The iPad mini has been around for a few days now, giving us a chance to play with it. To be honest I was sceptical wasn’t sure if I should buy one. After all, I’m very satisfied with my iPad third generation. But all the reviews and positive words made curious and wonder about how the apps that I had helped develop will look on this smaller screen. Will text be readable and can users still press the buttons easily? Those questions and a dozen others persuade me to buy one.
After unboxing the first thing I noticed is how amazingly light it is compared to its 10 inch brother. The finish of the iPad mini looks and feels nice and solid. It feels like an iPad, yet smaller and easier to hold. After playing with it for a while I must say that the user experience is excellent! The whole UI feels very smooth and is sometimes even faster than the iPad third generation. I now understand why Apple decided to upgrade the iPad third generation. I haven’t played with a fourth generation iPad yet but I’m convinced that the user experience will feel similar to the iPad mini.
The screen size is just right. Any smaller and it would feel like a big iPhone. The only downside is the lower resolution and that the colors are less vivid than on the iPad third generation. It is clearly noticeable if you’re used to the iPad third generation but way better than the iPad 2. Below is a screenshot comparison of some apps I worked on. From left to right: iPad mini, iPad 2, iPad third generation.
If you enlarge the thumbnails you can see that text is still clear and buttons can be pressed with ease. I would not replace my iPad third generation, but If I had an iPad 2, I would definitely replace it. Over all I’ve used the mini more often than I expected and I’m very satisfied with it.