on March 21, 2014
This is the Ipad to own, invest the extra $$$ you would have spent on the IPad Air into more memory, I bought the 32 gig, seems to be the sweet spot without breaking the bank, I find the screen size to be perfect, not cumbersome like its bigger brother, everything looks crisp and beautiful on the Retina display, performance is blazingly fast, I've owned the 9.7 inch IPads in the past and found myself less inclined to use it on a regular basis due to its size, with the mini you will want to use it more often, so to sum it up, same specs, retina display, lighter more portable design, more affordable = mini 2>air!
*** Why last year's Mini 2 is better than this year's Mini 3 ***
If you're thinking about buying an iPad Mini, you should strongly consider buying last year's model (the 2013 iPad Mini 2, formerly called iPad Mini with Retina Display) instead of the iPad Mini 3 that came out in Fall 2014.
They are almost identical: EXACT same processor, EXACT same display, EXACT same battery life, EXACT same hardware and dimensions, and they run all the same apps EQUALLY well. The only thing you get with a 2014 Mini 3 that was not on the 2013 Mini 2 is the fingerprint sensor (and a new color option: white front with gold back).
This fingerprint sensor is the same one that's on the iPhone 5S and later models. It has limited usefulness on the iPad; it's more useful on phones, since more and more transactions will be done using phones instead of actual credit cards.
So, if the Mini 3 and the Mini 2 are virtually identical, why buy the 2? Because it's cheaper. Apple still sells the 2 for $100 less than a comparably configured 3. But you can save even more than $100 if you shop around, because many retailers are clearancing their inventory of last year's Mini 2. Two weeks ago, I found a Mini 2 with cellular and 64gb at B.B. for $150 less than a comparably configured Mini 3. I bought two--one for myself and one for a family member for Christmas. Unless you really want the fingerprint sensor or the new white/gold color combo, skip the Mini 3 and save yourself $100 or more by purchasing a Mini 2 instead.
*** iPad Mini compared to iPad Air ***
I bought an iPad Air when it came out in Fall 2013 and love it. It's extremely fast and the thin/light form factor is amazing, especially compared to earlier full-sized iPads. I know the 2014 iPad Air 2 is even better in some ways: a bit thinner, a faster processor, better cameras, and a new display that according to iLounge is slightly improved. But the 2013 iPad Air is so great that this is the first time I've not felt compelled to upgrade.
The iPad Mini 2 (formerly called "iPad Mini with Retina Display") came out last year about the same time as the iPad Air. Unlike the original iPad Mini from 2012, the 2013 Mini 2 is not a crippled iPad; it is virtually as powerful as the 2013 Air. It's essentially a 2013 iPad Air in a smaller package.
While the Air is amazingly thin and light for a 10" tablet, the Mini 2 is noticeably smaller and lighter, which makes it easier to hold in one hand for long periods of time and also much easier to travel with. There are times when the Air's larger screen is important--for example if I'm reading a textbook or a large-format magazine on the device, or editing a giant Excel spreadsheet. But most of the time, I'm equally happy with the Mini's 8" Retina display. The Mini 2 runs processor-intensive games and apps virtually as well as the Air, which is to say very well indeed.
*** iPad Mini compared to Android and Amazon tablets ***
It's true, you can get a 7" or 8" tablet for less money than an iPad Mini. Amazon's own 7" Kindle Fire HDX is very good and much less expensive, as are some Android tablets.
A good Android tablet can do most everything an iPad can do, or even more. While each operating system has its loyal fans, in fact Android and iOS are both very good and, at this point, very mature operating systems with a large catalog of apps. Android OS is much more customizable than Apple's iOS, which is important to many Android fans.
I kind of don't recommend Amazon's own Fire tablets. They are essentially Android tablets with some of the Android features stripped away in order to keep Amazon content in front of the customer. If that doesn't bother you, Amazon Fire tables are very good and affordable, so they are worth your consideration.
I am fortunate that I can afford to spend more to get the device I really want. And to me, it's worth paying more for Apple devices. I prefer iOS to Android and I like the hardware Apple uses and the build quality of iPads. But others prefer Android devices and I can't tell you my opinion is more valid than theirs.
If you decide to buy an iPad, you almost certainly will be happy with your purchase. iPads have a very high owner satisfaction rate and a very low defect rate. Apple customer service is absolutely excellent. The hardware and software are great. The only remaining decision you have is: which iPad?
For me, the iPad Mini 2 is the best choice for the reasons I gave above. It's very powerful and fast, the Retina display is great, the 8" size is light and super convenient, and best of all it's much cheaper than the new Mini 3 despite being virtually the same.
on March 25, 2014
This my third iPad and second mini. I don't really notice much of a difference in terms of performance of the tablet versus the non retina mini. However I will say the retina screen is a bigger deal than I thought. I used to have to zoom a lot to read articles, but retina screen is so clear i don't have to zoom at all.
on January 9, 2014
Great battery life. Nice and fast. Everything works well as always. I prefer this model over the ipad air.
Well the thing is the ipad air and ipad mini retina have virtually the same performance - ipad air is 4% faster. Plus they display at the same resolution, despite the smaller screen, so ipad mini just has a sweet like 348 dpi resolution, better than the air by quite a bit. The ipad mini is infinitely more portable - it can fit in a small purse or a coat pocket. The even get the same battery life. The more condensed screen is easier to type on with thumbs and less fatiguing on the eyes in terms of travel. I could only see someone preferring an air for old eyes or if watching movies with others is a big priority.
on March 6, 2014
There are a lot of good things to say about the iPad mini with retina display. I'm not going to list them all because other reviewers have listed most of them already. I do have to say if you are looking for a tablet because you are planning on buying and reading books, I would highly recommend this. In my opinion the kindle app on this tablet is perfect for reading books. For me, reading on this really feels like reading a book and doesn't feel like reading on a tablet. When I set the color to sepia and turn the brightness low, the screen does not burn my eyes at all.
