Review: Despite upgrades, iPad Mini not worth Apple’s premium

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Posted December 20, 2013
IPad Mini
The iPad Mini is a device I’d like to love.

At first glance, the gadget would appear to be everything I’d want in a tablet. It comes with Apple Inc.’s iOS software and can run the hundreds of thousands of iPad apps. But it’s more portable and less expensive than the full-sized iPad.

And the new version, which Apple started shipping in limited quantities last month, fixes the two biggest technical problems of the original iPad Mini, which Apple released last year. The new model has a high-resolution display and Apple’s latest – and fastest – mobile processor.

So what’s not to like?

Well, the biggest thing is its price. Apple took a device that already cost much more than its competitors and upped its price tag significantly. Considering that both Google Inc.’s Nexus 7 or Inc.’s Kindle Fire HDX also are much improved from last year, it’s hard for me to recommend that you spend $170 more for an iPad Mini.

The new Mini looks and feels a lot like last year’s version. It has the same shape, height and width and the same size screen. It’s slightly thicker and heavier than last year’s model, but not so much that you’d likely notice. The aluminum back of the black model is a bit lighter in color than last year, but again, the change is subtle.

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