Steve said they will never do it. Regardless, post-Steve Apple went ahead and brought us a smaller, lighter iPad. Was it worth the risk?
For many the first reaction was, “But Why?”, “It is not a phone but also not quite an iPad”.
Why on earth would you want this?
It was promised to be as thin as a pencil and that was no lie! The depth of the iPad Mini is only 0.28 inches. The weight of the iPad Mini can hardly be compared to its older siblings. It weighs a mere 308g, thus 294.84g lighter than an iPad 3. At a height of 200mm (7.87″), it fits in rather nicely among the 7-inch tablet range. Something about this little device simply screams “hold me”!
We know this device is pretty to look at, extremely easy to hold and the name Apple is enough to guarantee great quality and a great experience. This would however not be a real review if we leave out the technical repartee.
Let’s break it open and try to make sense of it all.
The 7.9-inch screen uses the same LED backlight technology as the bigger iPads. Compared to other devices in the 7-inch range it seems like the extra 0.9-inch does make a welcomed difference. The only slight disappointment is that the iPad Mini does not have Retina display like the 4th Generation iPad.
The performance of the iPad Mini is driven by its powerful dual-core, 1GHz A5 chip. (To bring you up to speed, all cellphones contains a CPU chip. In the case of the iPad Mini it is an Apple A5 chip. The CPU chip or processor is the circuit that performs computer programmes. In layman terms: when you tell your Smartphone to do something, this chip will determine how fast your cellphone will do it. Dual-core means you have 2 CPU circuits on one chip, thus you can ask your cellphone to do more than one thing at the same time.) The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 also has a 1GHz dual core processor while Google’s Nexus 7 is bragging with a 1.2GHz Quad Core processor.
Something else we came to value in our tablet companions is their ability to capture our memorable life moments. The Mini has not one but two built in cameras. You have one FaceTime HD camera on the front. This camera can be used when taking self-portraits or making video calls. On the back you have a 5MP iSight camera. The Google Nexus 7 only has a front facing camera while Samsung’s 7″ tablets only have 3MP cameras.
Connecting your device is an important factor for many, especially since we are so dependent on our data. The iPad Mini will be LTE compatible for some South Africans. Whether or not you are in the LTE range should not get you too stressed out. In general the Wireless connection on the iPad Mini is rather fast and smooth. Download speeds can reach up to 150 Mbps. (This of course depends on a number of factors, including the signal strength in the area you are in.)
Just like Mr Jobs, we too where rather sceptic. Sure, the market for smaller 7-something -inch tablets is booming and people like holding the tablet experience in one hand. None the less, an Apple device somewhere between an iPad an iPhone had us holding our breath
I think it is safe to say that we can let out a sigh of relieve and admit that Apple has done it again. They took something, not completely unfamiliar, added some Apple charisma to it and sent it out into the world with one very clear message: I might be a Mini device but I ensure a massive Apple experience.