* Prices may differ from that shown
I bought my iPad mini as an end of exams treat for myself and it has served me well so far. It is more compact than the iPad - as the name suggests - which means it can easily be held in one hand and slots into a small bag! It has a sleek design and fits in perfectly with all the other Apple products. I opted for the white iPad mini to match my phone and I find the silver back creates an attractive design.
Extremely good value as it does the job of an iPad for a smaller price tag and a more compact size. I have found the16gb memory to be a sufficient amount of storage space as I have more than enough room for my music and copious amounts of apps.
The main flaw I have found with the iPad mini is that it is not compatible with Adobe Flash meaning that certain websites do not work to their upmost potential on this tablet.
I have been reluctant to buy an Ipad for sometime - mostly due to its size and then when the mini came out I thought great! I have not been disappointed. It is the perfect size, is handy to carry around with you and has excellent quality apps. I love the way I can photos and music on my ipad and phone. I think the ipad mini is good value for money. If you have had an iphone it is certainly easy to navigate around. I would definitely recommend this tablet.
I received an Apple iPad Mini as a gift and could not be happier with it. It is a fantastic product and beats all other tablet computers on the market in my opinion.
It is an excellent size - easily held in one hand and controlled by the other. The screen is so clear and bright and the design is just exquisite. It is so sleek and stylish, the white front and silver back make it seem almost space age. It is like a piece of modern art.
You can personalise the iPad by changing the wallpaper, choosing apps, syncing email accounts and other documents amongst many other functions.
I use my iPad for a variety of things including; watching TV and Movies, word processing, playing games, browsing the internet, writing and sending emails...the list goes on.
There are so many apps that you can download for this device, from the Apple App Store. There truly is something for everyone. I also have my iPad synced with my iPhone through the Cloud which is a storage system. This means that any photos or documents I take or download to my iPad automatically appear on my iPhone and vice versa. This is a fantastic addition to an already amazing product line.
The only slight downside is the battery life of this product. If I use it constantly for 3 or 4 hours, the battery life quickly drains. This would be a bit disappointing on a long journey with no power supply. However this is only a slight downside, all the other positives more than make up for this.
I would recommend the iPad Mini to everyone, especially those with limited technological knowledge as it is very simple to use, an excellent user interface.
I brought the Apple -Pad mini for my wife for Christmas and she loves it. I opted for the 16GB version as it has sufficient space as the all the applications she needed. The Ipad is preloaded with numerous apps on it, many of which she is yet to open.
In terms of internet access it comes with safari which is a search engine I hadn't used before. It's easy and straight forward to use and for those creatures of habit it's easy to download the likes of Google etc.
The Ipad is light weight and very easy to hold and use. Also the screen size is ample to easily navigate and also a good size to watch the variety of tv viewings available.
The downside of the Ipad is it's price, it certainly isn't cheap and currently retail around the £240 mark.
For those out there undecided about which which brand to purchase serious consideration should be given to this brand/model.
I can't say I have been a big apple fan so far. I do have an ipod but have so far steered clear of owning an Iphone or an Ipad. I am not a big fan of touch screen technology so it didn't interest me too much. I have though recently been looking to purchase a tablet and wanted something cheap without all the frills. After looking online and reading a few reviews I found several favourable ones pointing me towards the Ipad Mini. Others under consideration were the Kindle Fire and Google Nexus. I decided to go with the Ipad Mini 16gb Wifi in white. I paid £249 on the John Lewis website. I decided to go with them as they also included a 3 year guarantee with the price.
The Ipad itself
Inside the box you obviously have the ipad itself which is white in colour with a glossy finish. The screen size is 7.9 inches with dimensions of 200 × 134.7 × 7.2 mm and it weighs a very slight 308g. It is very light when you pick it up. It is very easy to hold in just one hand. The Ipad mini is thinner and lighter than its main tablet rivals but boasts a bigger screen
Also in the box is a very basic instruction card with a link to see more information and user guide and another information leaflet which in keeping with the product itself are mini in size. You also have the usb cable/charger.You can use this to charge the device via the mains or via usb to a laptop or computer.USB connection also allows you to sync and transfer files, photos etc.
