Computing

iPad Mini Australian Hands-On: Smaller Footprint, Bigger Impact

Ever since there has been an iPad, there has been an iPad mini rumour. Now that fiction has turned to fact and a 7.9-inch iPad actually exists, is it worth it?

Look and Feel

• The iPad mini is the same black (or white) rectangle you’d expect it to be, but as soon as you pick it up, you’ll be astounded by the weight. It weighs less than the iPhone 4S you might already carry around, and it’s 4.4-inches larger.
• The screen isn’t Retina-quality. It’s 1024×768 at 162 pixels per inch. That’s pretty junky in comparison to the fourth-generation iPad, but compared to the dim panel on the Nexus 7, it’s awesome.
• The device feels the same as an iPhone 5 with the aluminium finish, and that’s great. It’s what I liked most about the new handset, to be honest.
• There’s so much screen real estate here, you guys. It’s crazy.

Using It


As soon as you get passed the weight and size of the device and go to unlock it, it’s pretty much everything you’d expect. If you’ve ever used an iPad before, there aren’t any huge surprises.

It supports vertical and horizontal orientation and looks great on both, and you can run pretty much any app from the App Store. iPhone apps still have the magnification button and bespoke iPad apps fit on the screen perfectly thanks to that 1024×768 resolution panel. It’s the same one as the iPad 2.

As far as the specs go, there’s no noticeable chug when the rubber hits the road, but I can imagine it being laden down somewhat when you get six months in.

The only real problem from the outset is the price. You’ll get your hands on one for a minimum of $369. Compare that to the Nexus 7 and you’ll expect to pay around $249 for the same storage and a slightly better processor. It can be a bit wince-inducing when it comes time to hand over your details.

We’ll be back on Monday with a full review of the iPad mini.


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