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Apple IPad Mini: A Review

Updated on June 22, 2014
Janine Huldie profile image

Janine is a published author in Only Trollops Shave Above the Knees, appears on The Huffington Post and at Confessions of A Mommyaholic.

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4.9 out of 5 stars from 7 ratings of Apple iPad Mini

As a tried and true fan of all things Apple, I couldn't help but be interested in the newest member of the Apple family or better known as the iPad Mini. Yes, it is true that I own an Apple MacBook Pro, an iPad 3 (after having previously owned the iPad 2 also) and an iPhone 4 (I call them the Trifecta of Apple products). I love all things Apple and since the iPad Mini was released, of course, I was completely intrigued and needed to know what this device was capable of and if it may be worth adding to my growing Apple device collection.

So here and now, I am going to break down the specs and take a better look at the iPad Mini for anyone else who too may be inquiring about it. And if you are indeed interested in purchasing from the Apple Store, click here.

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The Design..

Apple is marketing this product as,"The whole package. In a smaller package." This comes directly from their own website and are making its main selling point that is an iPad in 'every way, shape and form' only smaller. So let's take a better look at the actual design.

Display: 7.9" Screen:

So, the screen is apparently 7.9" compared to iPad 3's screen measuring in at 9.50". Even though it is a a little less than 2" smaller than the traditional iPad, it still affords the user the same capabilities as the iPad 3, by letting you still enjoy the iPad experience of surfing the web on Apple's Safari browser, take and view photos, listen to music in iTunes, purchase Apps from the App Store and still so much more.

Thin and Light Design as Always:

The iPad Mini comes in at 7.2 millimeters versus the iPad 3 that measures 9.4 millimeters in thickness. The iPad mini also weighs in at 0.68 lbs. versus the iPad 3's 1.44 lbs. So, the iPad mini definitely is thinner and lighter in comparison to current iPad 3.

Bottom line it is just like an iPad 3 in design, but on a smaller scale!

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Apps...

Right from Apple's site, the App Store alone has over 275,000 apps that can be downloaded on or used on the iPad Mini, as well as any of the other Apple products, such as the iPad 3 or iPod or iPhone, too. It is not just the sheer quantity though that is impressive, it is the graphics and ease of so many of these Apps that let the user do so very much, such as iPhoto, which allows the viewer the ease of taking photos, storing and editing them too all in one place. Also, some other Apps are iBooks, where you can download and read the latest e-books available on the market now; iMovie, that allows the user to shoot 1080p video and then allows the video footage to be edited to possibly even make into a small movie. These are just a few of the Apps to mention that can be purchased and used. Some even come pre-loaded, such as Siri, e-mail and FaceTime, too.

I again own the iPad 3 and have all these Apps and then some. I can tell you this bottom line, you won't here me complain about the App selection, because there is truly something for everyone here, between adults and kids in my house, all are pleased and the only issue is fighting over who will use it first!

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Performance...

The iPad Mini's performance has been called 'incredible' and 'mighty' by Apple. It is an Apple product and so that means it has an A5 chip in it that makes for fast and powerful performance of this little device. In plain English, it is supposed to be fast and allow for very smooth operating of any and all Apps that you use on it. My IPad 3 is notorious for being extremely fast and even when downloading Apps or updates has always been super quick. So, from all I have seen here the same can be applied to the iPad Mini, too.

Battery Life:

The battery life is also a huge plus being touted as having a 10 hour battery life. I have the iPad 3 and during Hurricane Sandy, I used my iPad for reading books in iBooks. We were without power for those who know us for 2 days and my battery was still at 95% being the only technical device I used during this time. Pretty impressive if you ask me and from all I am hearing the same can be said for the iPad mini's battery life and then some!

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FaceTime and iSight Cameras...

The iPad Mini has two cameras for the price of one, I suppose. The first camera is the front facing FaceTime Camera and the second is the iSight camera on the back.

