The reviews for the latest hyped-about Apple device are in and, surprise surprise, everybody thinks it's amazing. The iPad Mini was announced last week after a seemingly never-ending torrent of rumors about its existence, and with just two days left before the device hits store, the embargo on the reviews was just lifted. Like we said, the reaction, so far, is expectedly ecstatic.
It's so pretty!
This is more or less the first thing out of any reviewers mouth (or fingertips) when talking about a new Apple device. We get it. Apple makes beautiful objects. How beautiful? "If the iPhone 5 is reminiscent of jewelry, the iPad mini is like a solidly made watch," wrote The Verge's Joshua Topolsky. "The iPad mini's paint job is similar to the iPhone's, but smoother, and on the black version I tested has a glint of blue and purple to it in certain light. It looks dangerous, and it feels great."
It's so small!
So the big thing about the iPad Mini is that it's smaller. This feels incredibly obvious, but tech bloggers are still blown away by just how much smaller it is. It's really small! "The most striking thing about the mini is in how thin and light it is. It is really thin and light," wrote Bloomberg Businessweek's Rich Jaroslovsky. "Crazy thin and crazy light, even." We saw this one coming, Rich. Impossibly thin has been Apple's jam ever since the MacBook Air debuted in 2008, and after the iPhone 5 stunned reviewers with its lack of heft, we should have expected the iPad Mini to be truly mini. As Jaroslovsky points out, though, it impressively beat competitors on weight and thickness -- it's 21 percent lighter than the Kindle Fire HD and 30 percent thinner -- despite having a larger screen.
It's so comparable!
At this point in time, it feels wildly cliché to drop the whole "It's just like the iPad only smaller!" line, but it's so wildly true. Everyone seems thrilled that the iPad Mini has instant access to the 275,000-plus iPad apps as well as the 700,000 iOS apps currently on the market. That's mostly because, the smaller package also sports the same screen resolution as the iPad 2. It's not jaw-droppingly sharp like the Retina display or anything, but it'll do.
Come to think of it, though, this lower resolution screen is a real down side. The Kindle HD is a little bit thicker and heavier, but Transformers 2 looks awesome on the high resolution screen. Maybe the difference isn't that big a deal, though. "Apple insists the device does better than standard definition, if you are obtaining the video from its iTunes service, since iTunes scales the video for the device, so it will render somewhere between standard definition and HD," explained The Wall Street Journal's Walt Mossberg. "In my tests, video looked just fine, but not as good as on the regular iPad."
It's kind of expensive!
The $329 the iPad Mini is not the $199 Kindle Fire HD, and it is not the $199 Google Nexus 7. It's significantly more expensive, but it's also built out of aluminum and glass rather than plastic. Expensive is bad, right? No, silly goose. We're talking about an Apple product here. The fact that it cost so much is practically generous on Apple's part. "By pricing the Mini so high, Apple allows the $200 class of seven-inch Android tablets and readers to live (Google Nexus, Kindle Fire HD, Nook HD)," wrote David Pogue at The New York Times. "But the iPad Mini is a far classier, more attractive, thinner machine. It has two cameras instead of one. Its fit and finish are far more refined. And above all, it offers that colossal app catalog, which Android tablet owners can only dream about."
Class, glass and apps. All in the iPad Mini. Get in line now.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.