Apple iPad Mini 3 (7.9 inch,16GB, WiFi + Cellular) Space Grey
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- 5MP primary camera with auto focus, HDR, face detection and 1.2MP front facing camera
- 7.9-inch (20 centimeters) IPS LED backlight multi-touch capacitive touchscreen with 2048 x 1536 pixels resolution and 326 ppi pixel density
- iOS v8 operating system with A7 chip 64-bit architecture processor, M7 motion coprocessor, 1GB RAM, 16GB internal memory and single nano SIM
- Lithium-polymer battery providing up to 10 hours of internet usage time on WiFi and 9 hours of usage on mobile data network
- 1 year manufacturer warranty for device and 6 months manufacturer warranty for in-box accessories including batteries from the date of purchase
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Any way you look at it, iPad mini 3 is pretty amazing. It has a stunning 7.9‑inch Retina display, an incredibly powerful A7 chip, advanced wireless technologies, and Touch ID. Yet it's still thin and light. So while you can do even more, you won't feel like you're holding any more. iPad mini was designed to be a concentration, rather than a reduction, of iPad. It's small. But when you use it, it doesn't feel small. In addition to the Retina display, we packed in a tremendous amount of power and capability. And yet iPad mini remains the perfect mini size. That's because we engineered its components to be as thin and light as possible. It feels like an iPad in every way - only it's mini. iPad mini is amazing to hold. And behold. Every photo is incredibly detailed and vibrant, and every line of text is remarkably crisp and clear. With higher resolution than an HDTV, the gorgeous Retina display is a feast for the eyes. o make the Retina display in iPad mini incredibly sharp and vivid, we had to ﬁnd a way to pack every one of the 3.1 million pixels from the 9.7-inch iPad into a 7.9-inch display. Every pixel in a display has multiple signals telling it when to light up. And with a 2048-by-1536-resolution display, more pixels and more signals are placed closer together on the same plane, so signals can get crossed and image quality can suﬀer. To make sure everything on iPad mini looks crystal clear, Apple engineers elevated the pixels onto a diﬀerent plane - separating them from the signals. In the end, the pixel density jumped to 326 pixels per inch - so dense the human eye can't distinguish individual pixels - making everything look incredibly detailed, vibrant, and razor sharp. Your fingerprint is the perfect password. You always have it with you. And no one can ever guess what it is. Our breakthrough Touch ID technology uses a unique fingerprint identity sensor to make unlocking your iPad mini easy and secure.
From the Manufacturer
A beautiful 7.9-inch Retina display. The diﬀerence has never been clearer.
iPad mini is amazing to hold. And behold. Every photo is incredibly detailed and vibrant, and every line of text is remarkably crisp and clear. With higher resolution than an HDTV, the gorgeous Retina display is a feast for the eyes.
So many innovations, but it still ﬁts perfectly in your hand.
Any way you look at it, iPad mini 3 is pretty amazing. It has a stunning 7.9-inch Retina display, an incredibly powerful A7 chip, advanced wireless technologies and Touch ID. Yet it’s still thin and light. So while you can do even more, you won’t feel like you’re holding any more.
We maximised the inside. The outside is still mini.
iPad mini was designed to be a concentration, rather than a reduction, of iPad. It’s small. But when you use it, it doesn’t feel small. In addition to the Retina display, we packed in a tremendous amount of power and capability. And yet iPad mini remains the perfect mini size. That’s because we engineered its components to be as thin and light as possible. It feels like an iPad in every way — only it’s mini.
How do 3 million pixels ﬁt into 7.9 inches? Brilliantly.
To make Retina display in the iPad mini incredibly sharp and vivid, we had to ﬁnd a way to pack every one of the 3.1 million pixels from the 9.7-inch iPad into a 7.9-inch display. Every pixel in a display has multiple signals telling it when to light up. And with a 2048x1536-resolution display, more pixels and more signals are placed closer together on the same plane, so signals can get crossed and image quality can suﬀer. To make sure everything on iPad mini looks crystal clear, Apple engineers elevated the pixels onto a diﬀerent plane — separating them from the signals. In the end, the pixel density jumped to 326 pixels per inch — so dense the human eye can’t distinguish individual pixels — making everything look incredibly detailed, vibrant and razor sharp.
