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179 of 186 people found the following review helpful
on 30 December 2013
This iPad Mini is the most recent model, and it's an incredibly beautiful device. The iPad comes in several sizes (and prices) now:-

1. iPad Mini (with standard display)
2. iPad Mini with Retina Display - This one. The latest fastest Mini size iPad with an HD display.
3. iPad 2, 3 or 4th Generation - Full size iPads
4. iPad Air - The latest fastest full size iPad.

Oddly enough, it's so beautifully easy to use (my one year old daughter loves playing with it), it's almost doesn't feel like a computer at all. I bought one for my 10 year old daughter and she absolutely loves it. We sold the previous Android tablet as it just sat in a drawer not being used.

A word of warning - this review is written for people who've never owned an iPad before - and are wondering what all the fuss is about. Don't read this if you already own an iPad or Mini and are thinking about an upgrade - I'd recommend you simply buy a mini with Retina or an iPad Air.

Just what's all the fuss about?

I used to own a laptop for work, and (very occasionally), it'd sit on my lap on the sofa, and I'd use it for pleasure (eMail, watching films or playing the odd game). Then I bought my first iPad, and the laptop became redundant, a boring "work device". Hard to explain, but the fact the iPad is so small and light, and you navigate around with your finger by pointing and gently swiping the screen makes the whole experience a lot easier - a lot more fun.

Even my most "luddite" of friends have been won over.

It's incredibly simple and easy to use (it only has one main button), and everyone from my one year old daughter to my 85 year old dad have taken to without problems. It's size and shape also support using it like a book (literally to read a book or web page), but you can also watch TV and films.

Personally I'm also paranoid about my password getting "hacked", and someone running up a huge Amazon bill or buying stuff with my credit card on eBay. Well one of the benefits of the iPad (and iPhone) is it's "almost impossible" to get a virus - one of the most common ways to get hacked. This doesn't mean you shouldn't use strong passwords, (both Sony and Adobe got hacked), but it's reassuring to leave the Windows world behind.

Finally, I love the way these devices (iPad, iPhone, Apple TV, Apple Mac), increasingly work together. The fact you can start a Pages document on your Mac and edit it on your iPad, or take photos on the iPhone, and in seconds see them on the iPad or Mac and display them on the Apple TV.

The thing is, "it just works".

What would you use if for?

* Shopping online. Obviously - you could be reading a review on Amazon about the iPad Air!
* Video Calling. With either "FaceTime" (to another Apple device) or Skype - you can make video calls to other people
* Reading web pages. As you can hold it like a book it's great to read the news online (my wife loves the Daily Mail Online).
* Reading Books. It's great for reading books from Amazon Kindle or Apple Books with the benefit of 1,000s of online book reviews
* Navigating web pages. Instead of clicking with a mouse, you gently swipe your fingers on screen to scroll around
* Watching Films. I use it to watch Netflix online videos (with an Apple TV you can send stuff to the telly)
* Watching TV. With the free BBC iPlayer app you can catch up or download BBC programs
* Reading and replying to mail. I use "mailbox" a great free app to read and reply to mails, but there's a free one included
* Showing and organising photos. Any photos on an iPhone are automatically available within minutes in "the cloud"
* Playing games. From fun puzzle games like "Cut the Rope" to fully fledged first person shooters.
* Listening to the Radio. With "Tune in Radio" you can listen to thousands of radio stations world-wide.
* Listening to music. I stream mine to an Apple TV, but you can also buy portable speakers or just plug into the AUX socket
* The list goes on and on.

Which model should I buy?

I can't comment about Android tablets (apart from the Google Nexus 7 which is well regarded), but in terms of the Apple tablet line-up:-

iPad mini Size:-

* iPad mini is a lovely tablet. A 7.9 inch screen and astonishingly light and remarkably thin - it feels like a light-weight book.
* iPad mini with retina screen. Again 7.9 inch screen, but with the blazingly fast A7 chip and a "retina" (high definition) screen. Worth the upgrade if you can afford it. The HD screen is amazing, and faster chip means it will be a bit more "future proof".

