After using the iPad Mini for 48 hours now, I wanted to get some quick thoughts down that answer the most common questions I have heard:
1. Is this just a shrunken iPad? Yes, it is a shrunken iPad. But what's important about the Mini is that it's more than just a smaller screen: it's a perfectly sized device: screen, weight, bezel, thickness, etc. If it was merely a differently sized screen - the Mini would not be as fantastic to use. It's hard to explain just how beautifully it is built until you hold it and play with it... with just one hand. It seems ridiculous to say: but after an hour or two with the Mini, your iPad really feels clunky.
2. How does it fit into my ilife? Simply said: I haven't had a need or desire to pick up my iPad since getting the Mini. With exception of:
3. Is the size really better? Unless you use the iPad as a movie consumption device, I believe it is a better size. Reading is easier. Typing is easier (counter intuitive but true). And the weight makes a huge difference. I have owned the Amazon Kindle Fire and Google Nexus 7 - and I have always believed that the 7" tablets were more versatile and usable than the iPad. The Mini's form factor is the icing: weight, thickness and edge-to-edge screen are as important as the 7.9" screen. It always makes the Mini more versatile in that landscape mode is instantly as usable / useful as portrait mode.
4. What will you travel with? Short travel: iPad Mini. Long travel: iPad Mini + Macbook.
5. How about the screen? This is the single biggest complaint and indeed its the single biggest flaw. However, the Retina display will surely come soon. And, the screen is really adequate because the small size relieves some of the pixelation. Furthermore, it is only acute in fonts - graphics are actually quite crisp and clear.