“On Friday, Apple is introducing a much smaller variant, the iPad Mini [sic], which works exactly like the original and runs all the same apps — the 275,000 tablet-optimized programs plus the rest of the over 700,000 apps available for the iOS operating system the iPad shares with Apple’s iPhone,” Walt Mossberg reports for The Wall Street Journal. “The iPad Mini weighs just less than 11 ounces, and is only 0.28 inch thick. That’s 53% lighter and 23% thinner than the standard iPad. It’s 5.3 inches wide versus 7.3 inches for its larger sibling.”

Mossberg reports, “In shrinking the iconic iPad, Apple has pulled off an impressive feat. It has managed to create a tablet that’s notably thinner and lighter than the leading small competitors with 7-inch screens, while squeezing in a significantly roomier 7.9-inch display. And it has shunned the plastic construction used in its smaller rivals to retain the iPad’s sturdier aluminum and glass body. Unlike its two top small tablet competitors, the Mini has a rear camera. And unlike the Kindle Fire HD, it offers optional cellular data connectivity to supplement Wi-Fi. It has very good battery life.”

“I’ve been testing the iPad Mini for several days and found it does exactly what it promises: It brings the iPad experience to a smaller device. Every app that ran on my larger iPad ran perfectly on the Mini. I was able to use it one-handed and hold it for long periods of time without tiring,” Mossberg writes. “It’s about 30% thinner than the leading 7-inch competitors, the Google Nexus 7 and the Amazon Kindle Fire 7.”

MacDailyNews Take: Use “leading” to describe Google’s and Amazon’s teensy screened wannabes while you still can, Walt.

Mossberg writes, “And it’s about 9% lighter than the Nexus and about 22% lighter than the Fire HD. Even though the Mini is thinner and lighter than the leading 7-inch tablets, its larger screen provides about 35% more room for viewing content like books and Web pages. I found it easy to see and read material on the screen and to tap and swipe. I found the cameras did a very good job. I conducted several clear video chats using the 1.2 megapixel front camera, and the 5-megapixel rear camera produced very good photos and videos. The stereo speakers sounded good to my ears… The iPad mini exceeded Apple’s battery life claim of 10 hours and lasted 10 hours and 27 minutes… In my tests, video looked just fine, but not as good as on the regular iPad… If you love the iPad, or want one, but just found it too large or heavy, the iPad Mini is the perfect solution.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
NYT’s Pogue reviews Apple’s iPad mini: ‘All the iPad goodness in a more manageable size; it’s awesome’ – October 31, 2012
USA Today’s Baig reviews Apple’s iPad mini: ‘A splendid choice; terrific for reading, watching movies and playing games’ – October 31, 2012