As impressive on the outside as it is on the inside.
Something that performs this beautifully deserves an equally beautiful finish. iPad mini comes in silver, space grey and, for the ﬁrst time, gold.
Security based on a one-of-a-kind design: your ﬁngerprint.
iPad mini 3 comes with our breakthrough Touch ID technology. It gives you an unprecedented level of security because it uses nature’s most perfect password: your fingerprint. So with just one touch, you can instantly unlock your iPad mini. But Touch ID goes beyond that. You can also make secure purchases in iTunes and the App Store.
Desktop-class architecture. No desktop required.
Don’t let its size fool you. iPad mini 3 is powered by an A7 chip with 64-bit desktop-class architecture. A7 delivers amazing processing power without sacriﬁcing battery life. So you get incredible performance in a device you can take with you wherever you go.
FaceTime HD and iSight cameras. So many reasons to smile.
Want to shoot video and photos that are unbelievably crisp, clear and vibrant? iPad mini 3 has everything you need, including new iOS 8 features like Panorama and Time-lapse mode, to capture stills and videos that are as memorable as the moments themselves. Even better, you also get this same great picture quality when making video calls.
Advanced wireless. Do more in more places.
iPad mini 3 keeps you connected faster than ever. In more locations than ever. Two antennas and MIMO technology give iPad mini incredible Wi Fi performance. And the Wi Fi + Cellular model supports fast mobile networks around the world.* So you can download content, stream video, browse the web and share documents with AirDrop at amazing speeds.
Apps designed for iPad. And everything you want to do with it.
iPad mini 3 comes with powerful apps for the things you do every day, like surfing the web, checking email, editing videos and photos, writing reports, and reading books. And there are hundreds of thousands of apps on the App Store, each designed specifically for the large Retina display (instead of just being stretched-out phone apps). So whether it’s photography, gaming, travelling or managing your finances, you’ll find an app that will help you do it better.
iOS 8 and iPad mini 3. A powerful combination.
iOS 8 is our most advanced mobile OS ever, with features that make iPad mini 3 even more indispensable. Continuity lets you start a project on one device and ﬁnish it on another. Family Sharing lets up to six people in your family share films, books, music and apps. With iCloud Drive you can safely store any kind of document and access it from any device. In fact, every feature in iOS 8 is designed to work seamlessly with iPad mini, taking full advantage of its powerful A7 chip, ultra-fast wireless and brilliant Retina display.
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|Shipping||—||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping|
|Sold By||—||Cloudtail India||TECHONOMICS INDIA||eWorld (Apple Authorised Reseller)||J A K S (LLP)||Cloudtail India|
|Camera Description||Primary 5 MP, f/2.4, 32mm, autofocus,Secondary 1.2 MP, 720p@30fps, face detection, FaceTime over Wi-Fi or Cellular||8MP||1.2MP||1.2MP||1.2MP||Primary 5 MP, autofocus,Features Geo-tagging,Secondary 2 MP|
|Connectivity Technology||3G; WiFi||WiFi||GSM; (850/900/1800/1900 MHz); UMTS; HSPA; HSPA+; DC‑HSDPA; 3G; (850/900/1700/2100/1900 MHz); 4G LTE; (1/2/3/4/5/7/8/13/17/18/19/20/25/26/28/29/38/39/40/41); WiFi (802.11a/b/g/n/ac)||WiFi||GSM; (850/900/1800/1900 MHz); UMTS; HSPA; HSPA+; DC‑HSDPA; (850/900/1700/2100/1900/2100 MHz); EDGE; WiFi(802.11a/c/g/n/ac)||LTE; WiFi|
|Processor (CPU) Manufacturer||Apple||Qualcomm APQ8009/MSM8909||A8 chip 64-bit architecture and M8 motion coprocessor||A9 Chip||A9 Chip||Qualcomm|
|Display Size||7.9 inches||8 inches||7.9 inches||9.7 inches||9.7 inches||8 inches|
|Effective Still Resolution||5||8||8||8||8||5|
