The first iPad mini and 4th gen iPad reviews hit the web

By , Oct 30, 2012

While most of us have to wait until Friday to get our hands on the new iPad mini, a select group of journalists have been using the tablet since Apple unveiled it last Tuesday.

These writers were given early access to the device so they could post full-length reviews before it launches later this week. And a lot of those reviews just went live…

Apple’s embargo lifted just a few moments ago, essentially giving everyone with an iPad mini write-up the green light to post. And as usual, we’ve got a roundup of them.

The Verge’s Joshua Topolsky gave the iPad mini a score of 9/10 and said:

“There’s no tablet in this size range that’s as beautifully constructed, works as flawlessly, or has such an incredible software selection…

…The iPad mini hasn’t wrapped up the “cheapest tablet” market by any stretch of the imagination. But the “best small tablet” market? Consider it captured.”

And here’s Engadget’s take:

“This is, in many ways, Apple’s best tablet yet, an incredibly thin, remarkably light, obviously well-constructed device that offers phenomenal battery life. No, the performance doesn’t match Apple’s latest and yes, that display is a little lacking in resolution, but nothing else here will leave you wanting. “

And CNET:

“It’s light enough to hold in one hand, something the iPad was never really able to achieve for extended periods of time. It’s bedroom-cozy. Other full-fledged 7-inch tablets feel heavier and bulging by comparison. This is a new standard for little-tablet design. It makes the iPad feel fresh. After a week of using the iPad Mini, it seems to find a way to follow me everywhere. It’s extremely addicting, and fun to use.”

The Loop’s Jim Dalrymple was surprised by how much he used the mini:

“I was really surprised with how much I used the iPad mini in my daily routine — more than the 10-inch iPad. There are a couple of things you have to remember with the iPad mini. First, it isn’t just a smaller iPad, but rather it feels like its own device

The second thing is that what seems like a little bit of extra screen real estate on the iPad mini makes a huge difference. Everything just works on the mini — all of your old apps, iCloud, everything. It works.”

TIME Tech:

“If your budget’s got more wiggle room, the iPad Mini is the best compact-sized tablet on the market. Apple didn’t build yet another bargain-basement special; it squeezed all of the big iPad’s industrial-design panache, software polish and third-party apps, and most of its technology, into a smaller thinner, lighter, lower-priced model.”

And here’s TechCrunch’s MG Siegler:

“In my review of the Nexus 7 (which I really liked, to the shock of many), I kept coming back to one thing: the form-factor. Mix this with iOS and Apple’s app ecosystem and the intangibles I spoke about earlier and the iPad mini is an explosion of handheld joy.”

Bloomberg Businessweek’s Rich Jaroslovsky says the mini is “crazy light”:

“The most striking thing about the mini is in how thin and light it is. It is really thin and light. Crazy thin and crazy light, even.

Despite the mini’s larger screen, at under 11 ounces it weighs a full 21 percent less than the Kindle Fire HD, and 9 percent less than the Nexus 7. It’s also 30 percent thinner than either of them, thinner, in fact, than a pencil.”

The Wall Street Journal’s Walt Mossberg praised the mini’s battery life:

“In my harsh battery test, where I play videos back to back with the screen set at 75% and the Wi-Fi on to collect email, the iPad mini exceeded Apple’s battery life claim of 10 hours and lasted 10 hours and 27 minutes.

USA Today:

“The smaller form changes the way you approach the tablet. I’ve never hesitated to travel with the bigger iPad. It’s terrific for reading, watching movies and playing games on an airplane — but given a choice, before a road trip I would now more likely grab the little guy. It’s the right size for immersing yourself in a novel. Held sideways, it’s simple to bang out an email with your fingers. Battery life is excellent”

The Guardian says the mini is well worth its higher price tag:

“Lining those pluses and minuses up against those for the Nexus 7 – which garnered four stars – there’s no doubt that this is indeed a five-star device. The 20% difference in comparative price is more than made up by the difference in build quality and software selection.”

John Gruber of Daring Fireball:

“In both the Geekbench and SunSpider benchmarks, the Mini performs identically to the iPad 3 — about 750 in Geekbench (where bigger means faster) and 1,450ms in SunSpider (where lower times are faster). The new iPad 4 blows those numbers away (1,750 Geekbench, 850ms SunSpider), but I’d say iPad 3-caliber performance in a $329 radically smaller device is pretty good.”

Slashgear:

“Apple quotes up to 10hrs of wireless browsing over Wi-Fi for the iPad mini, or up to 9hrs if you’re using the tablet’s cellular connection. In practice, with a mixture of browsing, some video playback, games, music – both locally-stored and streaming – and messaging, we comfortably exceeded Apple’s estimate. In fact, we exceeded 11hrs of use before encountering a battery warning.”

And FOX News:

“After a few days I started to prefer the mini to my larger iPad despite its lack of a Retina screen. It even made my larger iPad look old fashioned. Awkwardly large. The mini is fast, impressively light — weighing in at just over 10 ounces — and easy to keep with me at all times.”

Obviously, these are all positive notes. But that doesn’t mean the iPad mini is perfect. Most notably, the tablet is missing the Retina display of its larger sibling — and practically every other iOS device. And, as several reviewers noted, this makes a big difference when doing things like watching movies.

But Retina or not, the overall consensus of the reviews seemed to be very positive. Most reviewers said that even with out the high-res display, they planned on replacing their 10-inch iPads with the new, smaller tablet.

Speaking of the larger iPad, a new one of those will be released on Friday as well. It has a faster processor, upgraded FaceTime camera and other improvements. And a few journalists were given a sneak preview of it as well:

Here’s The Verge’s take on the 4th generation iPad:

“The fourth-generation iPad is the very definition of an iterative change: Apple made important things better, but neither overhauled nor revolutionized anything. If the iPad’s history is any indication, the fourth-generation iPad’s advantages over the third-gen model will be most apparent two years from now, when apps are designed for the better processor and the Lightning connector has spawned a much larger universe of accessories.”

