Product Type: Apple Tablet PCs / eBook Readers
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Four months since the first iPad came into my home...
Apple iPad mini Wi-Fi 16GB White
Member Name: k444tmc
Apple iPad mini Wi-Fi 16GB White
Advantages: fun - educational - runs brilliantly - attractive - great battery life - cheaper than an iphone -
Disadvantages: rubbish feeble chargers - itunes can be a nightmare -
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!
Summary: would definetely purchase one for myself and highly recommended to everyone!
|Ease of use:|
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