iPad Mini review of reviews: Small is better

iPad-Mini-Hand

So small is beautiful these days is it? It used to be that 10 inches was considered to be the pocket rocket but frankly that is so last year. 7 inches was the new 10 it seemed for everyone except Apple, whose genius for finding a niche is stuff of legend.

Cue then the iPad mini, where an extra 0.9 of an inch makes all the difference apparently to Shane Richmond in The Telegraph who reckons it’s all in the screen size.

“Apple has been dismissive of 7-inch tablet computers and has therefore been keen to emphasise that the iPad mini isn’t one. The extra 0.9-inches of screen on the iPad mini are the crucial difference, Apple says, and having tried it for a week and compared it to some rivals, I’d have to agree.”

Not only that, it seems the design is something special too “The iPad mini is yet another wonderful piece of Apple design. Google’s Nexus 7 tablet is a perfectly fine piece of hardware but it’s plastic. And, somehow, it’s still heavier than the aluminium iPad mini.

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T3 on the other hand is almost salivating at the prospect of the Mini’s display capability.

“The LED-backlit screen looks fantastic on the 7.9-inch display. Colours are vivid, text is pin sharp, web pages render quickly and, because there’s almost a 4:3 ratio going on, you get a lot of content on page. It feels squarer than the bigger iPad, but definitely works as, arguably, a better mobile experience than its bigger brother.”

The Independent sees the Mini winning through sheer app numbers:

“Where it really scores is in the dedicated tablet apps that gleam. Where Google has hundreds of dedicated tablet apps – the rest are resized phone apps – Apple has 275,000. The screen is as responsive and inviting as the full-sized iPad and the increased portability will make it appealing to a new range of customers.”

iPad-Mini-Cover

It seems the only question mark most reviewers have is on price. Andrew Hoyle for Cnet remarks “It’s too expensive however, and its display resolution doesn’t measure up to competing tablets, or other iOS devices.

Wrapping his review up, Charles Arthur of The Guardian says

“Apple is going to sell a lot of these – quite possibly more than the “large” iPad – in this quarter. The only way Apple could improve on this product would be to give it a retina screen and somehow make it lighter. That might happen at some point. You can wait if you like; other people, in the meantime, will be buying this one.”

The New iPad (3): Review of reviews

The iPad 3/iPad HD/”iPad” (we’ll stick to the first option to avoid confusion) is out, and so are the reviews. While the aesthetic differences between the first iPad and iPad 2 were obvious, one look at Apple’s newest version of its beloved tablet will show that not much has changed. Until you activate the screen…

New-iPad

The Name

Apple’s newest iPad is called The iPad. “Didn’t they already release ‘The iPad?”, you ask. Yes, and in a bold branding move, they’ve decided to rewrite history and make this version of the iPad “The iPad”. Not that this has stopped everyone calling it the iPad 3, the iPad HD, or the new iPad. For David Phelan from TechBeta, however, Apple’s brazen rule-breaking (never give two products exactly the same name) shows that the newest iPad has permanence.

Retina Display

The new iPad’s selling point has garnered rave reviews from gadget-loving writers on some of the world’s biggest websites. T3 reviewer Luke Peters points out that the quality of the new iPad’s screen is clear when compared with that of the iPad 2: “apps in folders are just blobs of pixelated colour; on the new one you can almost make out text.”

Processing Power

Reviews across the board have commented on how the iPad 3’s faster processing power has not diminished its battery life. As John Gruber remarks on his blog, Daring Fireball, the battery life of an iPad far exceeds that of even the Macbook Air – even with the extra processing power needed for the improved graphics display. He also makes the interesting observation that Apple’s priorities lie with screen quality and user experience, and that they are willing to make the iPad 3 slightly heavier and bulkier to include a battery that will power the retina display and a 4G connection.

4G

Along with its stunningly detailed, crystal-clear screen, a lot of review chatter focuses on the iPad’s 4G capabilities. “Put simply: it’s fast. Really fast. Faster-than-my-WiFi fast” says MG Siegler from TechCrunch. Due to revolutionise the UK before the end of 2012, 4G is the next step beyond 3G. It’s not available yet, but you can still use the new iPad with a 3G connection and wait for our mobile networks to roll out 4G further down the line.

5MP iSight Camera

Previous incarnations of iPad cameras have been laughable, producing a picture quality that made us wonder why Apple bothered including a rear camera at all. The new iPad changes this, with a rear camera that matches the latest iPhone offering. The front of the device still carries a VGA, which offers poorer quality, but is still good for FaceTime. Joshua Topolsky from The Verge goes into more camera-related detail:

The auto-focus and face detection work excellently here (though tapping to focus is sometimes impossible due to the size of the thing). Thanks to that improved sensor, pictures you take on the iPad now look relatively respectable, with a depth of field shallow enough to pull off rather artistic looking images.

So what’s the verdict? Unanimously, the new iPad has wowed critics, who are hailing it as a success. To sum up with the words of MG Siegler: “This is the best tablet out there right now that we’re talking about.”