iPad Mini – is it worth it?

Apple CEO Tim Cook is obviously proud of the new addition to the Apple family – the iPad Mini. In his words, the Mini isn’t expensive, despite its cheaper version costing over $100 more than the competition.  He claims that a quality product such as the iPad Mini is never expensive – it is delivered at a fair price. But detractors of the device claim that it is not worth the money and that the competition has superior models.

We’ll compare the iPad Mini to its most fierce competitors: the Kindle Fire 7, the Google Nexus 7, the Nook HD and the Galaxy Tab 2, and see how it holds up.

Operating system
The iPad Mini is the only with iOS, obviously, so if this operating system is a major selling point for you, or if by some reason you are against Android, then look no further than the Mini. As far as the others are concerned, the Nexus 7 takes the cake with its version 4.1 of Android, while the Kindle and the Galaxy only have Android 4.0.

These tablets are often used as e-readers, so portability is key in picking between them. Being the thinnest and lightest, the Mini may well be the most portable of the three. But it is slightly taller and wider, so that makes it a bit harder to hold.

Even though Apple likes to announce that their devices are always the fastest and most powerful, in this case that is not true.  With an NVIDIA Tegra 3 Quad-Core processor, the Nexus 7 is definitely the fastest, at least in theory. Apple does make a good job out of squeezing all the processing power out of their devices, so you may not tell the difference right off the bat.

The fact that the Mini doesn’t have an HD screen has been the greatest disappointment of its release. The Retina screen on the iPad is considered one of the greatest advancements in screen technology, so expectations were high for the iPad Mini. Sadly, the screen on the Mini isn’t even an HD screen, which puts it miles away from the screen quality of its competition. In this particular aspect, our favorite screen in the one on the Nook HD.

Looking at the prices for the cheapest versions, the iPad Mini is $329 for the 16GB version. It is much more expensive than the Kindle ($199 for 16GB), the Nook ($199 for 8GB), the Nexus ($199 for 8GB) and even the Galaxy Tab ($199 for 8GB).

Our Verdict
Unless you really want the iPad for the design of for the iOS functionality, it really doesn’t look like the best buy. We would say that the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 is the best if you need productivity and connectivity, since it supports 4G. But overall, our pick would be the Nook HD, since it strikes a better balance between all the aspects we analyzed and it is the most versatile of the five.

This article was written by Chloe Parker of MobilePhones.org.uk. Check out our mobile phone deals and our tablet selection as well.

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