On November 2, Apple released its newest addition to the iPad family: the iPad Mini. This tablet comes in a smaller new travel size but is more than just a smaller face. According to reviews, it’s a whole new product with its own distinct features.
According to Apple, their goal was to create the smallest possible iPad that could still deliver the full iPad experience. The iPad Mini is 23% thinner, 53% lighter, and fits in one hand, yet can still do everything an iPad can.
While the 10-inch iPad dominates tablet sales around the world, the iPad Mini is the new kid in the mid-sized tablet market. A number of 7-inch tablets on the market start at $199, including Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD, Google’s Nexus 7 tablet, and Barnes & Noble’s Nook HD. The iPad Mini is different from these devices in a few key ways. It has a slightly larger and wider 7.8-inch screen, better hardware specs in most categories, access to the simple and refined iOS operating system, and Apple’s vast selection of quality apps and content.
It also has a much higher price tag. The iPad Mini starts at $329 for the 16GB Wi-Fi only version. The top of the line iPad Mini is 64GB, can connect over Wi-Fi and cellular connections, and costs $659.
Reviews for the iPad Mini have been mixed. “The cameras on the iPad Mini aren’t as good as the iPhone 5,” opines CNN’s Heather Kelly, “but they are exactly the same as what you’ll find on the newest iPad. Taking a photo on the 10-inch iPad has always seemed awkward, but holding up an iPad Mini to take a quick video feels a bit more natural.” Gareth Beavis of TechRadar.com was more impressed, writing, “Apple fans need not worry too much when it comes to whether the iPad mini is a worthy addition to the iBrand, as it comes with enough power and reams of Ive-inspired design to make it a worthwhile addition to the range – this isn’t a shrunken down iPad, it’s a whole new product again.”
As for accessories, there is the Smart Cover, introduced with the iPad 2, a screen protector that magnetically attaches to the face of the iPad. A smaller version is now available for iPad Mini. The cover has three folds, which allow it to convert into a stand, held together by magnets. Smart Covers have a microfiber bottom that cleans the front of the iPad, and wakes up the unit when the cover is removed.
Apple offers other accessories, including a Bluetooth keyboard, several types of Apple earbuds, and many adapters for the Lightning connector. AppleCare and free engraving are also available for the iPad Mini.