final rating

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Criteria Comments Rating
  • Features Same great features of the other iPads. great!
  • Display After living with a retina display for so long, this is hard to learn to live with. good
  • Battery life All day battery life (or for me, several days). Can't ask for more than that. great!
  • Ease of use Just like other iPads. great!
  • Storage capacity A good selection of capacities for all audiences. great!
  • Design and form factor This feels *amazing* in your hand. great!
  • Portability (size / weight) It's like marrying the perfect size and weight of a Kindle reader to an iPad. great!
  • Durability Feels quite solid. great!
Detailed review
I wasn't sure if this was going to be "my" iPad - the one I keep. I bought one to test it out vs. my iPad (3rd Gen) and decided to live with for a week, comparing it to my usual iPad.

The display - it's good, but it's not retina. After living with retina for awhile now, it's hard to go back. Everything else - the size, the weight, and (nearly) the performance are no-brainers. Also, there's finally some design parity between the iPhone and iPad lines; this is clearly a product "line".

So, what did I decide?

After using both over the weekend into yesterday, a couple of days ahead of my one-week testing deadline, I've concluded that if only it had a retina display, I would switch in no time flat. I keep looking at the retina display on my 3rd Gen iPad lovingly, wishing it was in this lighter, smaller iPad that I keep coming back to. In the end, that's the thing - I keep coming back to the mini. So, while wishing it had a retina display, I'm going to keep wishing, because I've decided to stick with the mini.

I think if you pick one up, you'll stick with it, too.
review history
Display rating changed from 3 to 4
Features rating changed from 4 to 5
Updated detailed review
Updated overall rating