“I didn’t really want to like the iPad mini as much as I did before I reviewed it for several days,” Jacqui Cheng reports for Ars Technica. “I didn’t want to dislike it, but as a third-gen iPad owner, I couldn’t see the iPad mini having any purpose in my life. But as I began to wrap up this review and laid off on my requirement to use the iPad mini over my iPad 3 at all times, something changed. I found myself voluntarily reaching for the iPad mini over my full-sized iPad when it came time to relax on the couch or read in bed.”

“I can’t help but feel like my preference for the mini when entering into ‘iPad mode’ is almost entirely due to its Kindle-like shape and weight. It’s just that much easier to hold and carry around,” Cheng reports. “Picking up my third-gen iPad feels like lead after spending days on end with the mini. And the iPad mini’s screen isn’t actually that mini—the experience is largely the same. Again, it reminds me of the 11″ versus 13″ MacBook Air—and I happen to prefer the 11″ for the same reason.”

Cheng reports, “I also didn’t want to be one of those people wishing for a Retina display in the iPad mini. I didn’t consider it to be an absolute requirement for the mini before its launch, and I understand Apple is aiming for a more ‘affordable’ price point. But again, after having used it (and after becoming used to other Apple products with retina displays), I realized — yep, I’m one of those people. Adding a retina display would undoubtedly add to the cost of the iPad mini, but I wish the option was there.”

Much more in the full review here.

Related articles:
24 hours with Apple’s iPad mini: This is the real iPad – November 6, 2012
Why I just dumped my iPad 3 for iPad mini – November 5, 2012
DisplayMate: Apple’s iPad mini offers ‘just a very capable display’ – November 5, 2012
Apple’s iPad mini and ultra-mobile computing – November 5, 2012
Demand for Apple’s new iPad mini is huge – November 5, 2012
The Register reviews Apple’s iPad mini: ‘The tablet even Apple anti-fans won’t be able to leave alone’ – November 5, 2012
Apple sells three million iPads in three days; double previous first weekend sales – November 5, 2012
The Independent reviews Apple’s iPad mini: High-end gadget is worth the price – October 31, 2012
CNET reviews Apple’s iPad mini: The new standard for little-tablet design – October 31, 2012
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
Mossberg reviews Apple’s iPad mini: ‘An impressive feat; the perfect solution’ – October 31, 2012