FaceTime:

The front facing FaceTime camera allows the user video call to others who also have FaceTime and can be viewed in realtime by all of those contacts with either the use of Wifi or cellular plans, too. I have used this camera with my husband, so my kids can see him and he can see them during the day when he is at work. Really such a wonderful feature and sounds like it works just as nice on the iPad mini as well. Using FaceTime, one can also use the iSight camera on the back too, because this allows the person you are speaking with to see what you are seeing.

iSight Camera:

The i-Sight camera on the back can also be used to to take 5-megapixel still photos. My husband would kill me for saying this, because he works for Canon and we have a Canon Powershot and a Canon DSLR, which he uses non-stop for pictures, but I will be honest and tell you I use my iPhone and or iPad to take all my photos all the time now. So, I can attest that the Apple camera is a fairly descent camera and is totally worthy of the praise I have seen for it. The iPad mini's camera is on the same level as my iPad 3 and love the pictures I have taken and shared with it. So I don't think you will be disappointed with the camera on this device.

Video Recording:

The iPad Mini also has video recording capability in 1080p HD, when using the iSight camera. It also has what is called automatic video stabilization, which frees one's video recording of bumps and shakes. I have also used the video camera on the iPad 3, which is again similar and have no complaints there either. I have gotten beautiful and awesome video footage of my kids that I will cherish forever, so yet again I think most would be very happy with the video recording capabilities here, as well.


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Ultrafast Wireless...

Apple says that it has 'Fast Connection: All Over the World'. So what does this mean?

Just like the iPad 3 and its predecessors, the iPad mini can be used with either WiFi or Cellular capability depending upon if you were to purchase the device that could be hooked up to cellular networks.

WiFi:

As for WiFi, it is twice as fast as any previous generations of iPads. It has a dual-band WiFi with 2.4GHz and 5GHz on top of that can reach up to speeds of 150 Mbps. What in the world does this mean? Seriously I am not a technical person, but for those who are more power to you. For those who are like me and technology challenged, this boils down to the fact that the WiFi capability is fast, very fast. Again, my iPad has always been fast and from what I have seen this is even faster, if one could imagine.

Cellular Network Use:

For those times, when you are unable to use WiFi and would like the option of using cellular or LTE Network Connections which according to Wikipedia is as follows: "LTE an initialism of Long Term Evolution, marketed as 4G LTE, is a standard for wireless communication of high-speed data for mobile phones and data terminals, which is based on the GSM/EDGE and UMTS/HSPA network technologies, increasing the capacity and speed using a different radio interface together with core network improvements." This, by they way, is available in certain models if you choose. I will be honest and tell you the only device that I have this capability is on my iPhone and truly didn't see the need for my iPad, because I only ever use it at home, but if you do want to use outside your home and need to use something other than WiFi than it is nice to know that the option does exist and from all that do use it I hear it is great and also pretty fast.

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Siri...

Apple has called this 'Your Intelligent Assistant'. For those who don't know, what is Siri?

Siri is a built-in feature that allows the user to ask the iPad Mini questions and be answered back. You can ask it pretty much anything, "From what is today's weather?" to "Can you find me the most recent book I was reading?". It truly will try it's best to answer and for those who were born before the 21st century like me, I guess the Jetson's were right when they said robots would talk to us! Seriously, though a very cool, neat feature and if you haven't tried it, you should go test run it at your local Apple Store.

IOS and iCloud...

Yes, Apple is known for many things with their products and two more names that one cannot escape in the Apple world is IOS and iCloud. What do these words mean?

