final rating

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Criteria Comments Rating
  • Features No flash on camera. good
  • Display Am very happy with it, but I understand it is not that good outside in the sun. good
  • Battery life No comments great!
  • Ease of use No comments great!
  • Storage capacity No comments great!
  • Design and form factor No comments great!
  • Portability (size / weight) No comments great!
  • Durability Well, I have yet to drop it, but if it's as tough as my iPads 1 and 2 that were dropped and trodden on many times yet survived, the mini has hope yet. great!
Detailed review
Other reviewers have summed up iPad mini already so I won't go into too much detail on it's pluses. Thanks to it's combination of light weight and thinness, iPad mini is what the tablet should always have been. Ignore those who comment on the display: Whilst i have yet to try it outside in the sun (here in England, this is difficult!), I find the display perfect. My photos looks great, and reading iBooks or Kindle books is a delight.

What would make a great tablet perfect?

a) Grippy case like the equally awesome RIM PlayBook (my fav tablet until the iPad mini). I do find iPad mini gets a bit slippery and not being one to like to pay for a case that will make it any larger or thicker, I would like a grippy surround, a bit like the new NEXUS 4 phone.
b( An optional precision stylus, no, not a silly pointless stumpy one with a sponge on the end, but one like that on the Galaxy Note 2, but designed how only Apple could do.
c) Slightly narrower because I do find it hard to grip one handed for too long. Just removing the bezel would probably do it!
d) Wireless charging. Be nice to have a Palm TouchStone / NEXUS 4 style dock that you could put the iPad mini on for a combination of ergonomic viewing and charging.
e) Rear camera flash. I just tried taking some photos at a family event indoors, and the pictures were very noisy - unlike those taken with my Galaxy S2 that even without a flash takes better indoor pics. Me thinks Apple want me to buy an iPhone 5 as well? ;)
f) More RAM. Safari STILL has to re-load web pages when switching tabs. This happens on all my iOS devices and means you lose pages (and comments) you had loaded previously to read in the future. Not excusable in 2012 Apple!

Anyway, iPad mini is the closest that anyone has come to creating a PADD from Star Trek.

One final thing to make it clear I am not brand loyal at all, I owned a Motorola Xoom (first generation) and really liked it that thanks to it's speed and grippy case. The Xoom is of course larger and heavier than a mini, but even today it remains a viable tablet if you can find one second hand for under £200/$250. I may get one to compliment the mini as having several displays makes task management much easier.
review history
Updated detailed review
Edited comment on Durability
Updated detailed review