The recently announced iPad Mini is expected to go on sale on Nov. 2. Apple,(s AAPL) which initially was dismissive of smaller tablets, is joining the ranks of the mini-tablet makers and is launching iPad Mini. The Wi-Fi version of the recently announced tablet will go on sale this week, while the cellular version will follow in a couple of weeks. The initial reviews of the device are out, and here are some of the highlights that will give you a sense of the device and its features.
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.
It’s really light and easy to hold one-handed. But it’s disappointing to go non-retina after using the retina iPad for the last seven months….My ideal iPad would be a Mini with a retina display.
Sitting in a cramped airline seat, or lying in bed, I found reading on the Mini to be a generally a more pleasurable experience than reading on the full-size iPad. But though you can now more easily hold a Mini with one hand, I still tended to use two.
In addition to using the iPad mini in my normal daily tasks, I also found that I would pick up the mini and use it where I normally wouldn’t use the iPad. For instance, if I’m on a phone call, I would typically use my iPhone to look things up while I walk around or type notes, look at Web sites and things like that. Now, I’m using the iPad mini because it’s compact enough to carry around, but not so large that it’s cumbersome.
If you want the full, polished Apple tablet experience in a smaller package, the iPad Mini is worth the premium price. Otherwise, good alternatives are available for less money.
For whatever it’s worth, I played with one at the launch event last week and wasn’t entirely convinced that I needed to take a step back from the iPad 3 with Retina display — which goes wherever I go.