As you're probably aware by now, Apple announced a brand new smaller version of their iPad today, dubbed the iPad mini. Following the keynote address by Apple's executive team in San Jose, a hands-on session was held where members of the tech press could actually get a feel for this new, more diminutive tablet. Here's a brief roundup of hands-on impressions from around the web, and we'll update this post as more roll in.


"The smaller iPad retains much of the charm of its larger sibling, thanks to design decisions that make the most out of a much smaller physical footprint, and you’ll be amazed at how light and easy to hold it is."

"The 1024×768 display looks great, and seems larger than its 7.9 inches thanks to the narrower bezels on either side of the screen itself. And while it’s slightly trickier to hold as a result of that thinner strip, the screen seems to have a certain amount of false touch detection built-in, so that you won’t accidentally open apps or page through things while simply holding it."

The Verge:

"The thinness and sleekness of the casing cannot be overstated. It feels as high-end as the new iPhone, but even sharper in the hand - like a slice of solid aluminum. The chamfered edges present on the iPhone 5 have been continued here, as well as the all-black treatment seen on the latest phone. 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."


"We just spent a good amount of time with the iPad mini and the easiest way to describe the device is that it's lighter than you'd expect. The build quality and finish both feel good as you'd expect, but the device is just considerably lighter than the iPad which results in superior in hand feel."

We'll update this post if anymore interesting hands-on impressions roll in, and of course be sure to click through the original links above for even more detailed impressions of the new device. Also, you can expect much more from us here at TouchArcade when we get our own hands on the iPad mini when it ships on November 2nd.

  • Henrique Sousa

    I will probably trade my iPad 2 for an iPad mini, during November.

  • JPhilipp

    Developers may be happy that their app value is being multiplied... at least for those apps where that smaller screen size makes sense. I'd like to test it on the two-players-one-iPad games I created but get the feeling the bigger iPad is superior for those.

    On a side-note, is Apple changing direction by starting to follow the market, instead of leading it? The iPhone 5 -- now bigger is better, even when it's less usable in one hand! -- and the new iPad Mini may be indicators.

    • NinjaCEO

      Different product lines for different segments. They are still a leader in high-end segments and continue to innovate. 

  • Gamer_Kev

    Originally I was thinking of getting a mini for use while on the go, but my he iPod Touch

  • Gamer_Kev

    Originally I was thinking of getting an iPad Mini when they came out for use on the go, but my new iPod Touch handles everything I need it for on the go so well and also fits in my short pocket, I think I'm going to forget about the mini and concentrate on getting an iPad 3 once they go down on price after the fourth one comes out.

    • MicroByte

      I'm in the same boat, the new iPod Touch is such a good upgrade that I don't feel as though I want an iPad Mini. 

  • Niclas Johansson

    I'm getting one. Have been keeping out on iPad due to mainly being a cheap-ass, but also because of the lure from the form factor and size of the Nexus 7" and other competitors. For a reading device, it just seems like a great size - and now I'll still be able to make use of all my hard earned apps on IOS. Makes it worth the premium price, for me.

    I'm actually betting on sales of the iPad mini to beat even the other iPads so far - just like when the first iPod mini came out and suddenly became more of a mass-market device than the whole "most expensive on the market" vibe that iPods up until that had given off. (I seem to remember Apple got quite a market share boost just from the first mini, can't find a good chart of actual sales figures though.)

  • Travis Ogden

    I have an iPod touch 4th generation, would you think that an upgrade would be better? Why and Why not?


    P.S. I use the iPod touch 4th gen for everything, college apps, high tech games, ect.