And CNET:

“The A6X speeds up the iPad back to levels you’d expect, and it handles Retina Display graphics even better. This is the iPad 3S, so to speak. Considering that the iPad still has the same price as before, starting at $499 for 16GB, it’s an even better buy than it was seven months ago.”

Engadget:

“Twice as fast, better battery life, same cost. What more do we need to say? The new iPad is a hit on all fronts — but it of course won’t be received that way by all. Those who just made the investment in an old, new iPad are likely going to feel a bit burned, and we feel for you.”

And The Loop’s Jim Dalrymple:

“There’s not really much to say about the iPad 4. It’s really fast in both processor speed and graphics, but we knew that. For me, the iPad 4 gives developers more headroom to continue pushing the envelope of what they can produce. That in turn, gives us better products to buy for the iPad. It’s good anytime that happens.”

It seemed like a lot of iPad 4 reviewers shared this sentiment — that the new iPad looks and feels exactly like its predecessor. Sure, some noted that games seemed to run a bit more smoothly on the new tablet, and that it booted up faster. But for the most part, no one could really tell a difference. Of course, this will change once developers start taking advantage of the new A6X processor.

Regardless, judging by the collective reviews, it looks like Apple has a couple more hits on its hands with the new iPad and iPad mini. And consumers agree, Apple has sold out of initial pre-order stock for both [Wi-Fi modeled] tablets.

Thoughts?

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  • David Lacasse

    I want one.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Jordys.O Jordys Oquendo

    Awesome!

  • TriguyRN

    Actually Verge made a mistake. If you average their score it equals 8.5

    • Alex Hoang

      The Verge’s end score is not based on the average of all their categories, as the end score is more based on their personal opinion and overall thoughts on where the product stands among the competition. By the way, The Verge did give iPad Mini overall a 9.0.

      • TriguyRN

        Oh sorry guys.

  • http://twitter.com/myorangeisstuck wahaha

    Now I can’t wait for my mini iPad to be delivered. I can’t wait to play it.

  • http://twitter.com/edsong97 Edson Zazueta

    the black and slate combination looks awesome!

  • kumar714

    oops

  • Damani Brown

    I already knew this iPad was going to be a beast! Will be purchasing.

  • Gerard Hampton

    Theyre really stretching to find new things good about this device. The ipad is good, a smaller ipad is a smaller ipad. So of course its good. Why would it be bad?

    Those reviews just sound silly:
    - it has a large selection of software.. well derr it has the same as other ipads
    - it fits in one hand.. oh really? maybe because its smaller?
    - the battery lasted 10hrs27mins, apple says it only lasts 10hrs.. of course they say under what it can do for legal reasons.
    - it follows me everywhere.. What did you do with your last ipad? leave it at home?
    - its extremely addicting and fun to use.. Have you never used an ipad before?
    - I would be more likely to take the little guy on road trips.. WTF is the normal ipad for then?

    Jobs didnt want a smaller version and this is an obvious attempt to take some market away from other devices and make apple some quick cash. Anyone who thinks apple wont be in trouble in the next few years is crazy. they need to invent/innovate some actual new products fast if they want to keep up. Of course the fan boys will fuel the company for a while so they do have some time, but even the fan boys will eventually get tired of it.

    • http://policydiary.com/ John S. Wilson

      So your consensus is they shouldn’t include positive aspects in the mini review if those positive aspects correspond with the full-size iPad? Have you thought this through? Doesn’t sound like it.

      And anyone who can conclude Apple’s success — over 400 million iOS devices sold — attributed to fanboys alone, shouldn’t be allowed to comment anywhere. Just an absurd statement devoid of fact or common sense.

      • winappleworld

        hez a fandroid XD

      • MarcPhilippeB

        Great! I absolutely agree!

    • Melvco

      A few things here:
      1. You really don’t think the iPad mini project started long before Steve Jobs left Apple last fall?
      2. And you’re saying that Apple, who has more money than most of the Fortune 500 companies combined, released the iPad mini to “make some quick cash?”

      If you believe either of the above is true, or that Apple, with more than $120 billion in cash on hand, is in any kind of danger in the foreseeable future, I have a plot of land on the moon to sell you.

      The iPad mini is the natural evolution of Apple’s tablet, similar to the iPod mini. It’s more portable than the larger 10-inch iPad, but not as pocketable as the 4-inch iPhone or iPod touch. Apple obviously feels there is room here for another device. We’ll see what consumers think come December.

    • http://twitter.com/Pabzley CaptainPabzley

      Yes maybe because the biggest factor here is the size and the size changed the way we interact with iOS. But the question is how would you describe this device to a normal person without saying smaller? You need to compare this device with bigger brother because it’s not a new device it’s a different device.

    • CollegiateLad

      You seem really annoyed… lol. Must have purchased the kindle or nexus 7.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sophea.chun.1 Sophea Chun

    awesome ,need one for my wife.

  • http://twitter.com/lgasparjnr laszlo gaspar

    I think the ipad mini will seriously hurt both ipod touch and ipad sales.

  • CollegiateLad

    Haters gonna be mad when they read this. No offense, Kurt.

  • azher ahmerd

    how to check i phone 4 operator system please help me plzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.jonsen Joe Jonsen

    too bad there will be no jaikbreak for pad mini or ipad4 …

  • Bob

    I love the way Apple make it seem like they’ve done us a big favour by giving the ipad mini the same screen resolution as ipad 2. So that it is compatible with all iPad apps.

    Apple could even make a pile of dog crap look appealing.