PROS / The iPad Mini is sleek and solid. It gives you access to the most eBooks, content and more than 275,000 apps. It lets you surf the web and has the best functions and features of any tablet.
CONS / It is hard to read eBooks in direct sunlight because of the reflective-glass screen.
VERDICT / The iPad Mini is versatile, durable, fast and smooth. Its operating system and access to unlimited content make it the perfect choice for anyone, especially those with other Apple devices.
Editor’s Note: This product has been removed from our side-by-side comparison because it has been replaced by another product. You can still read our original review below, but Top Ten Reviews is no longer updating this product’s information.
The iPad Mini is the best eBook Reader and tablet on our lineup. It offers access to the most content, including books, magazines, newspapers, audio, video, photos and documents. Its also has a sleek design, comfortable contours, smooth operating system and apps, and an easy-to-handle size.
One drawback to the iPad mini is that eBooks are difficult to read in full sunlight because of reflection from its glass screen. In this respect, the device is inadequate for poolside reading. It can't compare to competitors that use E-ink, which makes eBooks appear like printed ink on paper. The impact of bright lights can be lessened, however, if you enable the Invert Colors feature, found in Settings, under General and then Accessibility. It lets you read white text on a black page.
The iPad Mini is another svelte product in a long line of popular digital devices from Apple. The company championed the ubiquitous touchscreen with the introduction of its first iPhone in 2007 and the larger version that appeared with the release of the iPad in 2010.
The iPad Mini boasts the second largest screen among eBook readers on our lineup. It weighs less than 11 ounces and is lighter than all eReader tablets of comparable size.
The iPad Mini's touchscreen is responsive and easy to use. Accessing apps, highlighting sentences and resizing text in your eBooks is as simple as one touch, pinch or drag and release of your fingers. Some features in the iPad Mini can be accessed with three- and four-fingered swipes.
When you read eBooks, you can copy, define and highlight text in yellow, green, blue, pink or purple. You can click on a word or highlighted area and write a note. You can search the web by touching the text, and share passages via email, Facebook, Twitter or instant message.
Apple's iBooks – an eReader and eBookstore in one – comes installed on the iPad Mini. It gives you direct access to more than 1.5 million eBooks. You also can access millions of other books, both free and paid, through several online services. In addition, main competitors to iBooks and the iPad Mini offer free apps to let you read and buy their eBook catalogues on the iPad Mini.
You also can read PDF books and practically any document format in iBooks. The iPad is the most popular tablet, so most magazines and newspapers offer apps to download through the Apple App Store to let you read their content. You can access Power Point presentations, if you purchase Keynote, Apple's equivalent to PowerPoint.
Apple offers three versions of the iPad Mini with different amounts of memory: 16GB, 32GB and 64GB. No other eBook reader on our lineup offers as much built-in memory. There is a Wi-Fi-only version of this eReader tablet, and models with Wi-Fi and 3G that let you purchase a wireless plan for constant data access on your Mini. It does not offer removable memory, such as an SD slot and card.
The iPad Mini lives up to Apple's reputation of building lightweight, long-life batteries. Its rechargeable lithium-polymer battery powers the Mini for up to 10 hours of surfing the web, watching video or listening to music. It lasts longer if you use the device just for reading eBooks.
You can fully charge your iPad Mini in as little as two hours, but Apple recommends letting it charge for four or more hours to extend its battery life.
The iPad Mini comes with iTunes and thus the ability to access the most audio formats of any eBook reader on our list. This eReader tablet lets you view more image formats than any other. The iTunes store gives you access to purchase and download millions of songs, movies and TV shows. You can rent movies and watch them on your iPad Mini. You can sync with your iTunes on your desktop or laptop computers and download your music library to carry with you on your Mini.
Your iPad Mini gives you free access to iCloud, where you can store music, videos, photos, documents and everything digital. You can sync your iPad Mini directly to the cloud, and it lets you sync all your other Apple devices, such as an iPhone, iPad, laptop or desktop computer, to access the same content.
In addition to being the best eBook reader in our ranking, you get full access to the web through Wi-Fi or an individual wireless plan you can purchase with iPad Mini 3G models. This eReader tablet also includes Siri, Apple's voice-recognition digital personal assistant.
The text-to-speech feature, known as VoiceOver, is not as effective as it should be. It reads everything on your screen, but is glitchy to activate and use. Also, the voices available to read text sound like stodgy, archaic computer speech.
The iPad Mini has FaceTime to let you communicate face to face with friends and family who also have FaceTime on their digital devices. The Mini has front- and rear-facing cameras. The front-facing camera takes 1.2MP photos. The rear-facing camera takes 5MP photos. You also can shoot 1,080-pixel HD video with your iPad Mini.
Additional features are too numerous to list. The Apple App Store on your iPad Mini offers 275,000 apps. You can play games and work, organize and schedule projects, tasks, contacts and more. There's email, social media and maps. You can do virtually anything with your iPad Mini.
The iPad Mini is the best eBook reader on our comprehensive lineup. It offers the most content, including books, magazines, newspapers, audio, video, photos and the ability to read the most document formats. It gives you access to millions of movies, TV shows and songs. Its design is sleek, smooth and durable. The iOS powers this consumer-driven device, and you can read any eBook anywhere, with 10 or more hours of battery life. It's difficult to read text in bright sunlight, but the iPad Mini's benefits and extensive apps, functions and features far outweigh any drawbacks.