|Trying out the iPad mini at an Apple Store (no, my hand is not fat or weirdly shaped, it's that the way the camera was angled).|
Today, I tried out the iPad mini at Westfield Chermside. Here's what I think of it.
Physical AttributesAs actual reviews of the device have pointed out, the device feels very premium. The first time I picked it up, I wasn't expecting the weight of the device to be this light (I actually still can't believe it). Compared to it's older sibling, the iPad with Retina Display, it's as light as a feather.
Shape, Weight and other stuffDue to the weight and shape of the device (I'll talk about this now), I found the iPad mini to be incredibly easy to handle with one hand, as seen when taking this picture. The device is weighted really well which enables you to comfortably handle this with a single hand. Rather than the rounded shape seen on the larger iPad, the iPad mini opts for a flat back with a slide curve on the sides. The shape of the device feels a lot more like an iPhone 5 than an iPad.
The junction where the screen and the uni-body enclosure meet, diamond-cut, is incredibly delicate and beautiful. Just kidding, that's all marketing hype, it's just a junction.
I'm interested to compare the build quality of the iPad mini to the Surface RT once I receive it.
ScreenHere's one point that I found very interesting. Although the screen is 1024x768 (the same resolution as the iPad 1 and 2), I found it to be incredible crisp. It's not even dubbed Retina, which makes that even weirder. Colours also pop, it's very bright, etc. (usual review chatter). I was able to rest my thumb on the side of the screen for a good amount of time, then move it to interact with the screen. I'm not sure if this is good or bad, but I liked it. Some reviews are reporting some interaction at times, but that's my take on it.
Software StuffIf you're reading this, you likely know iOS. If not, find out more here. This section is focusing more on the thumb detection and UI-scaling (there is none, but you'll get what I mean) than the actual OS the iPad mini runs on.
Apple has been touting that they were able to reduce the bezel on the iPad mini by writing some software into the device that helps with unintentional touch input. Here's the kicker: it actually works for once. If you buy an iPad mini and intend to use it in one hand, feel rest assured that you'll be able to use it perfectly fine.
Now, one thing that I did notice (although I probably should have put this in the "Screen" section). Apple "chose" not to include a Retina Display in the mini (to introduce it next year so people will upgrade, heh) and I actually believe this is more good rather than bad. As I stated above, the screen still looks very crisp, and it actually makes the UI very easy to handle with one hand. Like, ridiculously easy. The people who have been saying the 1366x768 resolution of the Surface RT (the resolution on the mini is 1024x768, by the way) aids in on-screen UI elements are correct, as it also lays truth to the layout of the mini. Icons are incredibly easy to press and everything is nice and spacious.