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Apple Ipad Mini review

Thu Nov 08 2012, 14:09

Screen
The world sighed when Apple revealed that the Ipad Mini wouldn't come with its famous Retina display, a decision that must have been made to keep the cost of the tablet competitive. So, was the decision a bad one? We're torn about that.

On paper, the Ipad Mini has a 7.9in 768x1024 resolution display with 162ppi pixel density, which although is lower resolution than its Nexus 7 rival, doesn't sound all that bad. Still, while the screen is plenty vibrant enough, it's simply not as sharp as Apple's Retina display. Text is slightly fuzzy around the edges, for example, and app icons don't look as sharp as they do on Apple's larger-screened tablets.

Apple Ipad Mini Screen

However - and this is the reason why we are torn - Apple's Ipad Mini isn't aimed at the same market as its top-end 9.7in Ipad tablets. The Ipad Mini offers users a cheaper path into the Apple ecosystem for those who aren't bothered about wielding a device with all the latest specifications.

Still, with a less impressive screen than the Google Nexus 7, it does make handing over that extra £100 a little bit more questionable.

One thing we do like about the screen, however, is its size. Apple boasts that although the Ipad Mini is smaller and lighter than its Android rivals, it offers more screen space for tasks such as browsing the web and watching films. In fact, the Ipad Mini offers 35 percent more screen real estate than 7in Android tablets, a feature that we find makes the Ipad Mini the best downsized tablet on the market for web browsing.

Performance
The Ipad Mini's processor doesn't sound all that great on paper either, as it features the same dual-core A5 chip found on the ageing Apple Ipad 2.

This again must be a cost-cutting measure from Apple to ensure that it can price the Ipad Mini competitively against its rivals, and it's one we're not too disappointed about either.

Sure, apps load a couple of seconds slower on the Ipad Mini than they do on the third generation Ipad and browsing the web isn't quite as slick, but the Ipad Mini is still a high-performance device. Especially compared to the Amazon Kindle Fire HD, which struggled during our hands-on testing.

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