Apple iPad Mini: Top 3 'Likes' and 'Dislikes' - Is It Worth Your $329?

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By Arlene Paredes | November 1, 2012 3:41 PM EST

Apple iPad mini has been widely criticized for its $329 base price tag, because its rival gadgets from Google and Amazon start only at $199. Now it's out in the market and reviewers are able to look more closely. Is your $329 worth it the iPad mini?

The answer depends on your personal preferences. The following lists of 'Top 3' best and worst factors might help you arrive at a conclusion.

iPad mini review: Top 3 Best Things aka The 'Likes'

1. The look and feel. The small iPad is neat, sleek and sophisticated to touch. When it comes to the gadget syle area, Apple is hard to beat. The device is only 0.68 pounds and 0.28 inches thick, but it has generally everything one could look for in a tablet.

2. Smooth-running apps. There is nothing "mini" in the way the small iPad performs. Response to touch is swift, and it does not stumble during navigation. Of course, it is much easier to appreciate the iPad mini when you are using a wide variety of apps. The good news is, Apple has a vast selection of apps you can enjoy.

3. Remarkable battery life. Regular use the iPad mini -- i.e. leaving it behind for some time to attend to errands during the day -- will not quickly drain its battery. Engadget.com has tested the iPad mini by looping a video in fixed brightness and active WiFi. The tablet lasted "12 hours and 43 minutes." This is the kind of small tablet that you would like to have in your carry-on.

iPad mini review: Top 3 Worst Things aka The 'Dislikes'

1. Lower resolution display. Those who have gotten used to Retina Display will be disappointed by the iPad mini's pixel density of 163 ppi in its 7.9-inch IPS (1024 x 768) screen. Three years ago, this wouldn't have mattered. But Apple itself raised the bar, so the disappointment is not surprising.

2. Screen side issue. Generally, the iPad mini is alert and snappy. But when your thumb accidentally moves to the sides of the screen, you sometimes don't get the results you wanted. Sometimes the device could tell that your thumb got there by accident. Sometimes, it won't understand that you were making a deliberate tap. Maybe this user experience will improve when users get used to not having enough thumb margin on the device.

3. Price. A difference of over $100 is not a small thing. It makes you reconsider your purchase. At the end of the day, you determine what really matters. What features are relevant to your tablet use pattern? And how much are you willing to pay for it?

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