|Included Components||Tablet, Charger and User Manual||Tablet, Charger and User Manual||Apple iPad Mini 4, Lightning to USB Cable, USB Power Adapter and User Manual||iPad, Lightning to USB Cable and USB Power Adapter||iPad, Lightning to USB Cable and USB Power Adapter||0|
|Item Weight||340 grams||472 grams||304 grams||469 grams||478 grams||320 grams|
|Memory Storage Capacity||16 GB||—||—||—||—||—|
|Model Number||MH3E2LL/A||Yoga Tab 3 8||MNWG2HN/A||MP2F2HN/A||MP1L2HN/A||Tab A SM-T355YZWAINS|
|Special Feature||bluetooth_tethering; GPS; Internet; Camera; secondary_camera; Wifi; Touchscreen; E-Mail; USB||E-Mail; Internet; music_player; Camera; Touchscreen; video_playback; Wifi; secondary_camera; expandable_memory; voice_call_enabled||bluetooth_tethering; GPS; Internet; Camera; secondary_camera; Wifi; Touchscreen; E-Mail; USB||Music Player; Video Player; Touch ID; Three-axis gyro sensor; Accelerometer; Barometer; Ambient light sensor; E-mail||Single SIM; GPS; Music Player; Video Player; Touch ID; Three-axis gyro sensor; Accelerometer; Barometer; Ambient light sensor; E-mail||E-Mail; Internet; music_player; Camera; Touchscreen; video_playback; Wifi; secondary_camera; expandable_memory; voice_call_enabled|
|Warranty||1 year manufacturer warranty for device and 6 months manufacturer warranty for in-box accessories including batteries from the date of purchase||1 year manufacturer warranty for device and 6 months manufacturer warranty for in-box accessories including batteries from the date of purchase||1 year manufacturer warranty for device and in-box accessories including batteries from the date of purchase||1 year manufacturer warranty for device and 6 months manufacturer warranty for in-box accessories from the date of purchase|
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The iPad mini is probably the best small tablet computer on the market today - it's certainly the most popular. It's the top selling tablet computer on Amazon, and still an incredible device. This is a review of the iPad Mini 3 released October 2014, but is it worth the money?
About this review
OK. First a disclosure. I love the iPad range, and this review aims to explain why. There's lots to say, so I've broken it up into sections to make it manageable, (just skip the bits you don't need). Hopefully it will answer your questions, and by the end you'll have decided if it's worth the money, and perhaps which model you should buy.
What's new about the iPad Mini 3?
Sad to say, not a lot. Same beautiful design, incredibly fast A7 processor and 1GB of memory as the previous model - the 'iPad Mini 2' (confusingly also known as 'iPad Mini with Retina Display').
It still has the amazing 326 pixels per inch (ppi) retina (2048×1536) screen, and is still a great device to read books, watch films and play games on. I say this, not to sell the device, but to soften the blow. In short, it's disappointing the only difference between this and the previous mini is the 'Touch ID' fingerprint sensor which means you can unlock it with your fingerprint, and potentially avoid using passwords.
As I write this review (November 1st 2014), this device costs much more than the previous model. I love the iPad, but that's an awful lot of money to pay for a fingerprint reader.
Having said that, the iPad Mini (2nd Generation) is still for sale, and at a great discount here on Amazon or from Apple. Alternatively you could buy the iPad Air or Air 2. The same (or faster) device, with a bigger screen.
The remainder of this review describes the entire iPad range to help you to decide. I hope you find it useful.
FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can I run all iPad Apps on this one
A: Yes. Every App available for the full size iPad (or iPhone) will run on this device.
Q: I want a 'Mini' - Which model should I buy?
A: If you've got money to burn and you hate passwords, this one - the iPad Mini 3. Otherwise search Amazon for "iPad Mini 2". Same device (except 'Touch ID') for a lot less money.
