Even though the official launch date for the Apple iPad Mini will be this Friday, October 26, the first reviews from those graced with early access to iPad Mini are now in. Apple typically handpicks a select group of publications to get early review units, and the first round of iPad Mini reviews comes from TechCrunch, The Verge, Engadget, and others. Most of the technology journalists were impressed by the quality and lightness of the device and agreed that the iPad Mini’s hardware is state-of-the-art industrial design. Excerpts from the early reviews are as follows:
TechCrunch review by Darrell Etherington:
The finish of the device is matte on the back, making for a very nice feeling in the hand. The weight is really the most impressive part, though – as with the iPhone 5, but to an even greater degree, the iPad mini feels almost weightless when compared to its predecessors. It’s so thin and light as to feel almost like a prop, rather than a functional device.
We’d go as far as saying it’s our favourite iPad yet. The smaller size, thinner shape and lighter weight makes for a much better mobile experience. It’s easy to hold and manipulate in the hand but feels durable and well-built enough to accompany you throughout the day. It’s definitely more premium that we were expecting.
The display on the mini looks incredibly sharp, and even though the resolution is lower than the 3rd and 4th generation full-size iPad, it doesn’t immediately seem like a 1024 x 768 display. The smaller, 7.9-inch surface area certainly helps squeeze the pixels.
It’s still not “small,” though. While a fully outstretched adult hand can generally grasp it without help from the other, you’ll still want both for typing and using apps. It’s still too big for your average pocket, and it’s not going to save you a heck of a lot of room in your knapsack compared to the 9.7-incher.
Anandtech offers this hands on video: