Retina iPad mini unboxing and first hands on

It's late, really late over here in the UK, but that's not going to stop us cracking open the brand new iPad mini with Retina Display and taking a first look at it. It may be dark outside, but the iPad mini is certainly keeping our eyes open! This isn't a proper unboxing video – because I cheated and did it earlier – but it is a first look around the hardware and a quick side by side with its new big brother, the iPad Air.

It's an important comparison, and one we'll be making frequently throughout the coming days as we put the new iPad mini to the test. Because, for all intents and purposes, this is an iPad Air, just with a 7.9-inch display. And what a display. No video could ever do it justice, you need to see if for yourself. It's stunning.

We may well come back and shoot another – better lit – video as part of the full review, but it's too good not to show off. Did you manage to snag yourself a new Retina iPad mini amongst the launch day shenanigans? Let me know what your own first impressions are in the comments below!

Retina iPad mini

Retina iPad mini
The world's most popular tiny tablet goes Retina. Features include:

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November 12, 2013

iPad mini (original), iPad Air, iPad 2

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Fall, 2014

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Richard Devine

Senior Editor at iMore, part time racing driver, full time British guy

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Reader comments

Retina iPad mini unboxing and first hands on


Jealous! Have ordered mine online this morning. Don't expect it before the 24th... Sigh.

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Is it just me or is anybody else also having the mini retina to show white as warm/yellowish and are colors a bit pale? Compared it with both iPhone 5 and iPad 3

Go exchange it. You have 14 days no questions asked. With the thin bezels and light weight of the air I would recommend upgrading to the full size.

I was about 90% sure I was going to keep the Air until the news this morning. I thought I would have more time with the air to make a better decision. Instead I found myself taking time off work to drive to the apple store and returning my air and ordering the Mini. What can I say. When I can get a 32gb verizon LTE mini for the same price as a 16gb verizon LTE air then why not do it, right? I had the last mini and loved the size. Plus more pixel density packed display and more portable to boot.

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I have a 3rd gen iPad and I will get replacing it with the retina mini in January. I'm excited!

Agreed. I had the iPad Mini for 6 months. Loved the weight but always found myself missing that bigger screen and the retina display. Even with retina on the new Mini, I still love my iPad Air.

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I ordered a black 32 GB as soon as I saw they went on sale. Delivered next week. Then in the afternoon I noticed they were available for personal pickup at my local store. So I ordered another one and picked it up. I'll return the first one unopened when it gets here on Tuesday. I feel a little bad about that but I didn't know it would be available locally yesterday.

I have the iPad 3 and while I would like to have the Air, I think I would use the this new Mini more. It looks perfect. There may be a few of those under the Xmas tree this year. The whole family would love it.

Nice. Good video and good decision not to waste time on all that taking off of the plastic wrappers etc.

It's a shame there aren't any good pictures or videos of the silver/white ones yet though. So many guys go for the grey/black thinking they don't want to appear un-manly, but the silver/white combination is clearly both the more attractive and the more popular choice.

In April I've bought iPad 4 ... I will wait maybe for the next iPad Mini(hope it will has TouchID, the best in this edition is that it has already Retina) but definetly all my future stuff will be MiniS. Planning to buy and the newest MacBook Pro next month so done with the classic iPad maybe for the next 3 or 4 years at least if they dont apply some huuuge change in it expect the size of the display. Here is the place to say - NO!! TO FUTURE iPhone with >5' display aka Galaxy Note style (puke)

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Traded my iPad 4 in at Target for a gift card to use toward a new one, now I'm iPadless and hoping I don't have to wait till January till I get my hands on one.

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This is exactly the iPad mini I want! I have the last gen and really want the retina display so much

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Nice hands on. That tablet looks really nice. Apple is really making it difficult to decide between a Mini and an Air.

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I just ordered one that will come in next week. I am drooling with anticipation, especially after seeing your article. Can hardly wait!

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Will get mine for christmas. Still undecided for the capacity. What do you recommend?

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Good question I always thought 32gb was enough until I get home and load up all my iTunes and photos boom I'm out of space before I know it. Then good games and movie rentals are 1gb + a shot. All the apple apps are 500mb so if you want your media on your iPad like I do. Then go 64gb he'll I'd say even 128gb if you're wallet allows you.
Even though I stream a lot now I hate being stuck without data during travelling and it's nice to have your iTunes synced and saved to your iPad. Apple gives you 2 weeks to change your mind so keep that in mind. Start with 32gb and work your way up. 32gb should be standard these days.

Nice video! That iPad Mini is such a lust-worthy device. If I had to choose between it and the full size iPad Air, I would get the Air first. Still a great-looking tablet, though.

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I have to start by saying I do not have the mini. I feel the air is the perfect size for reading notes, PDF journal articles, textbooks, word processing, creating content. I think I would have a hard time performing these daily work tasks with a smaller screen size, what have others found?

I can see a function in content consumption and using the zoom a lot (maybe I am getting older and need my eyes checked, hahaha). However, it feels too small for a lot if typing.

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I tries one yesterday in the Apple store. Like the Air I was not blown away as I thought. Maybe it is my eyes but I didn't notice much in better screen quality. Speed was not much faster either. I had the original and retina side by side. At least that is what the guy in the store told me.

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I will hopefully be picking up one of these bad boys tonight. Only thing I have to decide on is if I want the white or the black model. My iphone 5 is black. So maybe I will switch things up and go with a white one.

Nice video

I really hope that this version of the iPad mini does scuff and chip like the first one. Thankfully, I found a nice bumper type case to keep it in. Having said that, it's nice to see the mini with the retina display because that was the one thing the Nexus 7 had over it--and I stress ONE thing. Otherwise the mini cleaned it's clock with app selection and performance.

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I see one thing the new iMore app needs--comment editing. While attempting to change "does" to doesn't, I inadvertently submitted my comment.

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I'm so conflicted. I just bought the ipad air but wonder if I should get the mini instead. Other than screen size why would I get one over the other?

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^The speaker is louder in the air. The screen in my opinion (and the forums)is brighter and not as yellow. Typing may be easier depending on your hand size. My only negative would be that it is heavy with my griffin case.

Yes agree 100% if the iPad 9.7 didn't change shape I would have went with the mini2 but unless they make the ( iPad mini iphone ) on there I will stick to my Air.

Took my non-retina mini back to Best Buy last night, 4 days before the window closed on returns, and picked up the retina mini instead. Love it!

Nice video. Apple has done really good upgrade with this mini. If the price was the same I should buy it, but now I feel motivated buying iPad Air instead. Maybe that was Apple's strategy...

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