    • HelperMonkey

      I'm in the same situation and pondering the same question.
      The fifth gen. iPod touch is a major upgrade over my fourth gen. (which I love), but keeps the portability and other features that I value in my current model.
      The iPad mini is also a huge upgrade, of course. And I don't think I'll know the portability factor until I hold one in my hand. Yet it opens the door to a good number of iPad-exclusive apps, as well as being a better fit for certain game genres (eg. strategy games) and apps (I'd love the screen space for Garage Band, as an example), and it would be a big improvement for web browsing.
      For me, it may be coming down to the fact that I still feel that my fourth gen. touch is an excellent device that will probably remain viable for another year or two. I feel no pressure, yet, to leave it behind. So, with a still-excellent iPod already in my possession, the unique benefits of the iPad mini are pulling me in that direction. The diversity of advantages between the two devices have me wanting both. So I may go with the Mini for now, and then upgrade my iPod touch at a later date.
      (Pardon my wordiness. Blah, blah... I know...)

      • Laszlo Tuss

        Actually iPod Touch 4 is the worst modern apple device after iPad 1. Because of the high resolution with low ram.
        Couple of my friends have or had (5), and all have problems like my with iPad1.
        Bigger games crash while loading or before the main menu (unreal games). The device gets ridicolusly slow when bigger app is open.
        Even the Appstore crash always with iOS6....and that 0,7 megapixel camera is ruining my dreams...
        I higly reccomend an iPod Touch 5 or iPad mini. Neither have the problems before.

      • HelperMonkey

        The camera does suck, but I've had none of the other problems you mentioned.

      • JesusBro

        me neither

      • Greg Brown

        Can't agree with you - I've been very happy with my 4th-gen iPod (aside from the scratch I put on it the day after I got it).  🙁

      • Rivalsan

        My 32GB 4th Gen iPod Touch has by far been my most favorite tech purchase in the past few years. I have rocked it for over 700 days straight all around the globe and it has never once failed me. Honestly, I think Apple agreed that the 4th Gen was quite good, because the company waited two years to refresh the hardware. (Btw - I am typing this response through the TA app running on my 4th Gen iPod.)

  • araczynski

    perfect for the market segment that thinks a 10" tablet is too big/heavy while the ~4/5" phones/devices are too small.

    i'm not in that market segment.  i'd like me a 13" ipad retina 🙂

  • Paul Geldston

    I'm not too impressed with the Mini. It's nice, don't get me wrong, and I would love to try one in person soon, But I don't feel the need to get one any time soon.

    I currently own an iPod Touch 5th gen and an iPad 3. The iPod Touch is the perfect take-anywhere *pocket* device. The iPad Mini cannot compete on that end. The full size iPad has a much better screen, and the new model with A6 CPU is far more powerful. IMO the full size iPad and the iPod Touch are the perfect companions.

    Maybe when I see the Mini in person I'll like the form factor enough to trade over from my old iPad 3 (it is kinda heavy). Not sure. But as a go-anywhere, always-have-it device, the new iPod Touch is unbeatable -- it is basically a pocket sized iPad 2 (same CPU, RAM, retina etc.). The iPhone as well, of course, but I do not use any phone or device that forces me into a contract.

  • Benegesserit

    They really should have tried to get closer to at least the resolution of the more competitively priced Nexus 7.

    • Scape3d

      Exactly my thoughts when they announced the price. They'll still sell millions of iPad Minis but they could have put the Nexus 7 to sleep with a $200-$250 price point. I'm disappointed that it's $329.

    • Greg Brown

      Vertically, the Nexus 7 only has 32 pixels more than the Mini (800 vs. 768). If the Nexus was 4:3 like the Mini, it would only have 1066 pixels horizontally vs. 1024 on the Mini (a difference of 42 pixels). That's pretty close.

      That said, I personally prefer the higher pixel density of the Retina display, so I'll probably hold off until the 2nd rev (or whenever they add Retina support to the Mini).

    • Terrell Gibbs

      In terms of getting strong initial adoption, the Mini really needed to match the pixel count of an existing iPad, so that all apps would be compatible immediately. A version that matched the retina iPad pixel count would have had to be even higher pixel density, and prohibitively expensive. So Apple had little choice. I imagine that there will eventually be a version with a higher resolution display.

  • B3nlok

    I dont get it. Should not the ipad mini be Apples answer to $200 Android tablets? So for $329 you are getting an old A5 chip and only 1024 x 768 display? The mini seems  way overpriced for my liking.

