National Gadgets Examiner Rating: B
On Saturday, the iPad Mini Retina went on sale in India to great sales and acclaim. The 7.9-inch tablet certainly is a sight to look at. However, after three days of use, we were left wondering if there is really even a point to the iPad Mini Retina.
Don't get us wrong; the iPad Mini Retina is filled with top-notch specs: it has a 2,048 x 1,526-pixel Retina Display that's exactly the same resolution as the larger iPad and a far faster 64-bit A7 CPU that parallels what's in the iPhone 5S and iPad Air. It also has an M7 co-processor. It has a 7.9-inch screen compared to the iPad Air's 9.7-inch screen.
In fact, this year's iPad Mini is an exact smaller clone of its brother, the amazing iPad Air. However, the iPad Mini Retina has become slightly heavier (due to the more powerful battery), while the iPad Air has become a lot lighter. What's the point of an iPad Mini when the regular iPad has become it's own mini iPad?
True, the iPad Mini is $100 cheaper. It is also somewhat easier to put in a purse or bag. But the 2,048 x 1,526 pixel resolution display is more of a disability than an asset, unless you have perfect 20/20 vision and don't mind squinting all the time. This same resolution is perfect for the iPad Air's 9.7-inch display.
Watching widescreen HD videos on the iPad Air's 9.7-inch screen is already slightly painful since black bars populate the top and bottom of the screen. This becomes far more noticeable on the iPad Mini Retina's 7.9-inch display. As a matter of fact, you may be better off using your smartphone to watch videos.
At the Apple Store in Sherman Oaks, a salesperson told me that there have been many people who have returned the iPad Mini Retina and traded it in for an iPad Air. When you use both devices extensively, you will easily understand why. The iPad Mini Retina isn't a bad device; it just doesn't serve a real purpose.