Anyone Get a New iPad Mini with Retina Display Yet?

iPad Mini

Apple officially released their second generation iPad Mini tablet to the masses today. The first iPad Mini was hugely popular, despite the high price and low resolution screen.

This year’s iPad Mini looks to be an even bigger success than the original with the super high-resolution 2048 x 1536 resolution IPS screen. That’s the same resolution as the larger iPad but on a more compact 7.9-inch screen, giving it an impressive 326 pixels per inch, which should be great for reading, no doubt.

The price, however, did not get any more affordable with the new model. In fact, the price went up from $329 for the base model to $399. But this is Apple we’re dealing with so the price hike is really no surprise.

It does preclude me from purchasing one, though. I was planning on selling my iPad 3 and getting a Retina iPad Mini when it came out, but I just couldn’t justify the extra expense. The main reason, speaking from experience with the iPad 3, is that 16GB just isn’t enough space anymore, not when the system files take up a chunk of that space and Retina quality apps take up even more. By the time you get a couple dozen apps loaded on there you’re lucky if you’ve got 4 or 5 gigabytes left for content.

The 32GB iPad Mini is $499 for Wi-Fi and $629 for cellular. That’s a lot of dough for a smaller-size tablet. If I were going to spend that much I’d want the larger screen of the iPad Air, but that’s $599/$729 for 32GB. Yikes! I think I’ll just hold on to the heavy old iPad 3 instead :).

Anyway, anyone out there get their hands on the new iPad Mini yet? How does it look and feel? Is it comfortable to hold one-handed? Surprisingly the new model is about 8% heavier than last year’s Mini. I was wondering how that would effect the overall feel of the tablet, especially since it’s quite a bit heavier than the Nexus 7 2.

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18 Responses to “Anyone Get a New iPad Mini with Retina Display Yet?”

  1. Not here Nathan I however upgraded my ipad 2 to an Ipad air last week. much,much better.

    are you going to buy/review the new kobo tablets ???

    • How’s the iPad Air feel? Do the bezels on the sides feel too small?

      Afraid not on the Kobos. They make them too difficult to get a hold of in the US. If I could go into a store and check them out I would, but unfortunately that’s never an option with Kobo.

  2. Well I was planning on doing something nice for myself for a change for Christmas and get the mini 2. Since it was released today, my son’s dentist said he needs to have all 4 wisdom teeth removed. Guess I’ll be getting a tooth charm bracelet this year instead. Crappy Karma.

  3. The small bezels on the sides are fine and comfortable. The area around it is not very touch sensitive. I have to thump it quite vigorously to get a response. I would say an area of 1/2″ inward from the bezels is like that. All other areas are like always very responsive. Personally, I find the iPad Air very comfortable to hold and operate.

    • I agree, the ipad air is pretty remarkable. Most of my use of it is in landscape, so the thinner side bezels aren’t really an issue. In landscape it also makes a great ereader, with a nice 2-page view. My approach to memory limitations is to just keep space-hog apps limited on the device, and when I’m tired of a game, just delete it and download something else from icloud storage. The nice itunes radio also means I have no desire now to store music on it. The Air is only a quarter-pound heavier than the Mini now, so I think the greater screen space is worth it.

    • I was wondering about that with my fat thumbs and that super tiny bezel. Thanks!

      • Wouldn’t worry too much. Your larger hands will make the mini easier to palm. If you can use a Nexus 7, this thing will work just fine for you. Love this screen for reading… especially magazines.

  4. Living in the backward kingdom of Belgium I have been trying to get my hands on a Mini Retina Since Monday. But of course over here it proves to be mission impossible. The only store that has the new Mini on day one seems to be the Apple store which of course no one around here has ever seen the slightest hint of. As for the other stores, each tell me a different story. “We don’t know when it will be available” or “Not until December” and so on. And of course I can see a problem come. If I don’t go check out pretty much every day, I’ll run the risk of hearing the clerk tell me “Oops sorry but the 64GB model which we had only a couple of units of, was sold out a couple days ago on the day we finally had them” (Yeah, I want the 64GB model lest I run out of memory and I must rule out Cellular because, well over here a Cellular subscription is nothing short of a con deal. 3GB for 25 euros or so. Which means you end up paying almost the same price as your internet home subscription just to check a couple mails and open a couple web pages before your download credit runs out and you have the rest of the month to enjoy the net with WIFI only turned on)

    So yeah, here I am not knowing when I will actually get my hands on my Mini Retina. Oh I wish I could live in Canada …

  5. As tempting as the new iPad Mini and iPad 3 are, I’m holding out for a Kindle Fire HDX. The Snapdragon CPU is the dealmaker here.