Technicals and features
The mini features a 1 GHz dual core processor. This is the wi-fi version but there is a wi-fi and 3g cellular version available at a slightly higher price. The memory is 512 mb ram. ) It also features a diagonal LED-backlit Multi-Touch display. The resolution is 1024 × 768 pixels. The camera is front-facing 1.2MP and rear-facing 5MP. The oprating system is currently ios7.0.4. There are four buttons and one switch on the iPad Mini which include a home button at the bottom which returns the user to the home screen, and three aluminum buttons on the right side and top: wake/sleep and volume up and volume down, plus a software-controlled switch.
The set up includes choosing things like language and setting up an Apple ID if you already do not have one. You then have to enter your wireless connection settings and then you are connected up to the internet and you can browse, download apps, play music/videos , take photos and explore the various other features.
Apps and software
The iPad Mini comes with several pre-installed applications, including Siri, Safari, Mail, Photos, Video, Music, iTunes, App Store, Maps, Notes, Calendar, Game Center, Photo Booth, and Contacts. You can sync up your ipad with your itunes so you can listen to your music. I have though chosen to use the Amazon Cloud player app. I purchase a lot of my music from Amazon so this seemed to be the better option for me. The music could be streamed so would not take up space on the device which at 16gb isn't very much.
There are a wide range of apps available via the app store.
I am not really a big ebooks fan but you can also read these on this device. There is an ibooks app as well as an app from Amazon available.
The home screen offers space for 26 apps - 20 on the main screen, with a further six squeezed together on the bottom row .
Another feature is facetime which allows you to have video calls via voice over IP (VOIP). This is kind of similar to Skype.
Siri is a great fun addition to the Ipad Mini which features also on various other apple devices. If you don't know what Siri is it is like a personal assistant on hand for you to answer questions, make recommendations and perform tasks. It works using voice commands.
The camera isn't the best feature of the ipad mini to say the least. This has seemed to always been the case. It is ok for taking spur of the moment / fun pictures but the quality is not too great with the 1.2mp front and 5mp rear camera.
With video it is slightly better with the Mini sporting 1080p on the back and 720p on the front. This allows for pretty good quality videos.
The battery life is excellent at around the 10 hour mark which seems to be more than adequate for most. This is likely to be lower on the 3g version.
The iPad Mini is in my opinion and probably many others the nicest-looking and most well built compact tablet on the market. For the higher price compared to the other two, arguably it should be. In terms of power and performance, there's not a lot to really separate it from the Nexus 7 or Kindle Fire HD. When handing over money for an apple product or ithing you are paying for the research, design, craftsmanship and also brand association.
I didn't think I would become an Apple fanboy but this product has certainly converted me to an Apple product admirer if not a total fanboy. It is a fantastic product which I would highly recommend to those considering a purchase for a compact tablet. 5/5 stars from me.
I got the Ipad Mini for my boyfriends birthday a few months ago. The reason I got him one was as he loves to watch videos on his phone, he also needs to look and download videos due to his job . He has an Iphone and ends up using that to view them on the way home from work as he has a two hour train journey. I was nervous at first as I knew this was the cheaper version without 3G and I was not sure if that meant that you could ONLY use it with WIFI. I went into the Apple store to speak to a woman and she explained about using personal hotspot! HOW FANTASTIC.
For a much cheaper price you have access to 3G through using your Iphones 3G.
I would highly recommend it, ofcorse its not as fast as if you were to get the ipad with 3G but wow its worth the money and he loves it, you cant infact tear him away from it.
Great value!!! Fab Size.
There is an app for practically every occasion available on an iPad Mini. These range from things like centimetres to metres or paid to do apps like Maximiles. These are highly useful if you are not good at mental maths or want to earn a bit of cash while out and about.
The interface is easy to navigate and you can get accustomed to it extremely quickly even if they do change the entire interface like with IOS 7. The IOS 7 is not as good as previous versions however and anyone that has used the pervious version is unlikely to enjoy using it. There is one good difference here between iPad Minis, iPads and iPhones as the iPad Mini much like the iPad has some extra hand gestures that make things easier to access.
The battery life is excellent in the iPad Mini but IOS 7 has reduced the life by quite a small amount like the iPhone. Fortunately the battery life is not an overly large issue as if you can still get about 24 hours of pure playing on games out of it without having to charge it. You can play music on with the screen turned off on holiday for about 2 weeks without having to charge it. This makes it an extremely good device to have on an aeroplane as the kids can play away on it giving you peace and quiet to sleep or just relax. The iPad Mini however does have less battery power than an iPad but it does not make much difference really for the price.