Q: Should I buy the Cellular option?
A: Read 'Which model should I buy' below. You almost certainly don't 'need' to - as ever it always depends. Many iPads never leave home, and even when they do you can store your videos/music on the device or connect to a coffee bar hotspot to get online. If you have a smartphone (eg. Android or iPhone) you can set up a "personal hot spot" or "tethering" and use your data plan on your phone. This effectively allows you to connect a WIFI only iPad to the internet via your mobile phone while you're out and about. On an Android phone go to Setup --> Tethering & portable hotspot. On on iPhone go to Settings --> Personal Hotspot, and set up a personal WIFI network from your phone. Try it now, but be aware it may be an optional extra dependent upon your mobile phone plan.
Q: Is this the latest iPad?
A: Yes. (Provided your reading this before October 2015). Launched 16th October 2014. Likely to be superseded October 2015.
Q: How much storage aka "disk space" do I need?
A: It depends. If intend to buy lots of Apps or store lots of videos and photos then go for the 64Gb or 128Gb is you need. If it's your first iPad, and you'll mainly be using it for accessing web pages and reading the odd book, then 16Gb will be fine. Be aware, you cannot increase the storaage - you can't add an SD card.
Q: Is it easy to set up?
A: Yes - very easy. Be sure to be near a WIFI connection, and the iPad will carefully take you through the steps needed to set it up. No, there's very little in the way of an instruction manual - which is a testament to the simplicity of this device. It's so easy to use most people find they don't need one. However, there are lots of books available on Amazon. Just search for 'iPad' under books if you're concerned.
Q: Does it have a USB connection?
A: No. This means you can't connect just any old device, but also means you can't accidentally get a virus. To help support this, all Apps (programs) are available 'over the air' (downloaded from the Apple App Store) and vetted by Apple. You can buy a cable which means you can plug in an SD Card to download photos. Search Amazon for "lightning to sd card reader' to find these. Apple provide a free back-up service for upto 5Gb of data. Just plug in your iPad to re-charge, and it will automatically be backed up to the Apple servers (the 'cloud').
Q: Do I need a computer?
A: No. All you really need is a WIFI connection. Whether an iPad could replace your laptop is another question. You can type (and print) letters, read eMails, view web pages, view photos or watch videos and listen to music on an iPad. You can even attach an external keyboard and type entire documents (this review was partly written on an iPad Air on a train). You can run a free copy of MS Office or use the free Apple versions (Pages and Numbers). Personally, I find I use my iPad 90% of the time, only using a laptop to connect to the office. Whether you can get by with only an iPad is your decision based upon your needs.
Q: Does it run Microsoft Office?
A: Yes. Free for Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook
Q: Can I print from the iPad?
A: Yes. Provided your running a relatively modern printer with a WIFI connection you can.
Q: Can I read books, watch films and listen to music on an iPad?
A: Yes. That's what I use it for most of the time. Kindle or Apple books work beautifully. You can rent/buy films from Apple, Amazon and lots of others. You can watch catch up TV services. You can load your music (MP3 files) on an existing computer to iTunes
and sync them with the iPad or stream unlimited music from music sites including Spotify. Finally, you can stream video to your TV using a set-top box from Apple (TV), Amazon (Fire) or Google (Chromecast)
Q: Do you work for Apple or Amazon?
A: A fair question that nobody has yet been brave enough to ask. No. Neither. I love the iPad, and I'm a great fan of Amazon's customer service. Fantastic technology and great service at a terrific price. What's not to get excited about? ;-)
Which model should I buy?
Skip this section if your familiar with the range, otherwise read on.
Firstly, there's a confusing number of options available including the iPad 3rd or 4th generation, iPad Air, Air 2, Mini, Mini 2 and 3. We then have WIFI and Cellular options, all with different size storage. Bare with me, and I'll take you through them.
Which model - Full size iPad or Mini?
The 'full size' iPad is slightly smaller than an A4 pad of paper whereas the Mini is more the size of an incredibly thin paperback book (comparable in fact to the Amazon Kindle). Both iPads have a colour touch sensitive screen, and largely the same functionality, although the iPad Air 2 is now faster than it's smaller 'mini' equivalent.