    • tootiegooch

      This is really where Apple has us by the short hairs... I have over 100 apps on my ipad2, I really can't go android (even though I like the better specs and better price). I can't abandon my apps! Oh well, when can we pre-order?

    • Pfft Sigh

      Android's price match it's value. Any business would love to price like apple, wondering why they can't do that? 

      And it's not all about specs. Do android have enough apps and games to juice it's superior hardware? (not actually, android's GPU can't catch up on Apple) Actually you don't have to worry about specs on iOS device since developers are optimizing their app specifically on every apple device. Unlike android that have superior specs but you still get worried if games will work or not, if the specs is enough or not.

      • tootiegooch

         Except if your IOS device is older than the last 2 generations - which is what the A5 processor is now. Obviously Apple will not let the mini get obsolete too fast, say, next fall when the next iteration is announced? I love Apple products, I just think the mini should have at least had the A5X, so I wouldn't feel like I'm buying "old" tech for a premium.

  • Jacob007

    A4 chip...the equality to an Ipod 4 and iPhone 4. Um, I'll take the iPod 5.

    • pahncrd

      I'm pretty sure the iPad mini sports an A5 chip.

      • jez

        Actually, an A5X, which is about twice as fast as an A5. It's the same chip introduced for the 6-month-old iPad 3.

      • Charles Albert

        Actually, is an A5, same of the iPad 2

      • Chris1a

        Just to be clear, the CPU on the iPad 3 is no faster then on the iPad 2, the GPU part on the other hand is faster to help shove the extra pixels, which is where the "x" comes in.

        Oh And the mini is a dual core a5 chip. No idea what the GPU is tho? Anyone know how much ram they put in this? Im guessing 512 but you never know with apple..

      • Laszlo Tuss

        Actually, the iPad 3 in its native resolution is still more then twice as powerful as the iPad 2.
        Ram should be 512, thats ok. And its have same GPU like iPad 2

      • Chris1a

        Edit dbl post

  • MidianGTX

    I was planning on waiting for this rather than spending the extra money on an iPad 3, but grew impatient and bought one anyway. I'm so glad that I did, the iPad Mini looks fine as a cheaper alternative but the full size iPad is just such an amazing piece of kit I wouldn't accept anything but the best option from now on.

  • Jean-Claude Cottier

    As a dev, I own many tablets... and some games are way more enjoyable on 7-9 inch screen (mainly because these devices are lighter than an iPad and most mobile games where design for phones screen). For surfing, nothing is beating a fat/retina screen like the iPad3 though. 

    The iPad mini will be in competition with the iPod touch 5 (way over price BTW) if I had to choose between the 2, I'll probably get an iPad mini.


  • Teddy Chen

    I'm waiting for the 2nd Gen iPad Mini with Retina Display which should be out in 6 months from now.

  • Dark NRG

    I'm sure Apple is keeping the iPad 2 alive to make the ipad mini's guts appear relevant, so I too will await the bump, hoping this 6 month thing is a new pattern. The iPad 4 is an incredible deal IMO. And on a different note: Tim Cook looks as tho he is trying to emulate Steve Jobs. I sorta wish he'd come in and have a new fresh personality. Kinda creepy actually, like a South Park episode. Oh, can Apple PLEASE approve a South Park app already?! Sorry, to me it seems all fitting for this comment, in some surreal way, like yesterday's event.

  • JesusBro

    i was thinkin about buying the new ipod touch but i think i'll wait...

  • Brandon Godbout

    tits, that is all. 

    • araczynski

      yeah, like lopsided a-cup ones...

  • pinchez

    They should have replaced the touch with the Mini and price it at £249.99 for 32GB and £329 for 64GB. 16GB is simply not enough and a 32GB Nexus will be available soon for £199.

    I Also think it was a big mistake to replace the "new" iPad so quickly and believe this decision will come back to haunt them. They should have stuck with yearly refreshes as this is for many a big attraction to buying Apple products.

    After the iPhone 5 event and last nights Apple as lost allot of it's "Magic" for me 🙁