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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!
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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon December 30, 2013
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.
33 comments184 of 203 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on November 19, 2013
I'm using the retina mini right now as I write this review. I loved the original mini because of the amazing build quality and comfortable size. Now it's essentially all the good things we had before but with crystal sharp display and faster processor.

This device reeks of quality and craftsmanship. I sold my Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 to buy the retina mini and I've made an excellent choice. While the Nexus tablets are great they feel like budget tablets. I prefer the smaller size tablets like the mini and Nexus 7, but I found the Nexus 7 to be a tad too small. It's even smaller than 7" because of the onscreen buttons. I'm much happier with the size of the mini for writing emails, surfing web pages, and most of all reading books and comics. Sharp as real paper right up close.

If money is not an issue the retina mini is totally worth the $399 price tag. I thought the original mini was worth more than the $329 they charged for it. I'd have paid $349. It's that good. So I'm okay with the retina mini price. I would say Apple is the Acura of tablets. Classy, elegant, and high quality.
55 comments77 of 83 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on November 30, 2013
I am writing this as an upgraded view not as a first time iPad buyer. i got the 64GB version but i did also post this review on the 16 and 32 versions because the 64gb version was nit listed for sale here until just recently. i bought the black, i had the white. i went black because as beautiful as the white is i found myself looking at the bezile often. the bright white distracted me from the screen sometimes. the bezel fades out of view when black and i find myself seeing more of what is on the screen.

the retina display is a huge upgrade. i have corrective lenses and need 1.25 reading glasses. reading all text on the retina is worth the upgrade for me. while i do not have an iPad to compare the color gamut i can say that i think the colors are fine. the display is a worthwhile upgrade consideration. as much of an improvement the screen is the processor is an even bigger improvement. i use to see load time of a game called Field Runner2 HD (there is a free version too) of 40 seconds or so, the new mini loads twice as fast (see video review). i wish i took a video of the two side by side before i sent my old one to a friend. it was amazing how much faster the new iPad loads games.

i would like to say the iPad mini should have had the fingerprint scanner and all Apple products are overdue for built in wireless charging. still this is a really nice product and i am glad i spent the money on the upgrade.

PS, looks like they consolidated the reviews of other versions so that is why you see me on here more than once, regrets.
44 comments121 of 134 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
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.

Pros:
+ 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

Cons:
- 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.
0Comment73 of 79 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on December 4, 2013
Background:
I have been an Apple fan for a while but I (try) to keep my ratings objective. I bought this to replace my aging iPad 1, which sadly is too underpowered to stop from randomly crashing. The model I purchased was the 16gb black, WiFi only model.

Form Factor: 5/5
Like most Apple products, the iPad mini feels really solid while still being thin and light. It is light enough that you can easily hold it up with one hand, yet heavy enough that you can tap the screen or push the buttons without pivoting it too much. Size wise, it feels small when carried, but when you are using it feels like you have significantly more real estate, which leads me to my next category...

Display: 5/5
I was initially hesitant coming from a 9.7" tablet that I would be losing screen space. This, however, is not a big problem, since the retina display lets you see much smaller text with significantly less eye strain. This is what ultimately sold me on the tablet. When I was in the store, I brought up an online math textbook on this iPad, the non-Retina mini, and a Galaxy Tab 3 7". The iPad mini retina simply looked the best.

Power: 4/5
I think it is a bad idea to directly compare tablet power in PC terms (processor speed, memory, etc.). A better metric is how responsive the tablet is. I find that this iPad is very quick to respond to finger taps and button presses. Web pages load much, much faster than on my original iPad (which is to be expected) and my iPhone 5. However, this power comes at the expense of heat. When downloading large files or using high-power applications, it tends to get a little warmer than I would like. It's not problematic, but it is just something to be aware of.

Battery: ?
I haven't fully drained the battery yet so I'm not going to give it a rating yet, but I have noticed it drains about 10% in an hour of web browsing + streaming music, so I expect it gets about 10 hours. This is in line with what Apple claims, so I expect this rating will be a 4.5 or 5 out of 5.

OS/Apps: 4/5
I personally don't like the look of iOS 7, but it gets the job done and done well. While it doesn't have the nitty-gritty customization that Android has, it is very integrated. Control Center is a nice addition; Music, Mail, Newsstand, Calendar, and Maps have all been improved upon and function well. iOS may not be very interesting but it does a fine job, and of course you have the whole App Store to find 3rd party apps in case you don't like the Apple-designed ones.

Storage Space: 4/5
16gb is tiny (there is no doubt about that) BUT physical storage space is becoming less and less relevant. Because I use Spotify and Netflix/HBO Go for most of my media consumption, I don't use more than 3-4gb of space on the tablet. What's left is space for apps and documents... 16gb holds quite a few apps. But, if you like having a large offline media collection, go for the more expensive models, which brings be to my next point...

Price: 4/5
What? 4 out of 5 for price on an Apple product? Yes, I said it. If you don't use that much offline space, this iPad is a solid value at $399. My experience with Apple products is that they last longer than average, so you can expect to get 3-4 useful years out of it, which is most or all of high school or college. Now, I feel paying $100 for an extra 16gb is outrageous, but I'm not reviewing that model. Don't get me wrong, this is a premium product, but for what you get $399 is fair.

Camera: 4/5
Don't take pictures with a tablet. That being said, the front and rear cameras are fine for video-chatting (which I suppose is what they are really meant for). Aside: I don't understand video-chatting with a tablet. All you see is the underside of someone's face.

Comparison to other tablets: 5/5
Let's face it: there are other tablets on the market with features that the iPad doesn't have. The Surface can run PC applications. The Galaxy 3 and Nexus are both a bargain. But when you put the entire package together, the iPad wins every time.

