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From a certain distance, the lack of Retina Display doesn't become that big a factor, especially for apps and games.
The Mini's backside. Flat and aluminum.
Mini on top of the bigger fourth-gen iPad. There's a big size difference.
The iPad Mini's 5-megapixel rear camera and 1.2-megapixel front camera aren't showstoppers, but they're just as good as the ones on the larger iPad and can shoot 1080p and 720p video, respectively.
Games and apps with smaller icons still work well, even with thick fingers like mine. Seen here: Ticket to Ride, an excellent board game port.
The iPad Mini works with most iOS 6 features, including Siri and Maps with 3D Flyover.
The iPad Mini's a pretty great little gaming tablet. The hand feel is a lot better for virtual joystick controls. Seen here: Real Racing 2 HD.
Video-playing on the Mini means you'll have to deal with letterboxing for most movies and shows, but videos look similar to the way they do on the iPad 2.
Lap typing isn't bad, either. I wouldn't want to write a book on it, but it's suitable for quick e-mails.
The Mini's best killer apps: graphic books and apps like this DK dinosaur encyclopedia.
In the box: the Lightning cable and its AC charger are exactly like the iPhone 5's. No larger brick necessary.
Lightning and the iPad Mini. You know the routine.
Reading an issue of the New Yorker. The aspect ratio and 7.9-inch screen size are perfect for digital magazines, provided you can live with the lower pixels-per-inch compared with on the Retina Display iPad, Kindle Fire HD, Nook HD, and Nexus 7.
iOS family photo, 2012. Fourth-gen iPad on the left, iPad Mini in the middle, and little baby fifth-gen iPod Touch on the right.
Thumb-typing's far easier on the Mini than on the larger iPad. That's because it's more like a big iPod Touch.
The aluminum edges and thin, flat design make the Mini feel more like the iPod Touch's recent evolution than the larger iPad.
Typing, especially with the Smart Cover, isn't bad at all. Just expect to do more finger-tapping than full-on laptop touch-typing.
The iPad Mini with Smart Cover makes for a very appealing, if expensive, picture frame.
Yes, the Mini is thin. It's the thinnest of the 7-inch tablet crop this year, although it's also wider and longer than most.
The Smart Cover is all-polyurethane this time.
The Smart Cover works like its larger version, but with one less folding flap.
A look at the edge and rear camera lens.
At 0.68 pound, the Mini's very easy to hold in one hand...although I wouldn't suggest doing it by the corner.
The iPad Mini in black has a slate-colored aluminum back.
Web browsing on the Mini. The amount of screen space feels generous for its size.