The performance of the iPad Mini is brilliant as it will open webpages, switch between apps or even just open apps within seconds. There is nothing that will make you frustrated when using this product. There is also some extra apps that are not available on the iPhone.
I have found however that their is not enough storage space as if you have a lot of apps, music, photos and videos stored on your phone then you can be guaranteed that you will be constantly be getting the "not enough data storage available" message. Much like the iPhone and iPad I think a 32GB device is better.
The iPad mini is basically a bigger version of an iPhone, it fits in the palm of your hand. Most of the time, the battery lasts me a day considering how much I go on it. However, it takes the iPad very long to charge. The camera quality of the iPad is good but still not great, I dont really see that as a major problem because iPads are not designed for camera purposes.
The iPad is very good for education, apple offers apps like keynote, pages and numbers which is free on the iPad. They are also apps in App Store that you can use for educational purposes.
Its so easy to use an iPad. I love the fact that you can slide from one app to the other instead of opening your multitasking bar (you can do this on ios 6+7 not quite sure for the older updates). Also you can close an app by pinching the screen with 4 fingers instead of pressing the home-button which is a huge time saver.
In conclusion, I think the iPad mini is very beneficial and is a must-have for daily life.
Having previously owned a Kindle Fire, I decided to fork out the increased amount so buy an ipad mini. Having only ever previously had an Ipod I was unsure initially whether it would be worth the money. I can report back that it was definitely worth it and I would not change anything about the product.
The range of apps is fantastic and even though it is smaller than the ipad it is just as good for watching films and playing games. There are also a great range of extras e.g. covers which can be used to personalise your ipad. The latest upgrade to IOS 7 is fantastic and though it takes some time to convert to the new layout I have adapted very quickly.
Hope you found this interesting and I urge you to purchase this product. Maybe wait for the latest version to be released and then go for it.
The Ipad mini is a touch screen tablet released by apple. I was given one as a present, and here is the review.
The ipad mini has a decent battery life, and can spend almost all day sitting there watching videos, playing games etc... I also really like the design of the charging port, it has this magnetic click as the power supply goes into the charging port which I really like.
In terms of functionality, I remain unsure about how functional this is. I still think a normal computer is more functional than something like this, however that said this just remains in the living room, where it is useful for quickly checking whats on tv, skype calling, and just general messing about. However for more "intense" reasons, like online shopping, this thing is just horrible to try and use, you are better off just using a laptop or something like that.
In terms of programs, the way this works is that you connect to the apple store. Here you can pay for and download and install various programs for your ipad mini. I personally find the prices for some of the stuff incredibly lame. Really most of them are just little "games" or stuff like this... really the same sort of stuff you might find on a smartphone. Personally I have never bought anything off there and never intend to... I really think you are better off just sticking with skype, safari and the odd few free apps.
Another problem I have found with this is that when someone is using the ipad mini, the wifi in my house goes REALLY SLOW! More than a laptop connecting to the internet would cause. I am unsure if this is a problem with my wifi, or if the ipad is just really heavy on wifi routers?
However I do like watching things on here (like from bbc iplayer and youtube), as the screen is large, and has a nice display. Also the device feels very well made, and has a nice finish. The screen is also nice and responsive. I suppose as a device itself it is very nice, but the software I personally find lets it down (however it is very easy to use, and I commend it for that because I even managed to teach my granddad how to use a few of its features, and it only took me around 5 weeks!).
Overall then, I have to say if it was my own money, I wouldn't buy this. Sure its good for a quick glance on the internet (this turns on and off really quick as well, as it has flash memory), and maybe you want the odd app, but I don't see why you would choose this over a smart phone for any reason other than to watch things on there... which really is only youtube and bbc iplayer unless you have signed up with something like netflix... where you could just watch them on the tv if you have one of those wireless box things or a ps3 or even a nintendo wii. I know that my parents enjoy using it, and my sister likes playing her little apps on the ipad, but I still think a laptop is the way to go. With a laptop you can use flash based websites (you can only visit these on an ipad if you use an app... but not every flash based website has an app for it. I believe there is another way but its annoying and confusing). Overall then I give this 2/5, because I don't really see what niche this device fills. I don't think its as good as a laptop or computer, and its not as portable as a smaller smart phone. I understand some people would enjoy using it for watching things on, but watching it on this tablet limits what you can see, thus making it fairly pointless in my eyes. Really for £120 I would want something that would be useful for more than about 20 minutes searching the web when I am in the living room. For that you could get a decent smart phone which could also do all that (admittedly with a smaller phone), but you could also make calls off, as well as carry in your pocket!
