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Customer Review

149 of 157 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The entry-level iPad is just terrific, June 22, 2014
This review is from: Apple iPad mini 2 with Retina Display ME279LL/A (16GB, Wi-Fi, White with Silver) (Personal Computers)
I've had the full sized Apple iPad with Retina Display for about a year and a half and have found that both my wife and I use it so frequently that getting a second iPad made sense. Plus, I got a great deal at B*st B*y and that was all it took to convince me to purchase this iPad mini.

I selected the iPad mini version this time because I felt that the smaller size would be nice, and with the retina display I knew that the display quality would be excellent. It is also quite a bit less expensive (than the full size iPad) and for an impulse buy, that helps.

Briefly stated this is a superb small tablet. If you are already invested in the Apple ecosystem then the apps you already own will load right up and it operates identically to your other devices. I'm not going to try to make the case for the Apple devices vs. Android tablets. I think they are both good, and both have their advantages and disadvantages. I've been using an iPhone for several years, as well as the larger iPad, so staying with Apple is a big advantage for me. That is what they want, of course, but it is also fine with me because I love the products.

Pros:

- The size and weight of this device is wonderful - this iPad mini is less than 50% of the weight of my full size iPad, which is a huge difference. The difference in weight is enough to make it much more comfortable to hold for any extended period.
- The display is still large enough to web surf and read documents comfortably. It has the same display resolution as my full size iPad (2048-by-1536), with a higher 326 pixels per inch pixel density than the larger model. In other words, the two displays will show the same identical content, the mini simply a smaller version. The display is just crystal clear and sharp.
- It comes with a charger and USB cable, which are all you need to get started.
- It's compatible with all other Apple iPhone, iPod, iPad apps, works seamlessly with my iMac computer, and is easy to set up right out of the box.

Cons:

- the smaller display is of course slightly less suitable, compared to the full size iPad, for doing some things such as watching video. The speakers are also smaller and do not project the same volume of sound as the larger iPad.
- as with all Apple products, not cheap

Comments:

- The 16GB size is the most affordable and is what I selected. It does mean that you are limited in what can be loaded on to the iPad. Many users, those who have large numbers of apps or keep many photos or music or video files on their device, will want the 32GB or even 64GB sizes. My needs are more modest. I use it more for streaming and web surfing, and other less memory intensive applications. The 16GB is therefore very sufficient for me, but it is at the low extreme for devices of this type today. I realize and accept that it may eventually limit me in what I can do with the device, that it means less ability to grow and for future needs.
- Physically, this iPad mini is just slightly larger than Amazon's Kindle Fire HDX 7", HDX Display. The iPad display is somewhat larger than the 1920x1200 pixel Kindle display. The iPad is about half an inch taller, quarter of an inch wider, and is slightly thinner. They are just about the same weight. The iPad mini was just fifty dollars more expensive than the Kindle at the sale price I paid. The Kindle HDX would have been my alternate choice - I like Amazon's Kindle products, but again there is the issue of app compatibility with other iOS devices I already own. And the iPad works just fine in reading the books that I have in my Kindle library, using the Kindle app that I have installed.

This is the wi-fi only version. My needs are only for a device for use at home and I have no desire or need to use this away from wi-fi networks or on my phone data plan.

When the iPad mini was first introduced, my wife and I looked at one at the Apple store, and we had mixed feelings about whether or not we'd want the smaller size. And that was the original mini, before it had the retina display. Now that the mini has the retina display, and I have one myself and I've used it for several weeks, I'm not at all dissatisfied with the size. In fact, it has become the iPad that I use every day, while my wife continues to use the larger iPad (which she does prefer, but she also has not had much opportunity to use the mini because I've pretty much monopolized it). For a two-iPad family I think that having one of each size is a good way to go.

For my purposes this is perfect.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 18, 2014 12:07:42 PM PDT
M. Williams says:
I wouldn't call this an 'entry-level' product, especially at it's price point. It's more or less a miniature version of the iPad Air. This thing comes equipped with the same processor, architecture, and performance figures as it's larger screen cousin.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 18, 2014 1:08:36 PM PDT
It's an entry-level iPad, not an entry-level tablet, although Apple does continue to sell the non-Retina iPad mini for a hundred dollars less.

In my case, which is the product reviewed here, I selected the 16GB version, with Wi-Fi only. It is therefore the least expensive Retina display model in Apple's iPad lineup, which is why I used the term 'entry-level'.

And it's a terrific tablet, as you noted yourself in your own review.

But if you don't want to consider it entry-level, that's fine with me!
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