“Apple will never make a 7-inch tablet.”
Those were the words of former CEO Steve jobs back in 2010.
Well Steve is long dead and we have a new CEO at the helm of Apple captain cook and he has a different outlook.
We all know it was on the horizon well it’s now landed.
I’ll try to hash out all that and more in my review let’s get started.
The first thing that strikes you about the mini is how well made this device feels in the hand.
Crafted out of the same materials as the latest iPhone 5 it’s downright luxurious.
Up top sits the power button, volume buttons on the side, and the home button below the 7.9-inch display.
Flanking the bottom of the tablet you have Apple’s new lightning connector as well as a pair of stereo speakers that pump out decent sound.
In terms of camera the mini comes with a 5MP shooter which takes about the same images as the iPhone 4.
This camera is also capable of recording 1080P video at 30 frames per second.
A FaceTime camera lurks near the top bezel of the tablet it can also shoot 720P video as well.
It comes with faster WIFI and Bluetooth 4.0 models that use 3g-4g are also available.
Capacity comes in your choice of 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB also we have Siri so you can ask the sassy virtual assistant pointless questions.
Overall this tablet is designed very well Apple products are known for there industrial beauty and this latest addition to the product stable certainly fits that description perfectly.
The display is the same as that on the iPad 2 the mini has a resolution of 1024-by-768 at 163 PPI.
This means that text and other content looks very fuzzy and pixelated granted it shouldn’t be a problem if this is your first iOS device but if you own a retina based product you’ll definitely notice a step back in quality.
The issue will be probably rectified within time but that’s little consolation for first gen buyers of this tablet.
The mini runs iOS which is now in it’s 6th iteration the OS is as good as ever out of the box you get Apps for email, browsing the web, reading books, messaging, and if that isn’t enough for you visit the App store to extend the software of the device.
There’s not a lot to say about iOS really to quote Apple ” It just works.”
If you don’t mind the closed garden you’ll like using iOS otherwise look elsewhere.
The tablets power comes from a dual-core A5 chip clocked in at 1GHZ.
Ram is 512MB this puts it roughly on par with the iPhone 4S when it comes to performance.
Loading up geekbench I got 1014 in load times vs the iPhone’s 1015.
This means that in everyday tasks the mini should perform as well as the iPad 2 or iPhone 4S.
Some games like infinity blade II and other graphic intensive Apps did make the device slow and sluggish even requiring a restart at one stage but in general the device was responsive.
Apple’s website clames that you can get up to 10 hours on the WIFI mini 9 hours for the 4G version and after using the mini for 2 days I’d have to agree.
Using the tablet for email, some light reading, listening to music, and downloading content in the background I got 10 hours and 55 minutes of usage.
That’s pretty good and should mean that you should get through a standard day.
Of course your milage will very depending on what you do with the tablet certain activities like using 4G or playing games will decrease battery life significantly.
The iPad mini is a lovely product both to hold and use but something holds me back from recommending it maybe it’s the crummy display or maybe it’s the 2 year old processor it feels like Apple is testing the waters with this one.
So my advice would be to stay your hand at least this generation you’ll be able to get the iPad mini 2 with that gorgeous retina display and A6 chip next year.
If you absolutely need a 7-inch tablet then go with the Nexus 7 from Google not only will you get a more powerfull tablet you’ll get a better display as well not to mention spending less swag.
Loveley industrial design, easy to hold with one hand, superb software.
expensive for what it is, crummy display, accessories require even more expensive adapters.
Price as reviewed:
AU369 16GB, AU479 64GB AU589 64GB