17 of 24 people found the following review helpful
No more typing, easy to travel with, great tablet! Update 11/28/12,
Update November 28,2012:
After using the mini for a while, I have to say that I now hate my ipad....and only use it when the minis are being used by my wife and kids....in fact, nobody wants to used the ipads any more. I also do notice a difference in speed. I think what is slowing me down is my router and possibly having too many things connecting to it. Unfortunately, I Lso find that I have a hard time connecting sometimes and sometimes the screen freezes and does ot let me do anything. This does not happen at regular times or during specific times, but seems to occur randomly. I recently was unable to connect to the app store, though I had full internet access, etc. after about fifteen minutes I was able to connect. I do not know what happened or what changed. I still think the keyboard is too small for me, but I have large hands and nobody else in the family seems to be complaining. Maybe I would do better if I got to use it more. I did see someone with a kindle fire and with nly a short look at it, I think the mini blows it away.....thought I like that the kindle has the sd card slot......if I find anything else worth noting I will update my review. If you have any questions, feel free to ask.
Ok, so here's the thing, I have an iPad and a second generation iPad. My wife wanted the mini, so I bought it for her.....I just ordered a second one for me! I really like it more than the others. While it is significantly smaller, almost half the size, the actual screen size is comfortable and does not feel small. The borders are narrower than the full sized iPad, so the actual screen size is 4 13/16" x 6 3/8". The screen itself is very sharp and clear, and I feel like I'm 20 years younger (or at least my eyes feel that way). I wish I could say the same for the video quality. I take off a full star for that. Indoor quality with good lighting is mediocore at best (I wonder if something is wrong with mine?). Very grainy playback. I'm not impressed....I have not been able to play this on one of my HDTV's, perhaps it will show better, but I doubt it. My cell phone takes better video. I don't think I can be very happy about it, and I find it very hard to believe that this records at full HD, 1080p. If there is a way to tweak it, I wouldn't know because (here comes complaint number 2) it doesn't come with a user guide! No paper guide and no tutorial app (really, apple? There's so much new stuff, and no app, nothing???). I shouldn't have to search online or go to the apple store for information on how to maximize the use of my tablet.
That should complete my complaints.....though you might hear a little more later. Now for the good stuff.... This thing is light! Two fingers light. The screen is also very bright and does a good job resisting finger prints. The LED Backlit display is crisp when viewing images and video that are actually made in good quality. The screen resolution looks much better than my second generation, but that's kind of an optical illusion I guess. They say the resolution is the same for both, so it must just look better because the screen is smaller. Here are some more stats:
FaceTime camera: 1.2 mp photos and 720p video.
iSight Camera: 5mp photo and 1080p video; f2.4 aperture; video stabilization; tap to focus and control exposure.
Browsing is speedy, but honestly, I don't see much difference between my 2 and this. Viewing pages are fine and everything looks normal and sharp. Pages come up quickly and scroll fast. Zooming is also quick. I LOVE that you can multitask! Updating apps occurs in the background.
Lots of great app, including photo and video editing and FaceTime, but for me, the reason to order a second one is Siri. Yup, that wonderful little digital assistant who will do anything for you...well, just about. I didn't know how much I needed Siri until I started to use it. I can now make appointments on the fly, make reminders, and organize my life in a way that was not previously known to me. This is THE best way for me to deal with so many different appointments, reminders, etc.. The sad part is that now I know I need an iPhone, as well! The children love the novelty of Siri, but I find it to be probably the most useful technology for me. It will be life-changing for me.....as long as I continue to use it. It will be so nice to finally be organized. Along with Siri is the ability to dictate message, etc. Just hold the microphone icon down for a second and start talking. I think that it is in need of some real sophistication, e.g. dragonspeak type quality. It will not place punctuation, and needs to be trained (I don't know how to do it yet, as I am still searching to see if that is even possible) to get better accuracy. An unofficial test estimates 70% or so accuracy, sometimes better if I speak slowly and there is no backround noise.
The sound is also very good. Very clear. Not that loud, but then, you can't expect room filling sound....still, it is very acceptable. No complaints there. The only problem is with the lightning connector. I will have to buy an adaptor to connect the mini to all of my docks/speaker systems/etc. That's another thirty or forty dollars depending on which adaptor I decide to get.
If you are looking for the user guide, go to the applestore and click on userguide, sorry, you're stuck, that's the only way. You would think they would include it in the iBooks app! I mean, really? How hard would that have been?
I can't tell you if this is better or worse the the Kindle Fire because I have never seen one. If I find someone who has one I will do a full comparison. But for me, I think I need the technology that Siri offers (that's why I ordered the second one). If Kindle Fire has something similar, I am unaware of it, and will likely kick myself. :-) If you have any questions, I check for comments every couple of days. I hope you found this helpful.