In short, the main difference is physical screen size. If you plan to read books or watch video standing on train or bus, the mini is your best option. If you want the bigger screen (or perhaps faster iPad Air 2 procesor), then the full size iPad is the best option.
What's the storage options?
Storage (for Apps, photos or videos) start at 16g which is fine if you plan to surf the web, read books or stream video. Personally I used a 16g iPad every day for four years - it's a lot more space than many people will need. If however you intend to save lots of films or photos, then you're better off with the larger storage options. Be aware once bought, you can't add storage, so choose carefully.
Be aware, Apple have limited the storage sizes available for the 'Mini' range (although you might find some old stock available on Amazon).
Personally, I'd take a cue from Apple sizing:-
* 16g if you're a first time iPad user or are unlikely to store lots of top-end games or video.
* 64g if it's for a teenager or you plan to store lots.
* 128g if you've got really deep pockets.
Either way, if you're going to buy a Mini tablet, I'd recommend the 2 or 3.
WIFI or Cellular?
Firstly all iPads include a WIFI connection. You can pay extra for a 'cellular' option which means you can (for an additional monthly fee) buy a data subscription from a mobile phone network, and use your iPad to surf the web when you're out an about. If however like me you have a smartphone (Android or iPhone it doesn't matter) then navigate to Settings '> Personal Hotspot and set up a password.
This means you can create a 'Personal Hotspot' using your smartphone data subscription. Also known as 'tethering', you can then connect your WIFI only iPad to the web, and off you go.
Personally, I use this every day on the train and it's just brilliant. Just as fast as a cellular iPad, but more flexible (two people can share the connection), and cheaper too. Just check your mobile contract supports tethering, and includes enough of a data allowance. Otherwise you'll run up a huge bill as you'll find your iPad uses data faster than than your smartphone.
Should I upgrade?
A personal choice, so I've summarised the key differences below. Each iPad is slightly better, although each upgrade can appear a relatively small change, and you need to compare the 'full size' and 'mini' iPads separately.
* iPad Mini: The upgrade from iPad Mini 1 to 2 was to an incredible screen and faster processor. The upgrade to Mini 3 adds only the 'Touch ID' fingerprint reader, and it's questionable whether it's worth paying for.
* Full size: I'd upgrade anything up to and including the iPad 4th generation without question. The Air and Air 2 are now up to twice as fast, 33% lighter and 1/3rd thinner than the 2nd, 3rd or 4th generation device. If you already have an iPad Air it's less clear cut, and probably not worth upgrading.
The iPad Mini Range:-
iPad Mini 1 (Launched November 2012)
* Very first iPad mini is like an incredibly thin paperback book. Beautiful colour screen, but now a bit slow and now dated.
* 1Ghz A5 processor - same as the iPad 2nd generation launched in March 2011. Weight 310g. 7mm thin.
* 1024x768 (Non-retina) screen at 163ppi (pixels per inch). Good but not brilliant
* 1.2MP front facing camera (720p video) and 5MP still and HD Video camera.
iPad Mini 2 (Launched October 2013)
* Incredible screen improvement at double the pixels per inch (ppi). Faster processor and quad core graphics. Stunning!
* Improved A7 processor and motion co-processor with double the memory. Much faster than the previous device
* Retina display (2048×1536) is just amazing. Absolutely pin sharp screen at 326ppi it's even better than the iPad Air at 264ppi
* Storage options include 16, 32, 64 and 128g. Weight 330g. 7mm thin.
iPad Mini 3 (Launched October 2014)
* Almost no improvement. Same processor, screen and camera. Only the Touch ID fingerprint sensor added.
* Nothing more to say here, and certainly not worth the upgrade from iPad Mini 2. Available in silver, grey and gold.
I'd even go as far as to say the iPad Mini 2 is much better value for money.
The 'full size' iPad range:-
iPad (1st Generation - Launched April 2010)
* 1Ghz A4 processor with 256Mb memory and storage at 16 to 64Gb. Weighs 680g. 13.4mm thin.
