We just spent a good amount of time with the iPad mini and the easiest way to describe the device is that it's lighter than you'd expect. The build quality and finish both feel good as you'd expect, but the device is just considerably lighter than the iPad which results in superior in hand feel. 

The display doesn't feel cramped either thanks to the reasonably large diagonal size. It's clear that the iPad mini is a nod to those who want something even more portable than the standard iPad.

In terms of performance, there's a pretty noticeable difference between the A5 in the iPad mini and the A6X in the 4th gen iPad as you'd expect. I do wish that Apple had brought the A6 to the mini, however something has to give in pursuit of the lower price point. 

The LTE version of the iPad mini has an RF window at the top of the unit similar to the standard iPad, although it does blend in a bit better on the black model. 

Check out more photos and impressions in the gallery and video below.

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  • iwod - Wednesday, October 24, 2012 - link

    8. And the iPad Mini Touch Screen response will be much better then the Nexus 7.

    Yes it is slightly more expensive then what i would expect. $299, the rumour price of $249 is just silly. But i also didn't expect Facetime HD Camera, 5M iSight Camera, and 5Ghz Wifi as well as Bluetooth 4.0.
    Reply
  • BSMonitor - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    Underwhelmed by your knowledge.

    The 4th generation is simply a step up in the CPU and the connector. The rest of the components are largely unchanged. The iPad 2 exists because Apple can leverage the old panel, old form and the guts and profit from it. iPad mini another example of that. Making money on existing manufacturing investment.

    Having CPU options for the retina version would be pointless.
    Reply
  • Eldia - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    The 4th gen iPad also has an "HD" front camera. Reply
  • aliasfox - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    But with the SoC and motherboard paid for by two revisions of iPod2, Apple really could've gone in with guns blazing on the iPad mini. $329 doesn't sound like guns blazing, but they'll still probably sell out regardless.

    With the iPod Touch coming in at $299, there was no way this was going to undercut it, but they really should've tried.
    Reply
  • tipoo - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    Fascinating.
    Still underwhelmed.
    Reply
  • CharonPDX - Wednesday, October 24, 2012 - link

    The problem with the Nexus 7 comparison is that the $199 Nexus has half the storage. To get the same storage as the minimum-price iPad mini, you have to get the $249 Nexus 7, which is "only" $80 cheaper.

    Neither is my cup of tea, but there certainly is a market for it, at the current price. I have to imagine that they didn't go with $299 solely to put SOME pressure on demand so they could keep up the supply.
    Reply
  • tipoo - Wednesday, October 24, 2012 - link

    For now, fair enough, but I think they are going to double the storage while keeping the same price, there's decently backed rumors for that. Reply
  • powerarmour - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    I thought this was supposed to compete with the Nexus 7?!, oh dear... Reply
  • steven75 - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    Android tablets wont' be competition until Android gets quality tablet apps.

    Until then, it's pretty much all iPad, all the time.
    Reply
  • Impulses - Wednesday, October 24, 2012 - link

    What are these killer tablet apps? I'm genuinely curious, not trying to flame bait here... Maybe it's just my usage model but I spend the vast majority of the time on my tablet within the browser or email clients... Android's stock email client is pretty mediocre, tho the Gmail one is superb, Chrome's pretty hard to beat tho (NFC, remote session access for moving between desktop/phone/tablet, etc). Reply

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