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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 14 November 2014
*** What can I do with the iPad? ***

With an iPad, you can do pretty much anything you can do on a laptop/Desktop computer. With the added benefit of it being much more portable.

You can:

✓ Shop online
✓ Create and edit documents
✓ Do online Banking – pretty much all of the main banks have their own apps for iPad's making it even easier to do your day to day banking from your tablet
✓ Read and reply to emails from the comfort of your sofa
✓ View and organise photos – useful for when friends and relatives come around and you want to show off those holiday photos!
✓ Video call using Skype or Apples own Facetime (similar to Skype for use with another Apple Device)
✓ Read or research online
✓ Read books – you can purchase books from Apple's iBooks, the Kindle store and any other book stores which have an app in the Apple Store
✓ Watch films – you can watch Netflix, LoveFilm or any other subscription services which have an app in the Apple Store
✓ Watch TV – there are several apps available for iPad's which will allow you to catchup on TV. There's TVCatchup, BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, Demand 5, you can even order TV shows on demand from iTunes
✓ Play games – there are over 1 million apps in the Apple App Store and many of these are games
✓ Listen to the radio / music – either by streaming music from the internet or playing music stored locally on your iPad

*** What are the cons? ***

- Not all printers are 100% compatible with iPads – ideally you will need a printer that supports AirPrint. However this is becoming more of a standard feature with newer printers.
- You probably won't have as much storage as you would on your PC – however lots more information is now stored online rather than locally on your device, meaning you don't actually need all that much local space
- You can't play CD's/DVD's – so before you scrap your old PC, you may want to convert all those old CD's to mp3's!
- Can't read information from USB sticks – Although you can get around this problem by storing files on cloud storage.

*** How do I know which iPad to get? ***

Picking an iPad can be ridiculously difficult when you consider there are over 50 different variations of the iPad. You've got several different models, memory configurations, colours and different screen sizes.

For the purpose of this review, I'm not going to include the older iPads (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th Generation). Although you can still pick them up, they are relatively old models as a result you will often find they have a lower performance and especially with the 1st and 2nd generation iPads, a noticeably lower quality screen.

For that reason, I would personally recommend one of the models mentioned below.

Step 1 – Pick a Size

First step is to pick a size. Either the 7.9” Mini or the 9.7” Air.

Which would you benefit from most? Large screen or portability? Do you want it mainly for using at home to read, watch videos and play games on the sofa, or are you planning on using it on the move, maybe while travelling to work, etc.

You can pay about £80 more for the larger screen. So think carefully!

Step 2 – I've chosen the Mini

There are 3 iPad Mini Models to choose from (The iPad Mini, iPad Mini 2 and iPad Mini 3).

- iPad Mini 3 -

This is the latest iPad Mini. This device is essentially the same as the iPad Mini 2, but with a feature called TouchID. For those fairly new to iPads, you're probably asking yourself what TouchID is, I know I did at first.

Touch ID is Apple's biometric fingerprint authentication technology. With it, the Home button can now unlock your device and authorize your purchases on the iTunes Store, making it impossible for purchases to be made if your device is stolen or if you kids get hold of your tablet!

- iPad Mini 2 -

This is last years iPad Mini, formerly known as the Retina iPad Mini is essentially the same device as the iPad Mini 3 but without the TouchID feature. Don't care about TouchID? Why not save yourself a few quid and go the iPad Mini 2.

A major point of differentiation between the original iPad mini and the iPad mini 2 is the display. Both are glossy, use IPS technology, and are LED-backlit, but the original model has a non-retina 7.9-inch 1024x768 display at 163 ppi and the 2 model uses a much higher resolution 7.9-inch 2048x1536 display at 326 ppi.

- iPad Mini -

If you just want an iPad and the slightly improved screen or TouchID don't matter to you, you can pick up the original iPad mini at a more affordable price. Maybe if this is your first iPad purchase, an original iPad mini might suit your needs more than one with several features you probably won't use.

Step 2 – I've chosen the Air

If you've selected the air, its even more straight forward to pick as there are just 2 models (iPad Air & iPad Air 2)

- iPad Air 2 -

The iPad Air 2's performance has been improved - the Air 2 has 12x the processing performance of the original iPad and 180x the graphics performance.

Now has an 8Mp rear facing camera, where as the original Air only has a 5Mp camera.

The Air 2 is just 6.1mm thick, an 18% reduction on the already skinny Air, making it the thinnest tablet in the world.

The Air 2 comes with touchID (the finger printer scanner mentioned earlier in the review).

- iPad Air -

If you're not bothered about the TouchID feature, having an ever so slightly thinner tablet and can cope with a 5Mp camera, then the original iPad Air could be worth considering if you want to try and save a little money.

Step 3 – Need 3G/4G?

This really depends again on how you plan on using your iPad. If think you're going to want internet access on the move and you're not likely to have access to WiFi, this is worth considering, however you will pay extra for this feature.

3G/4G is essentially wireless broadband for your tablet. You will pay a set amount monthly and this will enable you to use the internet on your tablet even when you are not connected to a WiFi network.

Remember that you can often turn your Mobile Phone into a wireless hotspot and piggy back off that anyway. So for some, this feature might not actually be necessary.

Step 4 – Picking how much memory you need

Memory on an iPad is essentially storage space. This will be used to store all your pictures, videos, music, etc. Keep in mind that once you have decided how much memory you need, it can't be updated like a PC, so if its not a lot more money for that extra space, its definitely worth considering!

Also keep in mind that in the future, music and video files will probably become larger and larger as the quality improves. So if you want your tablet to be a little more future proof, you'll probably find more memory is better!

Step 5 – Pick your colour (the easy bit)

This is a personal choice really, so little advice I can give.

With the older models you will only be able to pick between Black/Grey and White/Silver.

With the newer models, you can still have the classic colours, but you also have the choice of White/Gold if you wish.
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It is incredible how the iPad has revolutionised the computer industry in just under 4 years, triggering the tablet era.

The latest 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", thanks to new zippy 64 bit A7 processor, lovely "Retina display" screen and 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

I would have loved to see an improved version of the iPhone's 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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on 9 June 2014
Great toy I love the pictures I take so very clear and beautiful! I am however still trying to figure out the cellular part of it. I actually thought I could use it for voice calls but seems like it does not support that. But all in all it's great I read my bible everywhere. The books I have in my Mac Air are are available to read anytime in the mini iPad. The withheld star is for the lack of voice calls via cellular network.
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on 5 December 2014
Gr8 the best item, plus arrived at the speed of sound
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on 7 September 2014
excellent bit of kit
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