* 1024×768 screen, but no front or rear facing camera.
* The 'Classic' iPad. Now a collectors piece - but still great to surf the web
iPad 2 (2nd Generation - Launched March 2011)
* Faster, lighter and 33% thinner than the first generation. A huge leap in performance and size.
* Upgraded dual core (2 processor) A5 CPU and 512Mb memory - a faster device. Weighs 601g. Just 9mm thin.
* Now includes a front and rear facing camera.
* Great device, but you'll see a massive difference if you upgrade
iPad 3 (3rd Generation - Launched March 2012)
* A significant upgrade. Faster with the incredible 'retina' (2048×1536) sharp screen.
* Uprated A5X CPU and quad core graphics and 1Gb memory - faster again. Weighs 650g. Still 9mm thin
* Huge screen improvement to 2048×1536 pixels at 264 ppi. Incredibly sharp and clear
* Upgraded cameras. 1080P (front) and 5MP (rear facing)
* The last iPad to use the wide (30 Pin) connector. My wife still uses hers daily for web surfing (Oct 2014)
iPad 4 (4th Generation - Launched October 2012 - just 7 months later)
* Quite a small upgrade from the previous generation. Again you'd see a huge difference upgrading to the latest device
* Guess what? Upgraded dual core A6X processor. A faster device, with the launch date moved to catch the Christmas buying period. Weighs 650g. 9mm thin.
* Upgraded front facing camera (1.2MP still and 720P video)
* First iPad to use the smaller narrow (Lightning) connector.
iPad Air (Launched Oct 2013)
* Amazing upgrade. Twice as fast, nearly 17% thinner and shedding almost a 1/3 of the weight of the predecessor. It's an incredible device.
* Blisteringly fast 64 bit A7 processor with faster memory, and a motion co-processor. Weighs 469g. (28% Lighter) and now only 7.5 mm thin.
* New iPads now come with a free licence for Pages, Numbers, Keynote (Apple's version of Word, Excel and Powerpoint). Plus Garage Band, iPhoto and iMovie.
iPad Air 2 (aka iPad 6 - Launched October 2014)
* Another incredible upgrade. Now 1/3rd lighter and thinner than the iPad 4 launched just 2 years ago.
* A8X Processor (faster variation on the A8 fitted to the iPhone 6) with M8 motion co-processor. Weighs 437g and only 6.1mm (18% thinner).
* Touch ID fingerprint sensor (the first iPad Air to have this). Means you can effectively avoid using passwords
* Improved screen now includes an 'antireflective' coating.
* Improved 8MP rear facing camera (3264×2448) with 10 frames per second 'burst' mode and slow motion. Front facing camera has improved f/2.2 aperture.
* Lock/silent switch has been removed (to save space), but you can mute your iPad by swiping up the 'Control Centre'
* Battery is slightly smaller (7,340mAh) compared to the previous model, but the same 10 hour battery life
* WIFI now supports new 'ac' standard and is dual channel 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz. Also built in barometer.
* Storage options are now Small, Medium and Large. 16g, 64g or 128g.
* Available in Space Grey, Silver/White and Gold.
Accessories - What else will I need ?
All you 'need' is a WIFI connection - you don't even need a computer. However, there's a number of additional accessories/devices you could buy with your iPad, and it's worth doing a search on Amazon. These include:-
* An iPad cover or case - to prevent it getting scratched (definately worth buying). You can even get 'Child Proof' cases - a must have for parents with toddlers.
* A wireless bluetooth speaker - to listen to music. A MUST HAVE for anyone who loves music. Sound quality incredible, and will also work with your smartphone or laptop.
* A "power bank" - as an emergency battery back-up. Also great for your smartphone - never run out of battery again.
* A separate keyboard - to turn your iPad into a virtual laptop. (I use mine every day on the train instead of a bulky laptop).
* An Apple TV, Google Chrome or Amazon Fire TV. Means you can stream photos/video from your iPad to your TV.
