Review: Apple iPad Mini

By Wayne Webb

By Wayne Webb

The war in which everyone seems to be winners is the one we seem to have had with Apple and everyone else in the last couple of decades. It started with Mac vs PC, continued with iPhone vs Android, and now that battle has extended to the tablet market. As far as I can tell most of the big players are coming out with high-quality, affordable gear. So far the only collateral damage appears to be on pricing.

Which brings me to the latest apple tablet, the iPad Mini. Obviously feeling the pinch (or simply recognising the need) in the market around the 7-inch tablet Apple has reduced the size of the larger iPad and has argued against the prevailing wisdom that bigger is somehow better. This 7.9-inch iPad Mini is a thing of beauty and it feels light, shiny and high quality from the moment you turn it on.

I got the 16GB wifi-only model for my wife and within a very short time she had ditched the eReader she had been using for the past year. It’s a testament to its user friendliness that she made the transition effortlessly, which was in stark contrast with the drama she has when changing mobile handsets. The set-up and user interface of the iOS system is geared towards power users and first-time users alike. Whereas I have a long history with Apple devices, she is a newbie but found no problem in picking it up – she liked it so much I had to beg, borrow and steal time with the device to write this review.

It’s full of the usual suspects of apple devices, wizards and automated processes designed with ease of use in mind, but also lightweight and easy to hold. The 7.9-inch size is less cumbersome than the full iteration. All my iPhone apps transferred nicely to the iPad but some suffer from the screen size upgrade and may require newer HD versions at a higher price.

Video and audio are as good as expected with ITunes being your primary source of loading and managing software and media. If you don’t like being locked into this by then there are ways to get around it – but it’s not that easy, and ultimately not worthwhile. The other thing might annoy is the brand new proprietary connector/charging cable called the Lightning Connector. When the rest of the players are all heading to micro USB, Apple has made yet another cable, which means another wire hanging off my Mac and a different charger for the wall. Annoying yes, a deal breaker no.

Once again a high-quality Apple device that will be popular and ubiquitous before you know it. The kids love it, my wife loves it and my biggest complaint is that I have to buy another one just so I don’t have to compete for it.

Pros: Good price, good size, all the advantages of a tablet, great video and audio, all the apps, all the features of I devices.
Cons: Like all Apples, not massively configurable, a new proprietary cable to worry about.

4.75 Shacks Out Of 5


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