iPad Mini review roundup: 'Refined' tablet is a great travel companion, has a so-so screen

by Doug Drinkwater

October 31 2012

Apple's iPad Mini will be released on November 2
Apple's iPad Mini will be released on November 2

Reviewers have generally been impressed by the iPad Mini's size, price and usability, but there are minor complaints on the lack of a Retina Display.

“Every app that ran on my larger iPad ran perfectly on the mini. I was able to use it one-handed and hold it for long periods of time without tiring.

"My only complaints were that it’s a tad too wide to fit in most of my pockets, and the screen resolution is a big step backwards from the Retina display on the current large iPad". Walt Mossberg, AllThingsD.

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”. John Gruber, Daring Fireball.

“Minor quibbles aside, the iPad mini stands head and shoulders above the competition in terms of design, the caliber of its components, and the solidness of how it's been built.

“But it also has another quality, one that's nearly as important: the device has personality. I've started to think of it as a constant companion — small enough to throw in a bag or carry around the house. There's something endearing about the mini that makes you want to keep it on-hand and use it often.

It's a feeling the larger iPad never elicited in me”. Joshua Topolsky, The Verge.

“[The] iPad Mini is a far classier, more attractive, thinner machine. It has two cameras instead of one. Its fit and finish are far more refined.

And above all, it offers that colossal app catalog, which Android tablet owners can only dream about”. David Pogue, The New York Times.

“If you want the full, polished Apple tablet experience in a smaller package, the iPad Mini is worth the premium price. Otherwise, good alternatives are available for less money”. Scott Stein, CNET.

“Even though this screen isn’t state of the art, it’s O.K. If you’ve ever laid your eyeballs on the ultra-smooth text rendered by the Retina iPad, the iPad Mini’s text will look fuzzy by comparison, especially at teensier type sizes.

But the trade-off it presents compared with the 7-inchers — fewer pixels but more space — is reasonable enough”. Harry McCracken, TIME.

“This is, in many ways, Apple’s best tablet yet, an incredibly thin, remarkably light, obviously well-constructed device that offers phenomenal battery life”. Tim Stevens, Engadget.

Doug Drinkwater is the International Editor of TabTimes and is based in London, England.

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