Our Verdict

The iPad mini ushered in a major change for Apple and aside from the slightly disappointing screen we loved this tablet. It's now been usurped by the iPad mini 2 with Retina display, so it's really only there for those on a budget.

For

  • Superb design
  • Great battery
  • Extremely light and portable

Against

  • Smaller touch targets
  • Higher price than competition
  • Low-res screen

Apple went gone where we never thought it would, with the iPad mini bringing the Apple tablet experience to a brave new budget world.

Two generations on and the original mini now comes in at a wallet-friendly £199 / $249 / AU$299 for the Wi-Fi version, with 16GB of storage on offer. That's all the memory you can get as Apple has discontinued the larger models, but there is a 4G LTE version, which will set you back £299 / $379 / AU$459.

But then again, the iPad mini release isn't about the top end specs with a whopping price tag – it's about beating the likes of the Google Nexus 7 and Amazon Kindle Fire HD in the budget stakes and that's even more the case now its price has dropped.

ipad mini review

The two competitors have been getting many column inches so far thanks to the super cheap prices and the impressive specs on board – although with both only offering a 7-inch screen compared to Apple's 7.9-inch offering, the Cupertino board is confident its device will win the day when it comes to capturing consumers' hearts.

However, the more frugal shopper, and especially one buying for a loved one, may not agree with this idea, as the Nexus 7 or Kindle Fire HD can both be had for less even since the iPad mini got its price cut and when faced with a choice between the three might opt for the familiar Amazon brand or the sheer power of the Nexus 7, with its mightily impressive spec list and legions of Google apps.

iPad mini review

That said, Apple fans need not worry too much when it comes to whether the iPad mini is a worthy addition to the iBrand, as it comes with enough power and reams of Ive-inspired design to make it a worthwhile addition to the range – this isn't a shrunken down iPad, it's a whole new product again.

Be it the larger screen size, the impressively low weight or the alternative design compared to the competition there's a lot to chew over with the iPad mini – but is it worth spending your hard-earned when more cash will get you a fully-fledged version of Apple's tablet?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Phones and Tablets Editor

Gareth (Twitter, Google+) has been part of the mobile phone industry from the era of the brick to the tiny device in the pocket... and now watching them grow back up to behemothic proportions once more. He's spent five years dissecting all the top phones in the world as TechRadar's Phones and Tablets Editor, and still can't resist answering the dreaded question - "which new phone should I get?" - with 15 choices.

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