92

As good as the Air, just smaller

92

The iPad mini with Retina display is an iterative update, but one that makes it vastly better than the original. Because it now offers a Retina display, fast connectivity and a powerful processor, the mini now shares top-tier product status with the iPad Air. This is precisely the iPad mini we've been waiting for, but it comes with a price hike of $70 over last year's model. Despite its wondrous feature set, some budget-minded buyers may look toward less expensive tablets like the Nexus 7, which also offers a brilliant display and top-notch specs, but for significantly less money. But, let's face it: Plenty of potential buyers won't have a problem paying up, especially those of you who've been eagerly awaiting a mini with Retina display. And we can't blame anyone for being tempted, either, because the mini seems to have finally reached its full potential. We say, two high-quality iPads are better than one, even if it does make it harder to decide which to buy.

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Critic reviews

9.1
14 reviews
  • Features
    8.5
  • Display
    9.5
  • Battery life
    8.9
  • Ease of use
    8.0
  • Storage capacity
    7.3
  • Design and form factor
    8.8
  • Portability (size / weight)
    8.6
  • Durability
    10

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User reviews

9.2
38 reviews
9.0
Engadget Nov 15, 2013

It's an iterative update, for sure, but one that makes it vastly better than the original. Because it now offers a Retina display, fast connectivity and a powerful processor, the mini now shares top-tier product status with the iPad Air. This is precisely the iPad mini we've been waiting for...

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9.0
CNET Nov 13, 2013

The new iPad Mini somehow shrinks down the iPad Air into an even more compact package, sacrificing nearly nothing. It's more expensive than before, but it's also the perfect smaller tablet.

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9.0
PC Mag Nov 14, 2013

The new iPad mini has a super-sharp Retina display and packs all of the power of the iPad Air into a more portable package.

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9.0
Gizmodo Nov 15, 2013

The only reasons not to buy an iPad mini—assuming you'd like to buy a tablet in the first place—are matters of personal preference and bankroll.

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9.0
AnandTech Nov 16, 2013

The lower weight and smaller form factor are just tough to give up. Apple could’ve made the decision a lot easier by giving the mini true display parity with the Air though.

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9.0
Wired Nov 15, 2013

The iPad mini is exactly the type of product we expect from Apple. Stunning good looks, a display so high resolution it’d take a magnifying glass to pick out the pixels, and unparalleled performance. This is the smaller iPad that should have debuted last year, but hey, better late than never.

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9.0
Ars Technica Nov 16, 2013

If money's no object, the Retina iPad mini is the best small tablet you can buy today. It might even be the best tablet you can buy today, period. If you passed on the iPad mini last year in hopes of getting a Retina model this year, you made the right call; this is the one you were waiting for.

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8.0
AllThingsD Nov 19, 2013

Overall, the iPad Mini with Retina display is a winner. Plenty of people will now consider this a viable alternative to the full-size iPad without any of the miniature downsides.

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10
Pocket-Lint Nov 25, 2013

...the iPad mini with Retina display is one of the best tablets on the market, if not the best tablet on the market. Fantastic portability, amazing battery life, a great screen, a huge array of apps, and all the processing power ... You won't be disappointed.

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9.0
CNET UK Nov 19, 2013

If you're planning to buy a tablet to watch video on a commute, this is the one to go for. The better screen and faster processor are a massive improvement on last year's model. Want.

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10
Digital Versus Nov 28, 2013

It's powerful, versatile thanks to iOS 7 and the now-free iSoftware suites, and has a superb, highly detailed screen and heavy-duty battery life. It's clearly one of the best tablets on the market.

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9.0
TrustedReviews Nov 15, 2013

The iPad mini Retina has improved exactly where it needed to. Better screen, better camera and much faster processor ... the iPad mini 2 is one of the best small-form tablets on the market, even if the extra cost is a little hard to justify.

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10
Expert Reviews Feb 3, 2014

It perfectly balances screen resolution and size with portability, with Apple producing a tablet that fits comfortably in one hand. Build quality is excellent, too, putting this tablet above the cheaper, but still great, Google Nexus 7.

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First Looks

product preview
Engadget Oct 22, 2013

Compared to the original iPad mini that came out last year, this is a rather significant bump in pixel density, and we came away much more impressed with the mini as a result.

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TechCrunch Oct 22, 2013

...considering that you do get an iPad essentially as powerful as its larger sibling in such a small, one-hand holdable package, it really is worth the minor price hike, based on my initial impressions.

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product preview
CNET Oct 22, 2013

The new tablet feels exactly like the first-generation iPad Mini. This is a good thing, since the first Mini has a near perfect feel. However, while it feels great, it's all about that screen.

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GigaOM Oct 22, 2013

The display is incredibly vivid, crisp and bright. The feeling I got when looking at the display was the same feeling I had when I first saw the original retina display iPad. The difference is tremendous.

