling on the edges of the screen. The bevelling for the mini is so much smaller than the iPad 2 which does make a difference as the bevelled edges is where you hold to iPad - now with the mini I have to hold part of the screen although all iPads apparently have a feature whereby you can hold the screen partly and still scroll and click on things but this sometimes doesn't work for me particularly when typing and holding the screen. The screen on the iPad mini is not a retina display but the screen is sharp, clear and video/photographs are great! The screen is not retina which would make the iPad mini perfect in my opinion but if you are not used to retina displays you will not notice a slightly poorer screen quality when compared to retina Apple products such as the iPhone 5. The only negative I have for the screen is that in sunlight the glare is definitely noticeable and it can be really difficult to view the screen, even with the brightness turned up - this happens with my iPod too and I wish Apple would stop the screens becoming fairly unusable in sunlight.
I have an Apple iPod touch so I am used to the 'notes' app, the keyboard and typing on a small screen so I found the transition to typing on an iPad easy. The screen is obviously bigger on my iPad mini than my iPod so I find it easy overall although it can be a bit annoying sometimes - when compared to an iMac or PC keyboard. I can type fairly quickly and easily on the mini and auto correct does help, for the most part, but it can get words wrong. The keyboard appears across the bottom of the screen and if you have small hands like me then you may not be able to reach the letters in the middle of the screen but you can split the keyboard into two so all of the letters are easy to reach - to do this you just hold the iPad mini vertically/normally and use your thumbs to pull each side of the keyboard apart at the same time and the keyboard will divide and become smaller and easier to reach which I do find useful. Although I mostly type with the full keyboard and lay the mini on a flat surface to type. There are symbols on the keyboard for punctuation, there is a Siri button too so you can speak type - you can press the Siri button, say that you want typed and then press the Siri button again and it will type what you said - for the most part!
Siri is the voice command feature of Apple products - the iPads, iPhone 4 and 5 (I don't know if all iPhone have had this feature). My iPod touch 4th gen had a feature like Siri called voice control where you can tell it to open apps or play songs and it will but Siri is more advanced than that but it is nothing new and amazing, in my opinion. I have used Siri to open apps, programs such as iTunes, to type with (although this isn't always successful depending on your accent and background noise!) and to ask questions - such as measurement conversions, to set calendar reminders and general questions. I do find that Siri is a useful feature but I don't like the voice and it can be incorrect sometimes.
- Camera, video and audio
I use the camera on my mini a lot for photographs to use on my reviews, my blog and to keep. The back facing camera is the one I use the most although I use the front facing camera for facetime. I have used the back facing camera in bright artificial light, natural outdoor light, dim light and it works really well - it is fantastic for close up shots in natural light (see photographs of flowers below). In some settings such as outdoors, bright light etc I am surprised at how good the camera is and how easy it is to use. Although in dim lightings the camera isn't amazing and photographs can look fairly poor/unfocused/grainy and there is no flash. The camera is easy to use, as is the video - although I don't use the video so I cannot really comment on it.
I don't have any songs on my mini, I keep them all on my iPod touch, so I don't really know how iTunes downloaded songs sound on the iPad mini but I do watch catch up TV, YouTube and Netflix on my mini. The volume range is really good, easy to change and it can get really loud - it has in built speakers. The sound is great with or without ear phones, there is no tinny echo or delay in sound. My sister has an iPad mini too and she has songs/iTunes downloaded music on hers and she says that the sound is good and clear.
- Itunes/Apps store
I have been using iTunes for about eight years or so now so I am used to it, although it has definitely changed since I started using it, iTunes and Apple updates occur every month or so and I usually don't download them straight away so that if there are any problems they are corrected. For any Apple product you need an Apple ID and that is what you use to sign in to iTunes and to purchase items. iTunes and the App store are already loaded on to the iPad/iPhone/iPod and they are both quick/easy to navigate and buy/download from. I usually just buy/download from the app store on my iPad or iPod but you can through your pc/mac too. Some people think iTunes is fairly expensive and I do agree but you can use iCloud to transfer your purchases/downloads onto your mini from your other Apple devices - also just a note on the Apple customer services, the Apple protection that we have for the mac is great and the customer service is really good. Also I lost all of my songs, I think because of an update or virus on my iPod, and Apple just gave me all of my songs back for free. Also there are some free apps, songs, pilot TV episodes and extras/behind the screen footage too.
