Before the first iPad mini was launched, rumors about Apple’s decision to create a product that was only slightly differentiated from the already mainstream iPad was questioned, even mocked by some reviewers. Was there really a need for a product between an iPhone and an iPad? An intermediate step between the two products was exactly what the iPad mini turned out to be, but it was a hit. It was a product for people who wanted a bigger screen than a standard phone but not as big as what a full-sized iPad offered. The iPad mini offered more than just a bigger screen. It was better and faster than the iPod Touch, too. With specs similar to the iPad, the mini outperformed the Touch on all benchmarks.
Even when it was only half as heavy as the standard iPad, the mini offered two-thirds the screen size. This was achieved with a much narrower bezel framing the mini when compared to the iPad. The screen did leave a lot to be desired – the in-demand Retina display was missing. Though not needed by everyone, the Retina display had become the standard for most Apple products. With a lower screen resolution (1024×768) and no Retina display, everything looked less sharp than on the iPad 4.
The new iPad mini with Retina display
The original iPad mini was considered by many reviewers to be a great idea that was botched in the execution. For the first time, Apple was in a major product category where it didn’t offer a better experience than the competition. It was the perfect little tablet that didn’t have the interface it deserved. The new iPad mini is the corrective – whatever the original nearly missed, the new one corrects in a credible way.
To those who disliked the blurry, low-resolution screen on the original iPad mini, the new model with the Retina display offers the full high-resolution treatment. Individual leaves on trees and individual hairs on a people’s heads are clear to see. Fast-action video that used to blur on the original mini’s screen are now crisp. All this is possible not just because of the Retina display but also the computing power behind it.
The processing power is mostly adequate
The new iPad mini comes with Apple’s new A7 chip. It’s able to produce the high-resolution detail that the screen demands. While it’s good with movies, high-resolution games and involved multitasking give it occasional trouble. The size of the mini, though, makes it perfect for gaming – your thumbs aren’t very far apart, the way they are on a full-sized iPad. With the high-resolution display, the added computing power and a comfortable size, the new iPad mini feels more like a dedicated gaming device than a tablet.
The new iPad mini against the competition
For its improvements, Apple charges £40 more than it does for the original iPad mini. The new mini also costs nearly twice as much as Google’s Nexus 7. Many might find the price too high. You could consider selling your old Apple stuff on a service like Music Magpie to be able to afford it, though. The new iPad mini is worth the price.
It isn’t fair to compare an iPad with an Android tablet, though. While Android’s app selection on the Play Store for phones is just as good as what Apple has, it has practically nothing for tablets. All you do get are bigger versions of phone apps. If you wish to truly use a tablet for what it’s capable of, the new iPad mini is the top contender.
Author bio: Mason Williamson enjoys technology innovations. He often writes about new devices and software on tech blogs.