I just got mine on Friday and here are my initial thoughts: Take an iPad and make it smaller, thinner and lighter and you’ve got an iPad mini. The experience is really just about identical. OK, 50-sec

onds left:

Q. Is it as light and thin as you thought it would be?
A. Actually, it’s thinner and lighter than I was expecting. If actually feels lighter than my iPhone 5. Once you use it, and then pick up your old iPad, the old one feels like a brick (which it never did to me before, but it sure does now).

Q. What about the lack of Retina display?
A. I thought this would bother me, but you really have to be looking for a difference to notice it at this smaller size. Everybody I’ve shown it to was surprised at how good the screen looked after reading about the lack of Retina display. I guess if you put them side-by-side you’d notice.

Q. How about speed? 
A. Seems really zippy. I’m sure in a bench test it would rate it quite a bit slower, but it doesn’t feel like it.

Q. How do you feel about the price?
A. I think they should have come in at $299 to start, or even $249, but the market will determine if it’s actually too high.

Q. Do books and magazines feel too small on that smaller display?
A. This is one of the first things I checked, and they actually look great, especially paperback books. The size is right on the money.

Q. What are people’s reactions to it?
A. Every single person I’ve shown it to falls instantly in love with the size, thinness and how amazingly light it is. Two said they’re going to sell their larger iPad to get this one. You actually have to see it and hold it to really appreciate it.

Q. What if you already own a different type of small tablet and therefore this review has absolutely nothing to do with you?
A. Then you should take this opportunity to attack Apple, the iPad mini, me, and the other stupid people that buy Apple products.

Q. Are you really suggesting that?
A. No, but it’s going to happen anyway (sigh).

About The Author

Scott is a Photographer, bestselling Author, Host of "The Grid" weekly photography show; Editor of Photoshop User magazine; Lightroom Guy; KelbyOne.com CEO; struggling guitarist. Loves Classic Rock and his arch-enemy is Cilantro. Devoted husband, dad to two super awesome kids, and pro-level babysitter to two crazy doggos.

25 Comments

  1. I watch and create a lot of movies on mine, I don’t see me switching down to a smaller screen. PS Touch works well on it despite having less real estate?

  2. iPad- only way I can lay awake every night late and post first on Scott’s blog, thanks Digitalsmgital. :)

  3. I can’t wait to read my issues of Light it on my new Ipad Mini. -When it arrives. :-)

  4. Hi Scott, great post. I want to know what do yu know about using the Ipad Mini as a portfolio ? Is it too smaller ? Thanx for your answer.

  5. Hi Scott, great post. I want to know what do yu know about using the Ipad Mini as a portfolio ? Is it too smaller ? Thanx for your answer.

  6. I’m a first day ipad mini user and have seen Light it on it. It works great!!! I’m now only using the mini as it is fast and smal.

  7. I’m a first day ipad mini user and have seen Light it on it. It works great!!! I’m now only using the mini as it is fast and smal.

  8. Scott, I disagree on the lack of a retina display. The iPad mini display is good for playing games but as soon as you do a lot of reading (books or websites) the lack of a retina display is really disappointing. It’s back to those grainy fonts that cause a lot of eye strain after reading for a short period. I had a mini on order but as soon as I looked at an iPad mini in the shop, I cancelled my order for the mini. I keep my money in my pocket until there is an iPad mini with retina display (and continue to use my iPad 3).

  9. Hmm, iPhone gets larger and iPad gets smaller. Pretty soon they’re going to be the same device.

  10. I used Grafio in iPad a lot, the screen size is just nice for me to draw my charts, would the size of the iPad mini be restrictive in using Grafio?

  11. Nice review Scott :) I too love the size and weight of the mini, coming from an iPad v1 it feels light as a feather, nippy too. Make reading books or browsing the web a joy with a lot less strain on my wrists. The battery life for such a tiny unit was pretty impressive too.

  12. This is the perfect time for this review Scott. My wife has been after me to get one for her. Now I know what her, er, one of her Christmas presents will be. You did hit the nail on the head about folks who won’t buy one with your next to last Q & A, A. You Da Man Brah!
    Mike

  13. I totally felt the same about it, it’s just amazing to experience how light it is ( I love to use it when I’m lying on my bed or in the sofa. I’d love if Scott would tell us how to use it tethered to a Nikon and Canon camera (wireless or cable) to use it as a picture viewer and as a viewfinder. The first who come up with a great App for this will make lots of $$$

    • There are two devices. One is called the cameramator and the other is the camranger. They both let you use an ipad or other device as a viewfinder to do live view and control your camera.

  14. Got a full size iPad last week after going in and expecting to get the mini. I saw a remarkable difference in the display. That coupled with the noticeable difference in the processing speed with the new chip in the big boy made the price difference meaningless. The mini was smaller, thinner, and lighter. Great for reading books and Kelby magazines, but screen real estate, whether on an iMac or an iPad, is of primary importance to me.

  15. Would love for you to write a piece on how the iPad works into your photography workflow (similar to what Terry White did a year or so ago).

  16. Hey Scott,

    I guess we have to start calling you the gadget man! :-) However, I don’t understand if you have a iPad, why you need a mini ipad … ?

    Dennis

  17. Scott, what are you, some kind of Apple shill, I bet you get a kick back every time you mention the word “Apple”. Scott, don’t you know, Apple s%#ks!!! (is that kind of what you were looking for! ;o))

    In all seriousness, I like the iPad mini as well, the wife and I were looking at them at the Apple store when we were picking up our new iPhones. She gave me that look that said “don’t you dare go and buy one because then I will have nothing to buy you for Christmas” look. ;o) Have to love being married that long, that her single look can tell you that much! I am curious as well if you are tying you iPad into your work flow at all.

    Thanks,
    -Chris

  18. I’ve looked at the mini twice now. I really like the form factor. BUT, the lack of Retina is holding me back. My work supplies me with an iPad 3 and I’ve been spoiled by that screen.

  19. Can I run the same hack that photographers are using on the iPad… {to offload into an externalHD}

    When it comes to size over a laptop in my 27-38liter backpack range || I’m currently wanting to pack way less then ever before.. but still wanting to tote a DSLR- iPad mini (hopefully saving now 350grams/0.77lb from the iPad… & saving a whopping 2.88lbs from my MBPR13″).

    My next destinations are all in S.E. Asia and around the Pac-Rim, and I will not want to be lugging a laptop when its 100°F

  20. Do you have any input on plans for the iPad mini? Because I was very excited about getting one with my phone carrier http://www.bell.ca/Mobility/Products/Apple-iPad-mini but I’ve been reading a hole lot of opposite comments on getting service from big carriers.

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