    • What difference does the CPU make on an Amazon tablet? So you can scroll through the homescreen carousel faster? I’m not trying to sound snarky; I just want to know what the real world benefits are compared to similar tablets. It’s not like Amazon has many high-end games. And the ones they do are exclusive Kindle Fire titles that can only ever be used on Kindle Fire tablets. At least when you buy high-end games from Google Play you can use them on whatever device you want.

      It’s not like the faster processor is helping much with everyday tasks. Web browsing still seems much slower to me on the 7-inch KFHDX than the iPad 3.

      And btw, the iPad Air is the fifth full-size iPad. The third was only out for like 6 months.

      • I haven’t been paying too much attention to the iPads anyway.

        Everything else considered, I might go with the new Google Nexus 7, though I could settle for the Asus Memo HD. It’s not quite Retina, but its costs less.

        • The new Nexus 7 is pretty sweet. Hold out for some Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales and you might be able to get one for pretty cheap. You might consider the Hisense Sero 7 Pro if you got a Walmart nearby. It’s a really good budget tablet for the price.

  6. So, a good buddy of mine works at the local Apple store and he hooked me up with an early purchase of a 128gb mini with retina (no cellular, though… bummer). I was a bit hesitant to plunk down over $700 (tax, you know), but I’m not a previous iPad owner. The only Apple device I ever had before is the iTouch. Gotta say, this thing’s pretty sweet so far. Side by side with the new air, the differences are indistinguishable. Battery life is probably about the same (haven’t seen hard numbers on it yet) due to the smaller screen and slightly slower cpu (1.3 ghz vs 1.4ghz)using less of the smaller battery’s juice. The display has the same resolution, but is sharper (though you’ll be pretty hard pressed to see that unless your eyes are right up on the screen). Personally, I really dig the small bezels. Keep in mind, I have small hands, though.

    Overall, being $100 cheaper than the air, I’d say this is the iPad to get. Wish the cellular variant was available, but that’s no really big loss… I can use my phone as a hotspot.

    • I would really love to have a new iPad Mini, and access to the impressive Apple ecosystem. However, since it is a closed ecosystem and a closed-source tablet, I would prefer an Android with comparable features. Google’s new Nexus 7 is one, and it has a Snapdragon CPU that rivals iPad’s.

    • I gotta backtrack the CPU’s. iPad’s 2.4 GHz A5 has no rival, except for Fire HDX’s 2.2 GHZ Snapdragon 800. But, what use that speed is on an Apple or a Kindle is still a good question.

    • Okay, I looked at the Apple website and on Wikipedia. The iPad Mini Retina has the Apple A7 dual-core CPU at 1.4 GHz. Probably no direct comparison to any other CPU of that speed or faster.

      • Yep, don’t get too wrapped up in raw processor speed numbers. The Nexus 7’s Snapdragon is a beast, bus so is the A7. They’re both wicked fast.

        Like you, I do like having an open source ecosystem, but you get what you get with Apple. It’s something you have to put up with if you like their products.

        Having both the 2013 Nexus 7 and the new mini, I have to say that this is comparing two different products. They’re both tablets, but their method of operation is somewhat different. Personally, I like them both (though the Nexus is notably less expensive). Both screen aspect ratios have their use, both have great pixel density, both have impressive battery life. And NEITHER has an SD slot for expansion(keep that in mind if it’s important to you).

        • The SD slot is for expansion of hard-drive memory, right?

          The Nexus is absolutely less expensive, but it’s 1.5 GHz S4 (really a Snapdragon 600) is no match for Fire HDX’s 2.2 GHz Snapdragon 800. I’m assuming CPU’s like that and iPad’s A7, as well as all their Retina-grade screens, are super as they are because they have a system and content to show off that is equally super.

          I’m also assuming that if the closed ecosystem runs out of wonders, it can serve as a puzzle to a bored user to crack it open.