I have to admit that when iPads were first released I was vehemently against them - I didn't see the point in essentially having a large iPhone that couldn't call people. However, I shamefully have to admit that I have been converted and after receiving this iPad mini as a present I now couldn't be without it.
- The design is brilliant - it looks so sleek, and is very light so you can pop it in your bag wherever you are going.
- it has so many uses! There really is an app for anything so it can be used to play games, browse the internet, play tv/radio. Pretty much anything you can think of there is an app or functionality for.
- The camera quality is not very good, certainly nowhere near the quality of the iPhone.
- Battery life is an issue when using constantly - generally it takes a while to lose charge but takes a long time to charge up.
The new iOS7 software has improved many of the negatives that I may have mentioned previously meaning that it just gets better and better!
The first iPad purchased in my household is when I bought my daughter one for her seventh birthday four months ago. Considering how hard it is to pry it out of her hands at times, being the possession of a young child, and me being her parent, naturally I have to check up on what she does on it time to time with it having access to the internet and with me doing this I have a pretty good idea on how it shapes up in my experience of Apple products and can now write a review on my thoughts on it.
In the months leading up to her birthday, as I do every year I queried with my daughter in what she wanted for her presents. The first answer I got was a mobile phone - I try not to be a horrible strict parent but even to me at the age of 7 my daughter is not going to have a mobile phone that young. After discussions lasting a few weeks we made a compromise to get her an iPad instead. This wasn't a huge decision for me to make as I had purchased an iPod Touch for her birthday the year before which already allowed her access to the internet and the ability to text anyone with an iPhone, iPad or iPod so to me she is just going to do the same things as before only on a bigger screen. She hadn't specified which type of iPad she had wanted so it was then up to me to hunt round the different types to get the best one suitable for her.
I decided at getting her the iPad Mini 16g in White for a few reasons - she had requested the colour be white anyway because my iPhone 5 is white and her iPod touch is black - to her, Apple products in White look a lot more girly. My boyfriend owns the iPad 2 which he was highly recommending to me at the time, however when I viewed the Mini's in a shop I was really happy at how compact they were and how weightless they were compared to the other models - to me the Mini's are the best ones you can buy for a child due to this. Although the screen size is quite a bit smaller compared to the other iPad models to a child I don't think this matters too much anyway because the screen is huge to them! Naturally I was also more attracted to the price and the fact the it is a newer model with features that older models do not support such as Siri (I will go into more information on that later in the review). I had opted for the 16gb option as I have 16gb iPhone and not even I use this amount of space up so I couldn't imagine a 7 year old managing it! Many people are opting for 3G iPad's now so they can be used out and about on the go. I decided on the Wifi only version as she only ever uses this when we are in the house or go away on holiday where there is Wifi anyway - there is a difference in the price which I couldn't justify paying for when its a service that would not be used plus the fact that I don't want to offer her too much freedom on it to use outside the house...
On Arrival from Amazon...
I then purchased the iPad Mini from Amazon as it was the cheapest place I could get it from if took into account the vouchers that I had earned from DooYoo which shaved £40 off the price for me. I had signed up for a free month subscription to Amazon Prime which granted me free of charge next day delivery by a courier firm. I am pleased to say it had arrived the next day but I was a bit shocked that as I was out the courier firm had signed for the delivery themselves and left the parcel in my daughters playhouse in the back garden. There was no harm done on this occasion but in my opinion it could of been very easily stolen from the back garden so be aware of this if ordering from Amazon.
