How Big is the iPad Mini? How Much Does It Weigh?

iPad mini
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While the iPad Mini is Apple's answer to 7-inch Android tablets like the Amazon Kindle Fire and Google Nexus, it is slightly larger than these tablets owing to the 7.9-inch display.  While the extra .9 inch may not sound like much, but it actually constitutes around 35% more viewing space (29.6 square inches versus the 21.9 square inches of a normal 7-inch tablet).

The iPad Mini's screen is also geared towards a 4:3 display ratio, which is better with apps and especially web browsing.  Most web pages are designed for a 4:3 ratio display.  Android tablets tend to have a 16:9 ratio, which is the standard wide-screen dimension and is at its best when watching a video.  

So How Big Is the iPad Mini?

The original iPad Mini is 7.87 inches tall by 5.3 inches wide and has a depth of 0.28 of an inch.  Amazingly, it only weighed 0.68 pounds for the Wi-Fi version.  That's just over a half pound, or put in terms we can all understand, about the weight of a week-old kitten.  

The iPad Mini 2 and the iPad Mini 3 have similar height and width, but owing to a big upgrade in processing speed, they are slightly thicker (0.30 inches) and weigh slightly more (0.73 pounds).   So think about a 10-day old kitten.   The lineup went on a diet with the iPad Mini 4.  With a depth of only 0.24 of an inch, it is skinnier than the original iPad Mini.  And it actually weighs slightly less than the original Mini, coming in at 0.66 of a pound.  

How big does it feel? When you hold an iPad Mini in the palm of your hand with your thumb running along the side, you can see the tips of your fingers poking out the other side.   If you have one of the "Plus" sized iPhone, the iPad Mini is almost twice as wide and about 20% longer.  It's a very portable tablet that you can actually use with one hand, resting the iPad Mini in your palm and looping your thumb around the side.  

The iPad Mini's 7.9-inch Display and Touch ID

The original iPad Mini only had a 1024x768 resolution, but starting with the second generation, the iPad Mini sports a 2048x1536 "Retina Display".  This matches the resolution of the larger iPad Air, and because it is the same resolution on a smaller display, it actually has a higher pixel density.  This means it slightly clearer when viewed at the same distance, although at these high screen resolutions, you really have to concentrate to make out any difference. 

The iPad Mini gained Touch ID fingerprint sensor starting with the iPad Mini 3.  It does not have the near-field communications (NFC) required to actually pay at stores, but Touch ID has a number of great uses beyond just as a payment switch.  Perhaps the best use for it is bypassing the lock screen so that you don't have to put in your passcode every time you want to use the iPad.  

Is the Original iPad Mini Still a Good Buy?

While the iPad Mini 2 was released just a year after the original iPad Mini, it constituted a huge jump in technology. The iPad Mini 2 has the same basic dimensions as the original, but it also includes the Retina Display screen and a processor that clocks in at easily eight times faster than the iPad Mini.  This means the iPad Mini 2 will last much longer than its predecessor.

The iPad Mini 2 can be purchased for as cheap as $229 if you buy a used or refurbished unit, so in order to make the original iPad Mini a good buy, you would need to be spending no more than $150.  And even at that price, you might be better off spending the extra money on the upgraded version.