What we think
The iPad mini 2 WiFi model is a great little tablet, but unfortunately it does come at quite a high price for its size. We love the Retina display, which provides brilliantly clear detail, as well as the impressive power and light weight of the iPad. At the time of writing, the latest software update means it runs iOS 9.2.1.
- Amazing screen
- Good weight
- Convenient size for travelling
- Looks excellent
- No expandable memory
- Want a bigger screen for films
- Can be a bit buggy
As with most iPads, this one is incredibly smooth and sleek. It looks expensive (which it is), and you will always be proud to show it off to your friends and family.
The mini 2 has a 7.9 inch Retina display screen, which is perfectly adequate, although if you want to use it to watch films you may want to go for the larger iPads, or other tablets. The iPad measures 7.9 x 5.3 x 0.3 inches, meaning you can hold it quite easily in one hand, and it is also very light, weighing just 330g. This also makes it very portable, great for those who want to travel a lot with it.
With a 2048 x 1536 resolution, and 326 ppi, the screen is outstanding. Everything is crisp and clear, and all the colours are brilliantly vivid.
The materials used are glass and aluminium, and it makes the iPad look, and feel, high-quality. You have options between space grey and silver for the colour, and they both look great. The edges are all smooth, and all the ports are in suitable places.
The 3.5mm headphone jack is at the top left, the power button is at the top right, the volume controls are on the right side, and the little switch to control auto-rotate/silence the device is located above those controls. The home button is on the front at the bottom, and when you hold it down you activate Siri, a voice activated assistant on Apple devices.
Dual microphones are located at the top of the iPad, and there are built-in speakers at the bottom. The lightning connector port is also at the bottom, inbetween the two speakers.
One slight negative of the iPad mini 2 is that there is no Touch ID, which is a fingerprint recognition sensor, featured on several Apple products, and it helps to improve the security of your devices.
Thanks to a 1.3Ghz A7 64-bit processor, and M7 motion coprocessor, the performance of the iPad mini 2 is very good indeed. The iPad has responded quickly to all touches, and quickly loads each app/surfs the web. The keyboard is also very responsive, allowing me to get on with all of my tasks quickly and effectively.
Due to its small size, you will struggle to get loads of typing done compared to when using larger tablets, but it is small for a reason – it is best for people on the go, who travel around a lot.
Unfortunately it has been a bit buggy at times, though, and I have found other iPads to be less so. It still performs very well, but it hasn’t been perfect.
The WiFi and Bluetooth have always worked very well for me, allowing me to use the iPad to control Spotify on my speakers a lot of the time, which is great, so the mini scores well in this respect.
The main camera, on the rear of the iPad, is 5MP. You won’t be able to capture amazing photos with it, but in fairness, I don’t consider photos to a primary focus of iPads, so it’s perfectly adequate. The front-facing camera is 1.2MP, which of course is quite low, but will at least mean you can do video calls.
You can shoot 1080p HD videos using the rear camera, and also 720p HD videos using the front-facing camera, which again is perfectly adequate, rather than outstanding.
The iPad mini 2 is available with a 16Gb or 32Gb memory size. Frankly, 16Gb is just a bit too small for the amount of apps, files, films (and more) that I want to store on it. Of course, you can make use of the Cloud, but it’s still recommended to go up to the 32Gb.
This is recommended further due to there not being an option for expandable storage, so unless you use the Cloud, the amount of memory stated when you buy the iPad is the absolute maximum you will be able to use.
Apple claims that the battery on the iPad mini 2 will last up to ten hours on one charge, when listening to music, watching videos, or browsing the internet, using the WiFi. When the iPad isn’t being used, it does hold its charge well for a long time.
Charging it up from 0 per cent to 100 per cent takes approximately 3.5 hours usually, which isn’t exactly rapid, but it does beat other tablets.
The battery is charged using a lightning to USB cable, which comes included in the box as well as a USB power adapter. This means it is not compatible with the more common microUSB cables that Android tablets use, so bear that in mind if you ever need a replacement!
We’re pretty big fans of the iPad mini 2, which looks great and works very well indeed. The screen is astoundingly good, and it’s quite easy to hold in one hand.
However, we’re not so keen on the typical Apple pricing, especially when this is one of Apple’s ‘budget’ versions of the iPad. For the same price, you could pick up a perfectly good, larger tablet from a rival company.
If you’re in need of a small, convenient tablet, and are willing to pay a decent amount of money for it, you will not be disappointed at all by the iPad mini 2, though.