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Laptop Magazine Oct 22, 2013

The iPad mini’s 2048 x 1536-pixel screen blows away other Android slates ... Everything from the icons and text underneath them to pictures in iPhoto and the New York Times website looked sharp. This is as flawless a visual experience you’ll have on a small tablet.

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Ars Technica Oct 22, 2013

Especially with the thinner, more delicate fonts included in iOS 7, non-Retina displays are showing their age these days. The Retina mini fixes this completely with its 2048×1536 7.9-inch display. Putting the same resolution in a smaller screen makes for an even sharper display.

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product preview
Pocket-Lint Oct 22, 2013

The iPad mini 2 looks to be a real powerhouse and certainly in our play compared to the iPad mini is noticeably faster than its predecessor ... If you like portability this is still the one to go for we think. Nice.

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SlashGear Oct 22, 2013

...the iPad Air is certainly a beautiful feat of engineering and design, with the iPad mini with Retina Display now offering the same screen resolution, same performance, and same camera, we’re still left feeling like we’d opt for the smaller tablet, certainly if we were mobile users.

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product preview
Washington Post Oct 22, 2013

The difference in the display quality is the real story here, and it’s immediately noticeable, as it was when Apple upgraded to retina display on the iPhone.

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Mashable Oct 22, 2013

The iPad mini with Retina display is considerably pricier than other similar-sized devices on the market. Its cheapest model is $399 for a Wi-Fi-only version with 16GB. By comparison, the full HD Wi-Fi Nexus 7 starts at $229.

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T3 Oct 22, 2013

...with a faster processor, an 128Gb memory option, much better FaceTime HD camera, M7 co-processing and that utterly beautiful hi-res Retina screen, it's hard to change our view of it remaining the best small form-factor, if not THE best tablet on the market.

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TechRadar Oct 22, 2013

Faster, prettier and more featured, the new iPad mini is everything we hoped it would be and, although there was nothing that we didn't expect, it should be noted that this is a tablet that ticks every box.

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IGN Oct 22, 2013

The Retina display is a welcome addition, but with a price tag that is typically associated with larger tablets, it'll be a tougher sell when it launches next month.

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product preview
CNN Oct 22, 2013

While we didn't have enough time alone with a Mini to verify the veracity of the company's claims, everything appeared to zip along just as quickly as the Air.

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TrustedReviews Oct 23, 2013

The iPad mini 2 comes packing the same 64-bit A7 processor as the iPhone 5S. Based on our benchmarking of the 5S it’s an impressive performer and wipes the floor with the A5 processor on the original mini.

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The Verge Oct 22, 2013

In essence, Apple chose not to change the iPad mini's basic formula to compete with these new tablets. It kept the same basic form factor as its predecessor, leaving the screen at a 4:3 aspect ratio that helps maintain compatibility with iOS' massive library of apps.

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product preview
Huffington Post UK Oct 22, 2013

The new iPad Mini looks and feels exactly like the old one - except someone has lifted off the annoying sheet of semi-opaque plastic from the screen ... the Retina display is the screen the Mini should have always had, and it looks fantastic.

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product preview
Expert Reviews Oct 24, 2013

Given the faster processor and the high-resolution screen, it's certainly looking as though the iPad Mini with Retina is going to be the small tablet to buy and a worthy upgrade to the existing model.

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9.0
milkychipz milkychipz

Why Apple’s Retina iPad Mini is well-deserving of the $200 higher price tag than its competitors. Apple’s Retina Mini offering arrived on the Apple Store quietly on the 12th of November, with an initial five to ten day wait in addition to sluggish shipping times for higher end models. Having...

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7.0
johncolucci johncolucci

I've had a love and dis-love (don't want to say hate) relationship with iPads. This will be the third one in two years I've bought and returned in less than 2 weeks. The first two I had were the full size iPads, and this one is the mini with Retina. When I returned the first two, I thought it...

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9.0
falleninsea falleninsea

Ok, lets just say it from the start. This is what the iPad Mini should have been last year. Or at least what i wanted it to be. The new Mini with Retina is by far a significant upgrade from the 1st model and i am not just talking about adding the Retina display. We moved up to the A7 chip with...

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6.0
billyshears777 billyshears777

Just overflowing with planned obsolescence. Thought I would be getting a real up-to-date model, but after using an Android tablet and smartphone this is like going back in time. Great design and build, but disappointing in so many ways. BTW, no camera flash, low light pathetic performance....

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9.0
chris24young chris24young

The Ipad Mini With Retina Display was released nearly a year ago. I brought this Ipad Mini in January and have loved the whole experience of using it is extremely fast and has great performance it also has brilliant form factor. The battery life needs improving drastically like it does with all...

video review
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