Most people (me included) buy a cover (or case) to avoid scratches and bumps.
Effectively you have two options:-
* Attached to the iPad by magnets, the 'cover' protects only the screen from dirt or scratches
* A 'case' encloses the entire device protecting back and screen. You can also buy 'child proof' cases.
Both types automatically shut down the iPad when you close the lid (a lovely touch). You can pay a lot for an admittedly top quality cover from Apple, alternatively buy one on Amazon for less.
Just be careful to buy one that fits your device. You'll find your existing 'cover' (screen only) will fit almost any iPad (2nd generation to Air 2), but you'll need to be careful to buy the correct 'case' as the iPad Air and Air 2 are each thinner than previous models.
A "Bluetooth Speaker" is a fantastic way to listen to music or the radio streamed from your iPad or Smartphone, and sound quality is astonishingly good.
You can also buy a separate keyboard which turns your full size iPad into a virtual laptop computer.
Again there's lots of options - the best I've tried, tested and reviewed are:-
* Zagg - a top quality "full' keyboard. Some models even have 'back-lit' keys - great for sitting in bed late at night
* Logitec Ultrathin - a top quality "half depth' keyboard, but a pleasure to use
Again, take care to buy the keyboard which fits your particular iPad model.
Many people buy a "Power Bank" - effectively an external battery to charge your iPad or smartphone. Great for emergency power, there's hundreds available.
How about Apps?
Firstly, an App, is a small "application" (a program) that runs on your iPad, and there's literally thousands available from the "App Store", with the most important ones (web browser, mail, music player, word processor, spreadsheet etc) are pre-installed or free to download.
Many apps are free (frequently advertising funded with the option to "add on" stuff - but beware you can run up a huge bill).
Here's my favourites:-
* Mailbox. Incredibly slick mail app (or use the built in Apple App) (Free)
* Photo & iPhoto. Built in apps to take/view/edit photos (Free)
* Skype or Apple Face Time. Chat to the family for free using a video call (Free)
* Evernote. Write and organise notes. Edit them on your Android, iPhone, iPad, PC or Mac (Free)
* DropBox. Access your files, documents and photos on Android, iPhone, iPad, PC or Mac. (Free)
* eBay. Buy and sell your stuff online. (Free)
* Zite. Online web magazine that learns what you like. Terrific! (Free)
* Kindle. Read your books from Amazon Kindle bookstore. (Free)
* Microsoft Office. Edit Word, Excel and Powerpoint documents (Free)
* Pages, Numbers and Keynote. Apple's version of MS Office. Edit/save documents in Word, Excel andPowerpoint format. (Free)
Of course you could also use it to read web pages, or playing amazing games like 'Real Racing' (Free) or "Cut the Rope' .
Personally, I tend to use it for Mail, watching TV (Netflix or Amazon Instant), or shopping using the built in browser - Safari. Having said that, I'm writing this review (using an external keyboard) on the free Apple word processing App, Pages - so it can (with a stretch) do "most" of what you can do on a PC or Mac.
It's hard to believe the first iPad was first launched in 2010, and there's a huge raft of cheaper tablet computers to choose from, but the Apple iPad (or mini) are still the ones to beat. As "Expert Reviews" Magazine said: "Now at a new lower price, the iPad Mini 2 is the best value iPad in the entire range'.
Personally, I think, if you're in the market for a tablet computer, the very best options are:-
* Small Size: iPad Mini 2. Same blisteringly fast processor and incredible screen as the iPad Air, but with even more pixels per inch. Perhaps the iPad Mini 3 if you're feeling really flushed or need the fingerprint reader.
* Full Size: iPad Air or iPad Air 2. At more than twice the speed and over 30% thinner and lighter than the iPad 4 (released just two years before), both these devices are incredible. Now it's just a matter of how much you want to spend.
Yes, there are cheaper Android based alternatives, but the quality, design and beauty of these tablets just set them apart. If they were a car they'd be a top of the range Mercedes, BMW or Porsche.
I do hope this review was useful. As you can see I'm a life-long fan of the iPad.