Here in the UK the iPad mini with retina display is in short demand so whilst I wait for my unit to arrive here’s a review from the one of the best out there.

Before choosing between the iPad Mini and “the new” iPad was simply a matter of choosing between retina and weight, could you go back to a non retina display in favour of portability. Amazing pundits such as Gruber and the rest of them backed down from the retina or nothing argument to support the ultimate portability and one handed ness of the iPad mini.

As much as I liked the form factor, it was simply to jarring an experience for me to jump from the iPad 3 down to a mini despite the obvious advantages it had in terms of form factor.

Spin forward a year and now there’s nothing in the decision making process other than size some might say but that’s a decisive factor. Now we really have hit a consumption vs creation argument but yet what factor suits best. If you type with thumbs the mini is better yet those who touch type on the iPad (is that actually possible) prefer the bigger form factor.

That other X-Factor relates to the weight, somehow apple has magically shaved enough weight off the iPad to rival the mini. With the iPad air coming in at 469g (WiFi) compared to 331g (WiFi) those figures are closer than you might imagine in real world values. It’s also worth nothing there’s a 10% increase in weight going from non retina to retina for the mini.

Much has been made of the iPad mini with retina display options citing it’s not up to par of the nexus and other alternatives out there yet who really notices that? Aren’t we past an era of comparing a never ending list of tech specs and numbers against a list of what just works and get’s things done with the least amount of fuss?

At $229 the Nexus 7 is a great option. If you prefer iOS however, the iPad mini with Retina Display is quite nice. The price hike vs. the standard mini can be a tough pill to swallow, but the A7 and display are definitely worth it.

iPad Specification Comparison
  Apple iPad Air Apple iPad 2 Apple iPad mini (Retina) Apple iPad mini
Dimensions 240 x 170 x 7.5 mm 241.2 x 185.7 x 8.8mm 200 x 134.7 x 7.5mm 200 x 134.7 x 7.2mm
Display 9.7-inch 2048 x 1536 IPS 9.7-inch 1024 x 768 IPS 7.9-inch 2048 x 1536 IPS 7.9-inch 1024 x 768 IPS
Weight 469g (WiFi) 601g (WiFi) 331g (WiFi) 308g (WiFi)
Processor Apple A7 (2 x Cyclone 1.4GHz, PowerVR G6430) 1GHz Apple A5 (2 x Cortex A9, PowerVR SGX543MP2)

Apple A7 (2 x Cyclone 1.3GHz, PowerVR G6430)

1GHz Apple A5 (2 x Cortex A9, PowerVR SGX543MP2)
Connectivity WiFi , Optional 4G LTE WiFi WiFi , Optional 4G LTE WiFi , Optional 4G LTE
Memory 1GB 512MB 1GB 512MB
Storage 16GB—128GB 16GB 16GB—128GB 16GB—64GB
Battery 32.4Wh 25Wh 23.8Wh 16.5Wh
Starting Price $499 $399 $399 $299

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