Full Size iPad options. (much larger screen - makes a huge difference):-

* 1st Generation iPad. Seldom available new - best avoided - there's better options available
* 2nd Generation. Avoid the Apple iPad 2, it's a relatively old model, under-powered and with a lower resolution screen. If you really want an Apple but don't want to spend the cash, buy a 16g WIFI 3rd or 4th generation iPad from Amazon or eBay. Avoid this one.
* iPad 3rd Generation. First iPad with the "Retina" (high definition) screen. A5X chip. Excellent iPad - highly recommended
* iPad 4th Generation. With A6X chip. In short, not quite as fast as the latest chip but pretty zippy. Biggest difference is the smaller power socket and slightly faster processor.
* iPad Air. Same fast (A7) chip as the Mini with Retina - the latest and fastest iPad available. This has been re-designed to be even smaller than the iPad 2/3/4 and with the new chip making it even faster.

In terms of which to buy - if you want something REALLY small and light to read on the train, the iPad Mini or the latest version with the Retina screen is your best bet. Otherwise, the 3rd, 4th generation or iPad Air is your best option - depending upon your budget.

Me I've owned a 1st and 3rd generation full size iPad and most recently an Air. My daughter owns an iPad mini, and we've loved them all.

What are the Optional add-ons?

Well, assuming you've dropped by the Apple Store or John Lewis (which I would highly recommend), and handled the iPad Mini (with/without retina screen), and iPad 2 and Air then your options are around memory size and cellular option.

Memory: Once bought, you can't add memory (space for apps, films, books etc). However, the basic price goes up a huge amount (+£80 for the 16g to 32g iPad Air). But, having owned a 16g and then a 32g iPad - I can safely recommend the 16g unless you really want to store a huge amount of videos and downloads. Only you can decide, and if you're lucky enough that money is no object then splash out. Otherwise, 16g should be fine for most people.

Celular: Allows you to connect to the internet while you're out and about. This will add an additional +£100 to the price and means you can slip in a mobile phone SIM card. This means (for an additional £7-15 a month extra), you can access the internet on the move. Alternatively, you can opt for the WIFI option, and use it at home or at at "hot spot" (eg. Starbucks, most rail stations and hotels etc).

Personally I'd buy (and indeed did), the 16Gb iPad Air WIFI. But again, it depends upon your budget.

Do I need anything else?

Most people (me included) buy a cover. Apple (and now several copy-cats) make a "smart-cover" which automatically shuts down the iPad when you close it, and switches it on when you open it. There's versions which cover the back, or just the screen. Apple charge from £35 to £65 for their (admittedly) high quality fabric or leather covers, but there's many available from £10. Be aware, you do get what you pay for.

Personally,I think it's a pity to cover the beautiful aluminium industrial design of the iPad with a cover - but if you've spent hundreds of pounds you'll want to protect it from scrapes and bangs.

I also invested in a keyboard (£25-80), as I tend to write a lot of mails and documents (remember it comes with a word processor). I'd recommend (for the iPad Air) the Logitech Ultra Thin iPad Air Case with Keyboard - Space Greyand the ZAGG Keys iPad Air Case Folio with Backlit Keyboard - Black although these are strictly optional unless you want to use your iPad as a proper laptop.

Word of warning: If you're looking for a case or keyboard be sure to buy the correct size (they're all different):-

1. iPad mini size
2. iPad 2, 3 or 4th generation (full size iPad)
3. iPad Air size (full size but designed to be smaller)

Finally, if you have another Apple device (eg. an iPhone, Apple TV or Mac) you'll find these work together beautifully. For example, you can create a reminder on your iPad and it appears on your iPhone. Equally, photos taken on your iPhone appear on your iPad, and you can stream music or videos from iPad, iPhone or Mac to an Apple TV.

One word of advice - make sure the entire family use the same "Apple iTunes Account" - but you all have a separate "iCloud Account". This means, when you buy an App, Music or Film on one iDevice its available to everyone, but you each have separate "Cloud Storage" to backup your iPad or store documents independent of each other. Incidentally, creating an iCloud account means your iPad is automatically backed up (no wires, no fuss) every time you charge it up. A wonderful feature - one of many.

