The Buyer's Guide

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86 Engadget Score
An all-around great product that's among the best in its category. You'll almost certainly be happy.
86

An all-around great product that's among the best in its category. You'll almost certainly be happy.

How we score

The Engadget Score is a unique ranking of products based on extensive independent research and analysis by our expert editorial and research teams. The Global Score is arrived at only after curating hundreds, sometimes thousands of weighted data points (such as critic and user reviews).

Engadget Review

The iPad mini isn't just an Apple tablet made to a budget. This isn't just a shrunken-down iPad. This is, in many ways, Apple's best tablet yet

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Pros
  • Beautiful, thin and light design
  • Stellar battery life
  • Bright, clear display
  • Sturdy construction
Cons
  • Too wide for some
  • Pricier than many 7-inch alternatives
86 Engadget Score
An all-around great product that's among the best in its category. You'll almost certainly be happy.
86

An all-around great product that's among the best in its category. You'll almost certainly be happy.

How we score

The Engadget Score is a unique ranking of products based on extensive independent research and analysis by our expert editorial and research teams. The Global Score is arrived at only after curating hundreds, sometimes thousands of weighted data points (such as critic and user reviews).

Scores

Engadget

86
 

User Reviews

100
xempire
The iPad mini is everything you expect it to be, Features, ease of use and form...read more
100
TimoSpringer
A gadget unicorn - Engadget
100
uncleho
Such a great device! I love how thin and light it is, and I love how easy it...read more
Write a Review

Score Breakdown

 
87
Average user Score
 
100
xempire
The iPad mini is everything you expect it to be, Features, ease of use and form factory. The build quality is fantastic and far superior than any other tablet in it's size class.I know people talk about the display not being retina - and you can definitally tell (living in a retina world - Retina Macbook Pro, 3rd Gen iPad) the pixel density is far less. This is offset by design, weight, portability and at the end of the day compromise. Still getting used to putting my thumbs on the long edge bezel's, but so far iOS has done a pretty good job to isolate accidental touches and works well as expected. Highly Recommend the mini to folk who want an easy all portable solution that you actually wouldn't mind taking with you - the 3rd gen Retina is slightly too large for my liking.
 
100
TimoSpringer
A gadget unicorn - Engadget
 
100
uncleho
Such a great device! I love how thin and light it is, and I love how easy it is use!
 
100
mrk
Does anyone want to buy my old Nexus 7? I don't think I will be using it anymore...
 
100
gomer43
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.
 
90
falleninsea
this device is incredibly thin and light but it still feels solid in your hands. the 1st time you pick it up it will surprise just how light and solid it feels. The build feel and quality on this device is down right amazing.The display is an “HD” display coming in at 1024-by-768 resolution at 163 pixels per inch (ppi)and its not a bad display but after using an iPhone with a Retina display, then an iPad with one you can’t help but notice thats its just OK. its not great or awesome like you have grown to expect from Apple and their displays.I have been surprised at how much battery life it has. with average use and streaming music (withe the display off) i have easily gone a full normal day on this device. i did notice though it gets warm when you are charging it around the back of he device around where the connector is.the iPad Mini does not look, or feel like a cheaper version of an iPad or knock off of some device the competitor has out there. i have the all black model and it looks good. i will warn you though that rear panel sucks the oil right out of you fingers. you can’t help but notice the smudges and finger prints you are leaving on the back of the device.Software wise its Running Apple’s iOS operating system which is one of the easiest to use if not the easiest to use. the Apple ecosystem is second to non in regards to digital media. You will easily find books, movies, music and applications to have on your device. The mini support most of the features in iOS 6. Things like FaceTime, a 5MP camera, and Siri.Over all its everything you have come to expect in an iPad with the one exception of the Retina display. I think the lack of a Retina display is a huge step back from Apple on this device. Its light and thin and easy to cary around with you and the screen is large enough to take advantage of it. its easy to hold while reading in bed. The prices starting at $329 do seem a little high to me when comparing it to other device of similar size and functions. I will say that at no time do you feel like you have a cheap tablet.Is this something i would recommend or even buy for friends and family? Yes especially if they have a 2nd Gen iPad or this is their 1st iPad. I think its only real short coming is the display. Now for those that have a Retina device i would suggest waiting till the next version of the device is released which i am willing to bet will have a Retina display.
 
100
MacsFuture
The iPad Mini is a completely new category of iOS device. It is incredibly light and thin. This makes it it much more mobile and easier to use than the 10 inch iPad, which is much heavier and thicker. While the screen is not retina, if really doesn't make a difference for me as it is the iPad 2 pixel count squeezed into a smaller 7.9 inch screen. The kids totally like the iPad Minis I purchased (white and black) over the regular iPads we have. The portability makes it much easier for them to play games and surf the internet and watch movies. I also like it because when I read at night in bed the iPad Mini is easier to hold for a long time and only requires one hand to hold. Finally, the form factor is new and like the incredibly sleek iPhone 5. It feels much more modern than the more curved form of the iPad 3 and iPad 2. I think this device is going to be very popular.
 
90
pthrossell
The best in its category. We highly recommend it. - Engadget
 
90
Atcsxx
Have had my Black 64gb Ipad Mini for a couple of days now. Pretty much have done all the things I've done my other Ipads, and have no complaints yet. Watching video's is a nice experience, but where it shines is playing games.
 
90
Davidmah
I initially thought that the iPad Mini was just going to be a smaller iPad experience. I've been using the iPad since it was released back in 2010 and love my device and didn't think that the Mini would be all that great. But when I went over to the store to have a look, the iPad Mini definitely feels like everything the iPad has always wanted to be. It's light. It's thin. It feels great in your hands. While similarly sized tablets like the Nexus 7s and Kindle Fires are cheaper, I'd recommend the iPad Mini to anyone looking to buy a new tablet this holiday season. The only caveat I can think of is the screen resolution. The quality of the screen is incredible but coming from using a Retina iPad/iPhone 5, it takes some getting used to. An iPad mini with a Retina display (hopefully next year!) will almost certainly rank among the best products Apple has ever made. But the lack of a Retina display doesn't stop the iPad Mini from being one of the best tablets money can buy today.