tablets
  • Editors' Choice

Apple iPad mini Tablet Review

It certainly looks cool, but the iPad mini falls flat in performance.

November 02, 2012
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Controls

Fans of iOS will love the fact that the control interface for the Apple iPad mini is scaled for a tablet and not a phone, meaning that while things will look smaller in relation to the screen like they would on the iPad, your apps will not be re-scaled phone apps that are inefficient in using the whole screen.

Touch controls and gestures are the same as they are on the iPad: you tap icons with your finger to toggle them or open apps, you swipe your finger to move pages or turn them, you can pinch your finger in or out to zoom where applicable, and a five-finger swipe inward will bring you back to the home screen. This can also be accomplished by tapping the home button on the bottom of the bezel, but this is more fun.

Connectivity

Much like its bigger, badder brother, the iPad, the iPad mini has a satisfyingly diverse array of connectivity options. An 802.11n wireless card, bluetooth 4.0, and wireless streaming options over your home network give you the option to pair external input devices as well as stream content from your tablet to your TV if you have an AppleTV unit. It doesn't have anything fancy like NFC, but chances are good that if you don't know what we're talking about, you don't need it.

Connectivity Image
Here we see a Lightning dock in its natural habitat.

New to the latest generation of iPads is the lightning dock, which replaces the old connector port on the bottom. This time, it doesn't matter which side is facing up when you jam that cable connector into the tablet, it will work either way! Definitely less frustrating. Keep in mind though that there is no third-party cable makers, so do your best not to lose or break these cables. As of this review, there is also no plan to bring a 4G option to the mini, so users wanting to take their tablets out into the world will have to make do without a wireless network.

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Battery Life

After draining the life force (aka stored charge) out of the iPad mini's battery repeatedly, we've determined its life with a full backlight and no wireless to be 6 hours and 3 minutes reading eBooks, and 7 hours, 20 minutes playing movies with terrible acting. Given that the screen is quite bright, you might be able to squeak out more or less battery life depending how you change the settings.

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Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

Sections

  1. Introduction
  2. Product Tour
  3. Screen
  4. Battery & Controls
  5. eReader
  6. Music & Audio
  7. Movies & Video
  8. Email & Web Browsing
  9. Internet Apps
  10. Conclusion
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

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