Overall Opinion

It's hard to believe the iPad version 1 was released just four years ago, and there's a huge raft of "me too" tablet computers to choose from, but the Apple iPad is still the one to beat. As "Which?" magazine put it about the iPad Air - "...the best tablet we've ever tested. Apple packs a beautiful screen and lightning fast processor into a slimmer-than-ever shell, and battery life is very impressive".

Yes, there are cheaper Android based alternatives, but the quality, design and beauty of this tablet just sets it apart. If it were a car it'd be a top of the range Mercedes or a BMW. Looking at the iPad 3rd or 4th generation, you've not quite got the "latest version" - but it's still a top end tablet computer.

Obviously, depending upon your budget, buy the latest iPad (full size or mini) available - but whichever one you buy you're sure to be delighted.

Highly Recommended.

PS. [...]. Feel free to comment or ask a question.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 3 January 2015
Love this new gadget, it's beautiful. I'm sure others have sung the praises for it elsewhere.

The Amazon listing when I purchased it didn't make it super clear that the reason these are cheap from the seller I used (FirstData) is that they have been opened (box slightly damaged inside). This was fine for me, the FAQ answered by another seller hinted at it.

However, I dislike not knowing how close to new my item is. Is it a return or refurb? Or just that someone took it out of the box once? So avoid if you want factory sealed or prefer to know the history of things you buy. I just really dislike how ambiguous it is.

Otherwise, great item and good price that undercuts Apple's pricefixing a little.
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44 of 49 people found the following review helpful
I am no Apple iOS diehard fan. In fact I have several android and windows tablets. Yet there's no denying that the iPad has revolutionised the computer industry by triggering the tablet era.

The iPad mini is just a smaller version of the iPad Air, and as such sports the same processor and options offered on its bigger brother.

Now does the iPad Mini really live up to the marketing hype?

A quick answer is "Yes". This is thanks to new zippy 64 bit A7 processor, lovely "Retina display" screen, amazing battery life and ultra portability!
And what makes this the best tablet to date are the apps, which have been optimized to take full advantage of the powerful 64bit processor. As an example: If you have a 64bit operating system but 32bit software than the performance increase is negligible.

Apps written for iOS are generally superior to the android version. There are various reasons for this:
○ Applications are only available through the App Store, and are virtually virus free
○ Stable and reliable iOS platform
○ iPad is also targeted for professional environments
○ Other platforms have new tablets springing every other day, sporting different screen sizes and processors


✓ Blazing fast, low consumption A7 (64bit) processor
✓ Premium build quality sporting ever so stylish looks thanks to the precision engineered aluminium housing
✓ Retina display. Great colour saturation producing stunning images
✓ Super lightweight, WiFi version 331grams and WiFi+Cellular version 341grams
✓ Vast choice of apps which can mimic laptop/desktop programs
✓ iPhoto, iMovie, GarageBand, Pages, Numbers and Keynote available for free
✓ Awesome battery life. No other tablet manufacturer can match as yet

- Proprietary hardware required. Ie: Bluetooth GPS, Airprint printers..
- No expandable memory
- No touch ID, as on the latest iPhone

I would have loved to see an improved version of the iPhone 5 touch ID.


Probably the most difficult task is choosing the version which best suits your needs and budget:

I will first start with the common denominator. All flavours offer the same A7 chip, retina display and Wi-Fi.

So the options are colour, storage size and cellular:
○ Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, yet I do suggest a side by side hands on comparison.
○ Given the fast processor I would say go for the largest available storage you can afford. This could easily become your best carry around companion, so the larger the memory the better.
♦ Many think that cellular versions only offer data. This version also sports a GPS chip which works as good as the best GPS receivers. So this has to be taken into consideration when factoring the price difference.

Highly recommend to anyone on the move wanting an ultra portable, fast and reliable alternative to its larger sibling.
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on 4 October 2014
Update 12/18/14 - With the update to 8.1.2, my iPad seems to be back to normal again and I'm a happy camper. I'm changing my rating to 5 stars.