The iPad mini comes contained in a white cardboard box like all other Apple products I have had, I would say its around 1 inch high in height and the dimensions of the box fit the iPad perfectly leaving no extra room at the sides. One thing I will say is that when you take the lid off the iPad is not secured to anything inside the box except the mould it rests in, so I would stress to be very careful when lifting out of the box the first time. With the iPad you also get a wall adapter, charge/sync lead and headphones. Like my newish iPhone 5, for once I am very impressed with the headphones which come with the product. I am the worst person in the world for moaning about how poor the quality was on the free headphones which came with all Apple products, thankfully Apple have re-designed them and I believe they are now called Ear-Pods which are of much better quality, look nicer and sit a lot more comfortably in the ear. However like with the iPhone 5 the connecter to charge the device has changed from the original Apple 30pin connector to an 8 pin "lightning" connector which is supposed to charge the phone better and faster. I am not won over by the new connecters at all - they are smaller but this makes them more feeble and open to damage - I have now lost count of the number of official Apple 8 pin charger leads I have bought and they all stop working within a couple of months... as well as the number of products we have in our house such as speakers which connect to the old 30pin style the new connector is a pain as you need to buy adaptors if you own products which are supposed to work with older Apple products.
When my daughter was fast asleep later that night I had synced the iPad to her iTunes account which copied all her apps and music over to it which she was using at the time on her iPod Touch. The process was done but as with every other Apple product in my opinion iTunes can be a bit temperamental and difficult to use when it comes to transferring on to a new device - so far this is one of my biggest gripes with Apple products as there has been times where the material has not synced to the device and I have had information and contacts deleted as a result. To avoid this there are lots of step by step guides online to use iTunes which unfortunately do not come included with the device.
Upon first turning on the device you get a selection of essential apps already pre-loaded which are essential for storing information such as contacts and downloading music and apps from the stores. The apps are as follows :
* Calendar (you can also use this to add events / appointments)
* Camera (there is a total of two camera's, one on the face, one on the back of the device)
* Photos (which stores all the photo's taken on the camera)
* Stocks (in case you want to check the stock market...)
* Maps (gives you directions on how to get to places using GPS)
* Weather (so you can check the weather forecast)
* Notes (to make notes)
* Reminders (so you can make a reminders list if needed)
* Utilities folder (contains alarm, calculator, compass and voice memo)
* iTunes (to download more music from the store)
* App Store (to download other apps)
* Game Centre (game leader board with other app users)
* Newsstand (to download newspapers or magazines on subscription)
* Contacts (phonebook)
* Videos (to hold recorded videos from the camera)
There is also a newish feature to the Apple devices called Siri - where you hold down the home button and ask a general question such as "what is the weather like" - it will then look up the weather forecast in the area and read this back to you. Its a good feature but can be temperamental with our northern accents but its a fun feature and a lot of the time my daughter would probably talk to it 24.7 if I let her!
Other features include 2 x camera's (one on the front for taking "selfie" photos and one on the back for taking normal photo's) and Face time (which is pretty much free of charge video calling to any other Apple device depending if you are connected to WiFi).
Just like the iPod touch you can also send text messages free of charge through "iMessage" on this iPad to any other Apple device and also text messages to other types of devices as long as you download a multi-platform app to do this.
You can customise this iPad to exactly as you want to depending on your lifestyle and preferences. On the app store you have a variety of different apps to chose from in the following categories:
* Health & Fitness
* News Stand
* Photo & Video
* Social Networking
A lot of apps she plays, mainly games, are free of charge and you can buy in game purchases to further your game ahead if desired. Many good games can be offered around the £2-£3 mark and there is always plenty of reviews from other users to determine if its worth the purchase.
The iTunes store holds a variety of music ready for you to download to use to listen to full tracks or just use as ringtones for your device. Full albums can also be purchased which can sometimes work out less than buying a CD version. Personally as we get our music from other sources we only use this to get her new ringtones for the iPad.
Keeping up appearances?
On to the appearance the iPad mini matches the style of the iPhone 5 with the new "less smash able" aluminium material back cover - one issue that people mainly with the older iPhones were complaining about was how easily the glass back smashed and I can only imagine they received a similar number of complaints for the older iPads. To date (touch wood) with this material on my iPhone I have had no issues but I always keep a silicone cover on to protect it and I have done the same with the iPad too. The white iPad mini's have a silver aluminium appearance on the back whereas the black iPads are black in colour and looks almost like a carbon effect. As well as being more sensible and practical using this material instead of the old style glass it also looks a lot better.
A child can easily work out how to play music on this device and due to the size can play out some really decent music and this can be made better by also purchasing speakers to plug the device into to make it better!
