Apple’s iPad mini has a lot to live up to given how well the new iPad with Retina display has been received. In addition, there are a wide range of 7-inch competing tablets causing far less than the $329 or £269 starting price Apple is asking consumer to shell out.
So, lets find out whether Apple’s new iPad mini is worth the hype and extra cash
[quote] The iPad mini is an excellent tablet — but it’s not a very cheap one. Whether that’s by design, or due to market forces beyond Apple’s control, I can’t say for sure. I can’t think of another company that cares as much about how its products are designed and built — or one that knows how to maximize a supply chain as skillfully — so something tells me it’s no accident that this tablet isn’t selling for $200. It doesn’t feel like Apple is racing to some lowest-price bottom — rather it seems to be trying to raise the floor.
And it does raise the floor here. There’s no tablet in this size range that’s as beautifully constructed, works as flawlessly, or has such an incredible software selection. Would I prefer a higher-res display? Certainly. Would I trade it for the app selection or hardware design? For the consistency and smoothness of its software, or reliability of its battery? Absolutely not. And as someone who’s been living with (and loving) Google’s Nexus 7 tablet for a few months, I don’t say that lightly.
The iPad mini hasn’t wrapped up the “cheapest tablet” market by any stretch of the imagination. But the “best small tablet” market? Consider it captured.[/quote]
[quote] This isn’t just an Apple tablet made to a budget. 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. No, the performance doesn’t match Apple’s latest and yes, that display is a little lacking in resolution, but nothing else here will leave you wanting. At $329, this has a lot to offer over even Apple’s more expensive tablets.
Those comparing this to the Kindle Fire HD will have a hard time, as that’s a tablet manufactured to a fixed cost and designed to sell you content. This is very much more. Similarly, the hardware here — the materials, the lightness, the build quality, the overall package as it sits in your hand — is much nicer than the Nexus 7 and it offers access to the comprehensively more tablet-friendly App Store, but whether that’s worth the extra cost depends entirely on the size of your budget — and your proclivity toward Android.
Regardless, 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. To consider it just a cheap, tiny iPad is a disservice. This is, simply, a great tablet.[/quote]
[quote] All of the tablets, all of them, bend when you hold them. They are made of cheap plastic parts and the casing felt like it would snap. Until now, these were the only mid-sized tablets I have ever used and they were awful. That’s what I was basing my opinion on.
I tapped on a link four times on the surface before it would do anything. After it finally went to the page, I only had to tap the back arrow three times to get back.
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.[/quote]
[quote] If the iPad Mini had a Retina Display, a newer A6 processor, and a slightly lower price, it would be the must-have Apple gadget of the year. Even without that, it’s still incredibly appealing. Its $329 price still makes it one of the least-expensive iOS gadgets Apple makes. Does it make more sense than a $299 iPod Touch with the same processor, twice the storage, and a sharper, if smaller, screen? The Touch is a tiny thing; the iPad Mini can be used at a distance, to read and even to type. So can a Touch, but it’s not as comfy. It comes down to choice. The iPad Mini works with all of Apple’s apps. It’s superior for magazines and news, and for illustrated books.
…I will say this: when you see it, you’ll desire it. Just remind yourself you may not need it.[/quote]
[quote] Apple has grown to be the most successful company in the world because they sell quality devices that people want at a healthy margin. As a result, the profits have rolled in. Last week during their earnings call, Apple made a point of saying that the iPad mini is going to have lower margins than the rest of their products — yes, even at $329. That’s not an excuse for the price, that’s the reality of the price.
But how will a $329 tablet fare in a world of $199 tablets? It’s hard to know for sure, but my guess would be in the range of “quite well” to “spectacular”. Apple has done a good job of making the case that the iPad mini is not just another 7-inch tablet — in fact, it’s not a 7-inch tablet at all. It’s a 7.9-inch tablet — a subtle, but important difference. As a result, it can utilize every iOS app already in existence. And it can access the entire iTunes ecosystem. And it will be sold in Apple Stores.
Apple isn’t looking at this as $329 versus $199. They’re looking at this as an impossibly small iPad 2 sold at the most affordable price for an iPad yet. In other words, they’re not looking at the tablet competition. This isn’t a tablet. It’s an iPad. People love these things.[/quote]
[quote] If the Mini had a retina display, I’d switch from the iPad 3 in a heartbeat. As it stands, I’m going to switch anyway. Going non-retina is a particularly bitter pill for me, but I like the iPad Mini’s size and weight so much that I’m going to swallow it.
My guess is that this is going to play out much like the iPod and iPod Mini back in 2004: the full-size model will continue to sell strongly, but the Mini is going to become the bestselling model.[/quote]