Most people might already know this but I wanted to mention that the kindle app is slightly different on other tablets. I don't know why but the kindle app for the ipad mini gives you more options than the Samsung galaxy tablets. Apple's kindle app lets you change the font and lets you highlight text in 4 colors. You can't change the font with Samsung's kindle app and you can only highlight with 1 color instead of 4. I also want to mention the color sepia is also different in other devices. I personally prefer apples version of the color sepia because it doesn't burn my eyes when I'm reading books.
If you are planning on buying this to play games, I would highly recommend getting 32gb or more. 16gb is really not a lot of space if you are downloading a lot of games. Apple actually has a lot of great games so trust me will download more games than you expected...
The only thing I don't like about the iPad Mini with retina display is that a lot of the free games have way too much adds and commercials. Other than that I can't think of anything else I don't like about this device. I would definitely recommend this product to anyone reading this review.
I got the very first Kindle when it came out because I LOVE to read. I upgraded it to a newer version a year later, and when the iPads came out I got one more out of curiosity than any real NEED. I use a laptop computer for everything at work and home, but I thought it would be fun to play with.
I got hooked on the iBooks program, and have used an iPad or my iPhone for reading ever since. I've gone through the iPad 1, 2, and 3, and now the new Retina Mini. Each time I upgrade, I pass my replaced one to my son, and his replaced one goes to my mom. So they love them as well.
Last summer when I was still using the iPad 3, I tried the Kindle Fire HD simply because I wanted something smaller to use since most of my reading I do in bed. I tried to like it, but I only used it for about two days before I got disgusted with the interface, the carousel, etc...
So this Christmas I decided to get myself a present.
It easily restored my backup from the iPad 3, and once all the apps were downloaded to it again it performed flawlessly. I love how much lighter it is, and how much easier it is to hold and use anywhere. I now carry it in my computer case with my Surface Pro so I have it handy if I have time to read somewhere during my day.
The performance is great, definitely an improvement over my iPad 3. The screen is flawless, the text is just mind bogglingly crisp and clear even for the smaller size. The games all perform great on it, but I got it mainly for reading and an easy way to check mail without having to go to my Surface Pro.
The only downside is the same downside all iPads have had - the slick back. I really loved the original Kindle for the rubberized back surface, which made it very easy to hold onto. This one is as slippery as any of them, but that's at least partially ameliorated after I got the smart cover, since it can fold back and gives some "traction" for the fingers.
I was going to give my brother in law the Kindle Fire HD but I can't even find it. It was so unimpressive that I just stuck it somewhere and forgot where I even put it, and it's not turned up in any of my searching. That's how much I preferred the iPads for my use.
Since I don't store music or photos on it, the 16GB version is all I needed so this is the cheapest version I've ever gotten (up to this point I always got the 32GB "just in case" and realized I never used more than half of the space anyway).
For me, worth every penny because as much as I was unhappy with the look and feel of IOS 7 (while loving the improvements in the interface itself, I hate the "50 shades of grey" color scheme they seemed to go with) it's still the interface I prefer for my light tablet use and ebook reading.
Very happy I gave myself this present.
on May 10, 2014
The Apple iPad Mini is popular enough now that everyone knows why it's so great. It's a lightweight, diverse utility. I'll just highlight some of the new improvements and what I love about the iPad Mini with Retina over the previous gen iPad Mini.
+ Free iWork suite with new iDevices! Free Pages, Numbers and Keynote. Just download them in the App Store.
+ Gorgeous retina screen aids in reading text. I'm a medical student and I read a lot of books and articles on my iPad mini. My eyes don't have to strain as much because the text is rich and crisp.
++ Fits in a lab coat/ white coat! Big bonus for other students in the medical profession
+ Incredibly thin and lightweight with a beautiful design. Nothing else on the market really compares to the aesthetics of Apple products, in my opinion.
+ Apple's App Store- no other online market comes close to the App Store. The selection in variety and premium content is bar none
+ iCloud - Building an Apple environment works flawless with the iPad Mini. My iCal syncs nicely, my contacts are added, iMessages auto-updates. All of my daily routine stuff is imported directly onto my iPad using iCloud services.
+ AppleCare for $99 extends your warranty to 2years and covers accidental damage
- Like all beautiful Apple products, the casing is delicate and prone for chips and scratches. Buying a case is a must. This argument could go on for hours on buying a case to protect your investment versus "needing" to shell out more money for a $400+ product that can't handle normal wear. In my opinion, buying a case is more for resale value, as well as to preserve the beautiful aesthetic. If the latter is not as important to you and you don't intend on selling it at any point in the future- going without a case is acceptable too. (You'll just make a lot of people nervous)
- SquareTrade offers a 3year warranty for around $129 that covers accidental damage as well. They have a sterling reputation of BBB website and are well-known for their great customer service. It's a better deal than AppleCare, in my opinion. With that said, the beauty of AppleCare is that you can waltz into a store and have them fix it for you without dealing with a third party to either ship-n-fix (two day turnaround) or file for reimbursement from Squaretrade.
- No education discount for students or teachers
Additional note: Keep a lookout for promotions through Apple. In the summer they usually offer a "back 2 school" special that includes a $50 iTunes gift card with a new purchase. Also, Clearance on the Apple website usually has good deals on older models. iPad Mini Retina is a current gen and will eventually have clearance/refurbished stock as well at discounted prices. These items come with a standard 1-yr Apple warranty and you still have the option for AppleCare for 2yrs. These can only be purchased online and either shipped to your home or store. If you're patient enough with shipping and finding the product you want on clearance/refurb, then it's a great way to save money on a purchase.