I don't want to go into massive detail on the spec such as screen resolution, size ect because this information can be found anywhere online and I just want to give the opinion of a normal person who owns one who isn't very techy about this kind of thing. In my opinion the picture quality on the screen is much better than the popular iPad 2 I believe this is down the screen being smaller and the general specifications being higher so it fills out better on the screen. I also like that on the main menu you also have 5 lines filled with apps per page just like the latest iPhone has so you can view more per screen. In terms of how the device runs ie. slow running? apps crash... I have to say compared to her iPod Touch 8g it runs like a dream. After a year of use the iPod really did start slowing down likely due to lack of memory but I have noticed this on other Apple products so this may well start running slow in future but at the moment a few months after purchase there is no issues - all apps she has downloaded play absolutely fine on it and from generally talking to other people iPads seem to be the best device to use most apps anyway.
Another great thing which surprised me when I compare to my iPhone is how well the battery holds out compared to my phone when she seems to spend a lot more time on the iPad than me on my phone! Considering you would think it would run down more due to the large screen its having to support she is only having to charge it once every few days when I am lucky if I only have to charge my phone once a day! So in my opinion the battery life is brilliant especially when iPhones are very well known for poor battery!
Easy for a child to use?
In terms of simple-ness to use Apple is the top brand for me and my daughter. Each family to their own but the devices are so easily to work that young children can use them - many people are shocked when I say my 7 year old daughter owns her own iPod Touch AND an iPad but I see it as being no different to any child with a games console at the same age - I am 26 and at her age I owned a megadrive. The difference being iPads can be very educational. She has countless fun games for herself but I also put apps on there which can help her maths and spelling. She also isn't a keen reader due to the amount that she feels she is forced to read at school but with the Kindle App she has plenty of brilliant childrens books stored on there and she enjoys the novelty of reading on a screen rather than a real book. The other difference being the obvious dangers of a child being let loose on the internet. Its all a case of checking what your child does on this kind of device to make sure they are safe at all times.
One thing I have noticed when compared to iPhones is the easiness of the menu's - for example on the iphones settings page you get one list at a time to get you where you want to be but because of the large screen you also get sub-menu's after every click which can make it easier to find what you are looking for.
In general its a great tablet device to give a child due to the ease of use especially if you do not want them to have the responsibility of a phone or a laptop just yet. I have no regrets buying this device and its safe to say my daughter never uses the iPod touch anymore as the iPad has near taken over her life for the better! The device is great for anyone at any age I really recommend this and hope at some point in future I will buy myself one too!
The Apple Ipad mini, although slightly more expensive than some of the other pc tablets out there (google, kindle fire etc) is far better quality than any other I have come accross. At under £300 (there price will vary unpon size of memory) this device has brought a lot of entertainment to my kids, and due to its size it is much easier for them to handle than the full sized Ipad. Upon opening the well packaged box, the Ipad mini looks sleek and sturdy and comes with full instructions. I found that it only took me around 5 minutes to work around (I do have an Ipohone though so customers new to apple may take a little longer to figure it all out) It will already have the standard apps pre set on it such as itunes and safari (which is the web browser Apple uses for all its' devices) Once registard with the app store (if you are not already registered) it is very simple to browse through all the apps to pick the ones you like. Apps are updated regulary to fix any exsiting problems or just add new levels. With a large selection of kids apps, my two little ones were made up and with the large internal memory of 16g, and most apps ranging from 3mb to 20mb, there is more than enough room to store all your favourites.
The camera quality with the Ipad mini, if I am being completely honest, is not the best quality around, but it is more than good enough to capture bits and bobs of family evets etc, and I have found that most Apple products do not offer the best camera around, and other phones and tablets have far far better quality, as well as photo editing options built into the tablet. The Ipads photo editing is very basic, but they have many free apps with additional editing tools should you require it.
A little bit of background information;
The iPad mini is exactly what it says - it's a mini version of the iPad. Not mini enough to be the size of an iPhone (whole separate item!), but more of a middle sibling between the 2 in size.
Some key factors regarding the iPad mini - it's dimensions are 24 x 18.6 x 7.4 cm, with a screen size of 7.9inches (still a decent size, even for a "mini"). It has a battery life of appromately 8 hours and has a charge time of 2 hours. It comes with a USB cable/plug. Nothing more, nothing less.
My experience with iPad;
I won mine in a competition. Yes, I was one of those lucky ****'s who didn't actually have to pay for one. I'd never been a huge fan of Apple, but a competition is a competition - just because I wouldn't pay for one, doesn't mean I wouldn't like to win one! Needless to say, I was thrilled!