Most of my apps are free but I have bought some apps/games too. My favourite iPad mini apps: Facebook, twitter, eBay (eBay for iPad), A Beautiful Mess (a new photography app which I definitely recommend), YouTube, Kindle, Pinterest Netflix, BBC iplayer, eBay. Some apps that were restored from my iPod were only for iPod/iPhone, not iPads - not all apps are suitable for the larger iPad form (mini or the other iPads). For example, the Instagram app is not suitable for iPads so the instagram app screen is a lot smaller than the screen - you can still use it but it doesn't fit the screen. I have around 26 apps currently, they do not take up too much space, there is a really wide range to choose from and the actual process of downloading them is really easy but I find that compared to my iMac or my iPod touch, the apps on my mini seem to take longer to download for some unknown reason.
- Portability and ergonomics
One of the main issues with the iPad 2 and the other larger iPads for me is the size and weight of them. My parents have the iPad 2 and or me it is really quite heavy and too big, especially with its Apple smart cover on (we do not recommend the Apple cover!). I find the iPad mini to be a lot lighter, easier and more comfortable to hold and it is easier to type on because of the size. I think that the mini is just the screen from a larger iPad basically and I like the more compact, portable, travel friendly size - and it looks less weird/obvious if you are taking a photograph/using the mini in public when compared to the larger iPads. This product to me is just a larger iPad screen with a little bit of bevelling on the sides, which I wasn't sure about when it was first released but I do really love it and I definitely prefer it over the larger iPads. This mini ipad is great for students, in my opinion, it is great for everyday use and it is thin, sleek and there are lots of cases available.
- Battery and storage
I have the 16GB version, which is the smallest battery size available, although while in the Apple store one of the members of staff said that the battery size can be upgraded/improved, obviously for a price but it is good to know that it can be made larger if need be. I find that with the apps, photographs I have on my ipad my storage capacity is reduced to 9.8GB which isn't amazing. I am used to 32gb which is my iPod storage size so I cannot have the TV/video that I want on my ipad all of the time, I have to alternative what I want on my ipad mini so that I don't use up all of the storage capacity. I do wish that the storage was larger, and I may increase the capacity in the near future but for everyday use it is fine. The battery life for my ipad, I use it every day for watching Netflix/TV/YouTube, for browsing the internet, online shopping, looking through photographs, social media and using apps - my battery lasts for a couple of days on a five/six hour charge which I don't think is amazing but it does depend on how much you use your ipad and also myself and my sister found that the screen brightness really drains the battery life.
Overall, I LOVE my ipad mini, I am so happy with it especially the size, camera, screen, apps, sound quality and I also love the sleek, thin design. When compared to the larger ipads (eg, ipad 2), this one feels a lot more portable, thin, compact, lightweight and more structured/put together in a way and I definitely prefer the mini to the larger ipads. Although despite all of the positive points, which do out weight the negatives in my opinion, there are some flaws. In my opinion the main negative point with this product, and the ipad 2 and my ipod is the screen glare - in bright sunlight such as we have been enjoying in the UK for the past week or so, you cannot see the screen well at all, even with the screen brightness at its maximum. Also there are other negatives such as the fairly poor app downloading speed for mine anyway, some apps are not made for the screen and show up as small screens and typing may be difficult for some. As for the price, yes it is expensive but it is an Apple product and all Apple products are expensive - also one point to note is that I could not get student discount on this product, Apple only have it on certain products unfortunately. In conclusion, do you need an ipad mini...no but if you want one for yourself or as a gift I would definitely recommend it!
- Price and availability
I have the 16GB black ipad mini which is priced at around £269. I believe my parents bought mine from Tesco (instores) but it can also be bought from Apple UK online, Apple stores, Pc world, Argos, Staples, ASDA, Amazon and John Lewis. There is also ebay. There are two other sizes 32gb which is priced at around £346 and the 64gb which is priced at around £429 - also if you want your ipad mini to have a cellular/3G connection that increases the price for all three storage levels. There is an iPad mini 2 being released sometime this year too, which may have the new A6 processor and a retina display but that is one thing I hate about Apple as they only released the ipad mini late last year and about a year later they are going to bring out another!
*Size and portability - fits well in the hands, fairly light weight (especially when compared to the iPad 2)
*Great screen, really sharp but if you are used to retina displays (eg. iPhone 5) then you may see the difference
*Apps - lots of apps that are easy to download and there are so many apps!
*Easy to change settings, good battery, durable/sleek design
*Very good audio - films/YouTube/catch up TV apps
*Lightening cable charger - charges up a little bit quicker although not as faster as I thought it would be
*Apps seem to take longer to download on my iPad mini when compared to my iPod Touch and iTunes on my Mac
*Typing may not be easy for some people
*Some apps are not made for the iPad so they are smaller on the screen and some of the apps are not available in iPad form
*Price but in my opinion it is definitely worth every penny
*Glare from screen/unable to see screen in bright light even with full brightness setting on
Thank you for reading my review - if you have any questions about the iPad mini, Apple, iTunes, Apps etc then leave me a message in my guestbook.
Summary: Overall, I love my iPad mini...
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