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The 7.9" Retina Display makes its debut on the iPad mini, maintaining its enormous 2048 x 1536 native resolution. At 326 pixels per inch, the Retina Display can show up to 3.1 million pixels at a time. The Retina Display is also a capacitive touchscreen so you'll be able to utilize all the multi-touch gestures of iOS 7. Its smaller form factor makes it easier to hold in one hand. The iPad mini comes in a silver finish.
Most helpful customer reviews
460 of 476 people found the following review helpful.
The entry-level iPad is just terrific
By Phil (not) in Magnolia
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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
295 of 308 people found the following review helpful.
Why last year's Mini 2 / Retina (2013) is better than this year's Mini 3
By Ron Cronovich
*** 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.
114 of 120 people found the following review helpful.
By Robert Paden
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.