IOS:

Apple calls it 'The World's Most Advanced Operating System'. Quite simply this is the system that allows your device to operate everything on it, including all your lovely Apps. Right now, the most updated IOS is IOS 6 and from Apple's website, the iPad Mini comes already pre-loaded with IOS 6 all ready to use when you open the box. Having owned previous editions of iPads, I can tell you that setup is usually fairly easy and straightforward. Just take it out of the box, turn on, charge and follow the prompts to indeed setup. And then begin enjoying!

iCloud:

Again this comes pre-loaded on the iPad mini and can tell you (as I stated earlier) from owning all three with the iPad 3, iPhone and MacBook, I use this system daily. For instance, if I take a picture with my iPhone, it will be stored of course on the phone, but is clouded into my iPad photo library and my MacBook photo library, too. So very easy and quite convenient, as well. This is also the case if you download and begin reading on a book on your iPad and then want to read it on your iPhone later or music, too. It will be ready and waiting on your other devices right where you left off. I admit I love this feature and has saved me so much time and headaches also.

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AirPlay...

AirPlay requires AppleTV, which I will be honest, I do not own. So, what I know about this feature is from their website and what I have seen in the store, as well. With AirPlay, you can play music and/or video on your iPad mini and watch it on your HDTV again barring that you also own AppleTV.

AirPrint also is a part of this and that I do have access to, because I stated earlier my husband works for Canon and we own a Canon printer capable of this feature. AirPrint allows one to print over your WiFi connection on your AirPrint capable printer without having to plug anything in and does this all wirelessly. I have done this now time and time again and truly love the ease of it. I can be upstairs and hit print on my iPad and find the document printed and waiting downstairs on the printer for me. What could be easier than that?

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Smart Cover...

This Smart Cover is so very similar to the original sized iPad Smart Cover and is just smaller. How the cover works is you attach it magnetically to your iPad and cover the iPad with it to put it into sleep mode and open the cover it to wake your iPad up again. Also, can be used to stand the ipad up while in use. Truly ingenious and works perfectly, because I have the pink one (yes pink is my favorite color even at 35 years old!) on my iPad. It also comes in many colors, too. Fits perfectly and doesn't even add any bulk to the iPad Mini when in use.

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Lightning Connector...

The Lightning Connector is an ultra-slim connector and is needed because the iPad mini is so very slim and light. Normally, the original iPad have used a 30-pin connector, but again the iPad Mini is smaller and thus the need for the lightning connector. So what is a lightning connector? It is a charger that allows the user to re-charge the iPad Mini. After reading up on it, the one thing that does sound better than the original iPad's charger is the fact that anyway you choose to connect the charger it will plug in, because it is reversible. Anyone that has the original iPad knows that the charger has to be connected one way only and is not reversible, meaning that in the dark you could be fumbling to figure out how to connect and charge your device. Take it from someone who knows, who just went through having two days without power from Hurricane Sandy (not that I could charge it in this power outage, but hoped that the power would indeed come back and left it on the charger at night hoping to find power back in the morning) that tried fumbling to connect the iPad charger in the dark, it was not easy. So, this new feature is definitely a plus.

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Bottom Line...

The bottom line here is that the iPad mini sounds like a wonderful addition to the Apple family, but I think if you already own an iPad 3 (like we do), then you may just be Ok for the time being. Although, if you want to own an iPad that is a bit on the smaller scale and you don't already own any other iPad, this may work out very nicely for you.

My husband and I are truly playing around with buying this for our kids for a joint Christmas gift, who fight over our iPad 3's. Figuring it is a bit more moderately priced and this would be their one big gift.

Yes, I left out price up until now to sum up for those who may be interested. Here now is the pricing information for all models (WiFi and WiFi/Cellular):

Wi‑Fi Models:

16GB $329
32GB $429
64GB $529

Wi‑Fi + Cellular Models:

16GB $459
32GB $559

64GB $659

Happy shopping!!!

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About the Author...

Janine is a freelance writer and mom of two. She is known for being a stay at home mom to two beautiful little girls right now. Life can totally get hectic and has learned to perfect and improvise all day and night too, because of this. You can checkout her profile and more of her family related articles here.

Are you interested in writing for Hubpages? You can sign up today and publish your first article!

© 2012 Janine Huldie

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Watch All About the iPad Mini Here...

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