I suppose these average out to a 4.5, but I'll round to 5 stars because of useful miscellaneous features, including the smart cover, Lightning port, and dual-speakers which are pretty good for a tablet.
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on December 11, 2013
This is my first iPad although I have had Apple products ranging from the G5 to iPod Nano. I was really excited when the iPad Mini first came out but waited for a new iPad Mini to unveil before buying one. I have owned a variety of Android based tablets, my feeling is you pay for what you get. Yes the price tag of the iPad Mini w/ Retina Display was like wow I could buy a sweet Android set up for that, however, my G5 I owned for 5 years with no complaints except Apple stopped making software for it. I still miss it and knew that if I bought this iPad Mini it was an investment as well, keep it in good condition and the re-sale value holds.

So far I love the ease of using it. I got the 32gb one since since iCloud can store anything I don't need immediately. I loaded a ton of music and about 2,700 photos (I'm a photographer) and still have 19gb storage available. It is very thin and easy to hold with one hand while reading or surfing the web. I also enjoy gaming on it. I have the Order & Chaos game on it and it runs seamlessly. I did buy a case to keep it in good condition as well as for ease of holding onto it as it is a bit slippery. Pictures and movies are beautiful on this screen.

I see many advantages to it and will be looking into using it on the business side as well. I also love how all my Apple products work flawlessly together. I would suggest this tablet to anyone. Just play with it for 5 minutes and you will be hooked.
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on November 5, 2014
Arrived on time, came in packaging just like if I were to buy from Apple. And the fact that I saved $50 by buying it from here is also another great reason to buy from here than somewhere else.
The corners of the packaging were slightly bent, but had no affect on the product itself.
I've had mine for a month or so, got some movies, games and GarageBand on it and zero problems!
Before buying I didn't know if I should get with or without retina display, but after using it for a while, the retina display is totally worth the extra money! It also has a faster processing chip so it runs more smoothly and faster, even if the memory is mostly filled!
Great product!
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on December 28, 2013
I am/was a very light tablet user for until about 2 months ago (as of writing this review). I got a second hand Kindle Fire 7" HD from a family member who upgraded and I really liked having the KFHD. I got the new (as of writing this) iPad mini w/retina as a Christmas gift.

There is a LOT to like about this tablet, and I am very grateful for the gift, but when I compare it to the Kindle Fire HD 7", I wonder if it is worth the premium cost. So rather than review this item comparing it to nothing, I will compare it to my previous (and much less expensive) Kindle Fire HD 7".

Pros:

- syncs up with my two Apple computers and iPhone perfectly, Kindle does/did not do this

- uses iMessage so I can respond to most text messages from my iPad

- the hardware is absolutely beautiful, second to none compared to ANY other tablet, in my opinion

- the retina display is absolutely gorgeous

MAJOR PROs:

- Being an Apple device, you get access to the best app store on the planet. I know that sounds like an Apple commercial but compared to the Kindle marketplace, I have such a better variety of GOOD apps and games to play. I never gamed on my Kindle Fire for more than 10 minutes, I found myself playing some App Store games, upwards of 45 minutes; I never thought I would game on a tablet for that long

- The Operating System seems more stable. My apps crash less often, and I feel more in control of my apps. With the Kindle Fire HD 7, you can't 'close' apps; it's just not how it works (by close I mean actually stopping the apps from running in the background, when you double click the home screen and swipe them up to 'stop' them). Everything seems more fluid and less clunky as well, compared to the KFHD. This gives a huge benefit to the ease of use category for the iPad.

Cons:

- Something is awkward about the speaker placement on the iPad Mini compared to the Kindle Fire. I -think- the sound is better on my Kindle Fire overall and the speak placement is definitely better. When holding the iPad in landscape mode (the only mode I use) your hands easily cover up the speakers, so a lot of the time you are muting or attenuating the sound, which gets annoying. This was not an issue with my Kindle. I work in audio and this gets under my skin; I am surprised they (apple) haven't discovered that people really enjoy landscape mode and should take that into consideration when placing the speakers on the device. I almost feel like they want me to use it in normal (portrait) mode, but that's not going to happen.

- Although the OS on the iPad seems more stable and fluid, I feel (as of having the iPad for almost 5 days) that I prefer the layout of the Kindle Fire devices over the iOS layouts. I really liked the carousel on the Kindle and the way everything was laid out. This might change as I use the iPad more, but I still think I prefer the Kindle layout.

- The form factor is a little different than the Kindle Fire HD; the iPad is wider, even though the screens are about the same size. This makes holding it a little more of a challenge than the Fire. I find searching for a comfortable landscape position on the iPad a little bit more of a challenge than on the kindle fire. Just the other day I was 'face timing' with a friend and I kept covering the microphone (which is on the back of the device) with my hand causing the person on the other end to have to repeatedly ask me to repeat myself and inquire as to what is up with my microphone. This never happened with the Kindle Fire on Skype calls or the similar.

- The price, but I got this as a gift, so I can't really complain about it.

========
The verdict:

Overall I prefer the iPad to the Kindle Fire HD 7", but the Kindle Fire is a VERY close 2nd to it. If I was making the purchase myself and not getting either as a gift, I would have a hard time justifying the extra 200 (or 180) dollars for the iPad.

Hope this helped someone.
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on May 1, 2014
IOS for me is a boring OS, but that doesn't mean is bad. I don't do anything special with it that I didn't do on my Android tablet. This tablet is perfect for reading books and news and it has the same specs as the Ipad Air. If you are going to read, buy this one.
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