I am an Apple fan from way back and I was very happy with this iPad before "upgrading" it to IOS 8 and then a few days later to IOS 8.02. The iPad was fast, responsive and had a beautiful display. I am normally a Kindle user but purchased this iPad mainly for work applications because of the size. The 7 inch Kindles were a little too small and the 8.9 was a little too large to carry in my purse when traveling. This iPad was just the right size. I have an iPhone so the operating system was familiar.

I like the sleek size and easy set-up for email and other apps which is the case across the Apple platform. The battery power is decent and I can use the iPad off and on throughout the day and recharge at night. It was easy to find covers and accessories because it is a popular device. I pretty much liked everything about it prior to the IOS 8 upgrade. It suddenly became a LOT slower when using it on a Wifi network with speeds that are typically in the 80 - 100 Mbps download range. Now it frequently hangs up after beginning to load a page and will not go further. It often gives a message that it cannot connect to the server. When I access the same page alongside it in my Kindle HD, the pages load instantly without any issue. I have been comparing the two tablets for a few days and even this older Kindle leaves the iPad in the dust. I've tried various fixes from the Apple support site with no resolution to this problem. The only thing that seems to help us to turn off the iPad and restart, or sometimes putting it to sleep and restarting helps. The new IOS has some nice features such as the new keyboard but that doesn't make up for the unresponsiveness.

I have decided not to update my iPhone to this new OS until the problems are resolved. Checking on different forums, I see that there are many other unhappy Apple users. Actually, this may be the push I need to look at other brands of phones since my 2 year contract is up. Some of the lesser known new phones are starting to look pretty good.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 23 August 2014
So so so happy I bought this iPad mini. I was unsure weather to buy it or not because it was so cheap but I'm so glad I did:) Exactly the same as the iPad mini retina sold in the apple store but you save so much money by purchasing it from amazon.
Fast delivery as well. I ordered it on Friday night at tea time and it arrived on Saturday, lunchtime (Amazon prime)
The retina display is also amazing!
I highly reccomend the IPad Mini with Retina Display, however the IPad Mini is just as good if you want to save some pennies:))
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 16 August 2015
So I received a brand new sealed box, and on opening there was a new iPad mini (Which is DIFFERENT to the model advertised in the description) and cable however shockingly the plug is so damaged. This is really annoying as the iPad is a gift and on purchasing it I made sure that I was buying a brand new item. I am left to assume that perhaps this is used because the way in which the plug is damaged it does not seem to be an odd scratch that you may get from manufacturing. It seems as if the plug has been previously used quite roughly. The pictures only show so much but in real the scratches are terrible and it looks like I just gave a second hand refurbished present. Not happy especially due to the price paid.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 10 September 2014
Did the upgrade from my iPad mini 1. A Superb product. A great way to get the iphone5s architecture (64bit, A7 CPU M7 motion processer) plus an 8" screen for a lot less than buying the iPhone5s and it is much easier to surf the Internet due to a bigger screen.m. I am holding onto my iPhone 4s for the foreseeable future and using that for making calls and sending text messages.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Purchased this two weeks ago in a sale. Not being a fan boy of ANY brand I am pleased to write I like this tablet. Apple quality but as an older model, the mini 3 is out, this is now a true bargain.
The ONLY difference between this the MK 11 and the new MK 111 is the MK111 has a finger print sensor for turning the tablet on. If you are looking for an Apple mini tablet at present this is THE one to purchase NOT the newer MK111. I would have awarded the MK111 with 3 stars due to its absurd price and total lack of updated performance over the MK11.
There are other tablets on the market just as well made but running Android. Think Sony Xperia Z range. Similar pricing but different specs and OS

I have added an Anker glass screen saver plus a clear silicon rear cover.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 12 March 2015
BE AWARE, these are not UK or European stock, they were intended for the eastern market, Malaysia and Singapore. Any warranty issues will be with Amazon as Apple have a right to refuse repair.

The Ipad itself is great and my mother loves it, fast and responsive. The retina screen is absolutely gorgeous.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 15 May 2014
Have an ipad, but the mini is light, fits well in a handbag, the clarity of the retina display is excellent, still use my ipad but for travelling I find the mini is more convenient.
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