Apple announced yesterday the iPad Mini. And I just wasn’t that impressed at first. Sure its an iPad with a smaller screen. It will have the same functionality of the current iPad but at half the size and power. With today’s glut of Tablets will it be able to compete in today’s Tablet-heavy market? Read on to find out what you will get with the new iPad Mini and see if it can compete in today’s market.
The New Apple iPad Mini
Below I’ll go over the basic specs of what you’ll get with the new Apple iPad Mini. I’ll add my thoughts about the features (or lack thereof) for the latest addition to the iPad family.
The new iPad mini is following the same design features of the iPhone 5. With the two toned brushed aluminum look and sleek thin design Apple hasn’t cut any corners in the design department. I think they look gorgeous for a tablet. And where a lot of other manufactures use cheap poly carbonate plastics the aluminum back is a nice touch. Although the new Apple iPad Mini is using the IPS screen instead of the new Retina Display the screen is still arguably one of the nicest available for a tablet.
You can get the new iPad mini in either Black/Slate or White/Brushed Aluminum
Dimensions and Weight
This is a super light weight tablet weighing under a pound. And you get a decent compact design that you and finally carry around and not feel like your carrying around a dictionary. The 8×5″ size is still ideal for reading books, browsing the internet, or playing games.
Height: 7.87 inches (200 mm)
Width: 5.3 inches (134.7 mm)
Depth: 0.28 inch (7.2 mm)
Weight (Wi-Fi): 0.68 pound (308 g)
Weight (Wi-Fi + Cellular): 0.69 pound (312 g)
This is where it starts to get disappointing for me. If your going to release a new product – release it right! Why still use the old IPS screen when Apple could have offered this with the new Retina Display?
Size: 7.9-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit Multi-Touch display with IPS technology
Resolution: 1024-by-768 resolution at 163 pixels per inch (ppi)
Fingerprint-resistant *oleophobic coating
*lacking affinity for oils (I had to look this one up *yeesh*)
This is another disappointing factor for the iPad Mini. It is still using the older A5 Dual Core instead of the new A6X that is found in both the new iPad Retina Display and the iPhone 5.
This is where it starts out on equal footing with the latest iPad. It has the exact same specs as the iPad Retina Display. I’m not overly impressed by the front 1.2MP camera or the back 5MP camera though. Today’s high end devices have up to 8MP cameras with the Front Facing Cameras at up to 2MP.
FaceTime HD Camera
- 1.2MP photos
- 720p HD video
- FaceTime video calling over
- Wi-Fi or ** cellular
- Face detection
- Backside illumination
- 5MP photos
- Five-elements lens
- Hybrid IR filter
- ƒ/2.4 aperture
- Photo Geotagging
- Tap to Control Exposure for Video or Stills
** Dependent upon your Carriers Data Plan. Forewarned if your grandfathered in with unlimited data the phone company will try and force you to change your plan to be able to use this feature!
It is nice to see that it will be able to do 1080 HD Video Recording. The Video Stabilization feature will be pretty cool too. That way you won’t get seasick the next time you watch one of the videos you recorded.
1080p HD video recording
- Tap to focus while recording
- Video stabilization
- Face detection
- Backside illumination
Apple is claiming up to 10 hours of battery life while on Wi-Fi and up to 9 hours while on your Cellular Network. Of course this will be a lot less if you are running multiple applications and if you are bouncing from Cell Tower to Cell Tower (say while your a passenger in a car). Still this is pretty decent battery life for a tablet!
- Up to 10 hours of surfing the web on Wi-Fi, watching video, or listening to music
- Up to 9 hours of surfing the web using cellular data network
- Charging via power adapter or USB to computer system
- Uses a Nano-Sim which is a different size from the current Micro-SIM so is incompatible. Meaning you’ll need to get a new one from your Cell Carrier
- Uses the new Lightning USB Charging cable.
- Includes SIRI just like the iPad Retina.
Capacity and Price:
This is where it always kills me with Apple’s products. You pay a premium for their hardware. Even though the Wifi 16GB version is going to be competitively priced at $329 – if you want one with a Sim card it’s going to tack on another $100.00!
- 16GB – $329
- 32GB – $429
- 64GB – $529
Wi-Fi + Cellular
- 16GB -$459
- 32GB -$559
- 64GB – $659
Currently the Cellular versions will be available with AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint.
So Can it Compete in Today’s Market?
Overall I think this is a great tablet. It has the new design and the hardware and features are on par or even better than other tablets of the same size. The only major detriment is the price. You always end up paying more for an Apple product.
There are cheaper alternatives such as Googles Nexus 7 or the new Kindle Fire HD 7″
which are both great devices at almost a third less of the cost of the base model 16GB iPad. The Kindle does have an LTE model starting at $499.99 with an 8″ inch screen. So it pays to shop around before making a decision.
The other thing you should consider is the use of iOS vs. Android. Of course I’m a huge fan of Android! But with iOS 6 they have at least caught up to Android. Though one of the pitfalls of using an iOS device is you are stuck in the world of Apple. You can read the article below to see what I mean.
Read More: 3 Reasons Why Android is Better than iOS
Even though Apple might have skimped on some of the internal hardware the overall design and the ability to use it with your Cell phone provider makes this one killer little tablet.
What do you think though? Do you think Apple will stay competitive with other smaller tablets or do you think it is going to tank? Let me know in the comments below!