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TimS

October 30th 2012 9:23 pm

I just wrote the Engadget review, AMA

Here it is. Lots of debate in comments about the validity of this device -- and of my conclusions about it. Got any questions? www.engadget.com­/2012­/10­/30­/apple­-ipad­-mini­-review...

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25 replies
Allegrotechie

iPad 4 vs. iPad Mini, which would you personally buy?
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TimS

Mini, believe it or not, but I'd have to ponder that quite a bit. Most of my tableting is reading, web surfing, and casual app usage. I don't need the firepower and, for me, the light weight and battery life more than make up for the lack of Retina -- and the cost.
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ssstraub

So if they come out with a retina iPad mini in the next year or two... is it "game over" for the big iPad?

If what you say about the mini is true, it seems like the only people left that would want the big iPad are those that are very concerned about specs and those trying to replace a desktop/laptop completely, right?
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ryan

How's the thumb rejection? I didn't really get to play with that much at the event last week, but I'm curious how you feel it performs with that thin bezel.
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TimS

Surprisingly good. I confess I've never bothered to test it on any other iPad because the bezels have always been so generous it wasn't an issue. I made a point to try it out here and didn't have any issue in the apps that I thought you'd be most commonly using one-handed (Safari, Kindle, iBooks). So, you can indeed safely use this with one thumb squarely on the display.
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Allegrotechie

Ahh, was in the midst of typing then when you asked. Would like to know this too!
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chaoticpinoy89

The Verge mentioned something about stereo speakers. The Apple announcement didn't say anything about stereo speakers. From the pictures you can see holes on both sides of the Lightning connector. Are they stereo speakers or mono speaker and mic?
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TimS

It's a mono speaker.
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geeohveeno

Wrong, actually.
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TimS

According to...? It says "speaker" on the Apple site. That's pretty conclusive.
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jonflath

Topolsky just tweeted that apple confirmed it is stereo.
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TimS

Stay tuned, investigating...
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TimS

I stand corrected. Stereo it is. Hopefully Apple updates its own spec page...
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Allegrotechie

According to Apple.com and Amazon's snarky front page, the speakers are mono.
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TgD

Hey Tim,

Thanks for the review. In the Apple Keynote, Tim Cook made reference to how the surface area of iPad Mini offers 35% greater screen area when browsing in portrait mode, and 67% more when in landscape mode than the Nexus 7. (This is of course after removing menu bars and tabs and such). The example used on stage was the Guggenheim

In your testing did this difference instantly stand out to you or was it something you had to actively think of?
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TimS

It didn't jump out to me, no. And remember -- a lot of that extra space is off to the side in portrait view, a place that most webpages render only whitespace. In landscape, though, you definitely do get a bigger, cleaner view at most webpages.

Overall I generally prefer the 16:9 aspect ratio for a 7-inch tablet, both for ease of grip and for better suitability of watching HD content.
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kniedenker

How long do you think will they support this with updates given old internals
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TimS

Quite awhile. They've sold an awful, awful lot of iPad 2s and iPad 3s -- which uses very similar internals.
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jasonact

My first concern when I heard the UI had all been shrunk down was that it could dramatically change the usability of many 3rd-party apps. Did you test out 3rd-party apps on the mini? If so, did you find the smaller form factor difficult to use with any of them?
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TimS

I did, and didn't have an issue. Honestly the thing that was most cramped for me is the 4-digit PIN unlock. That feels a little tiny, but otherwise I had no issues.
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maxtorboring

How is typing in landscape? I take quick notes with my iPad2 in meetings. Thanks
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TimS

I'm more of a thumb typer, to be honest, and for that I found the iPad mini to actually be better than the 10-incher.

Landscape typing QWERTY style is definitely a bit on the cramped side.
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maxtorboring

Thanks!
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craiglloyd

How's the clarity? Specifically with reading text.
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TimS

Just fine. Obviously doesn't match Retina but it's improved enough over the iPad 2 that it didn't bother me a bit.
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