Upon receiving it, I was impressed by the clean structure of the presentation - the box was sturdy, stylish and beautifully professional. One cannot doubt Apple's eye for design, and this didn't stop at the box. As I took out the iPad mini, I couldn't help but marvel at it's design. Fan or not, one cannot deny they are beautifully designed pieces of technology. Upon switching on the iPad, I was guided through several easy set up pages (it came fully charged and ready to use), detailing the usuals like timezones and languages. Then I was in!
It comes with the usual Apple ready to use apps - Safari, iTunes etc. The App store can give you everything else you need (I promptly downloaded Twitter and Facebook, my lifelines!), sometimes for free, sometimes for a small fee (this is usually clearly labelled, but beware of free apps having hidden costs, as this has been well publicized recently).
One thing that struck me, was its ease of use. The clear icons on the screen were easy to navigate, the touch screen absolutely effortless, providing an easy to use interface (dare I say, so easy my Dad could probably use it...)
The screen size is more than adequate for what I use it for - the detail is splendid, even when watching iTunes movies and television shows. Others have stated the lack of retina display disappoints them with the iPad mini, but having no experience of other Apple iPad products this bares no point of discontentment for me. I was happy with the iPad mini experience, and would recommend them. I am an Apple convert.
The 16GB does not go very far though - once you've added music, several apps and a few television shows you are close to filling it. A larger HD size is preferably, but obviously wasn't an option for me at the time. I would consider upgrading in the future though, at the right price.
The battery life is amazing - despite using it almost 24/7 initially (as you do with a new "toy"!!), I didn't need to charge it until almost 3 days later, and this was a simply 2hour affair before I was able to play again! I would recommend a protective case though - the design is too beautiful to be spoilt, especially if you are going to be carrying it around with you throughout the day (the beauty of the size of the mini - it fits in your handbag!). Plus it protects the screen too!
I would recommend the iPad mini to anyone - particularly a new Apple user, as they may benefit from it more. It is small enough to carry around, and easy enough that anyone could use it! But at a recommended retail of approximately £270, these are not cheap - these should be a well considered purchase, weighing up whether you would use it enough to justify the cost! Had I not won one, I probably wouldn't have paid that...
When I first heard the iPad mini had been announced I was quite excited, being able to carry a device like the iPad around in a smaller form is ultimately quite a good idea. I had already been doing quite a lot of reading on my original iPad but unfortunately the original's can be quite unwieldy and you your arms soon die after holding it above you while lying down. As a result the iPad mini was attractive.
So firstly, the build quality. As usual it's pretty good as is the case with most Apple products, unfortunately I cannot shake the feeling that this feels cheaper than the others. Something about the materials feels weird and when compared to the originals it feels considerably cheaper, perhaps this is because of my over critical nature when it comes to new iterations of products but there is certainly something different about it. This is not to say that the iPad mini feels bad it just doesn't feel quite as good in my opinion.
The first strike against the iPad mini is that it lacks Apples coveted 'Retina display', something present in many of their other products. As someone who owns multiple other products with this type of screen I can safely say the difference is absolutely noticeable, everything seems less pretty on the mini. I have experienced this through looking at photographs and as I mentioned before in the many books I have been reading lately, things simply appear less clear. I suppose this is an attempt by Apple to keep the price of the product down but I can't help but feel disappointed by it. As usual, the iPad comes loaded with the typical apps found on all IOS devices such as music, movies Safari (web browser) etc. These all feel great and everything works smoothly and overall the experience is enjoyable even in this smaller format. Unfortunately the front camera on the mini leaves a lot to be desired so expect some extremely grainy horrible photo's if you use this camera, but fortunately the front facing camera is really quite good and I have used it to take some really nice looking photo's. You can also expect a decent battery life, you're looking at around ten hours of minimal use which degrades slowly as you use more apps and watch more videos.
Overall, I would say that in my opinion the iPad mini is suitable if you want to carry an iPad around with you while you're on the move and perhaps for reading. But unfortunately I cannot shake the feeling that this is a step down from the full sized iPad, because of this I would recommend that if you will mainly use your iPad at home to just buy the mini's bigger brother. Yes it may be more expensive but it really does feel better than the mini and you wont regret it.