On Tuesday at an event in San Jose, California, we saw the arrival of the new iPad Mini from Apple. 

The bigger iPad may be by far the most popular tablet in the UK but Apple have no doubt been mindful of the success of the 7” Google Nexus 7 in particular and have decided they want to grab a share of the smaller tablet market. 

Will they succeed? Well, on first impressions, it looks like a certainty. 

First and foremost, it’s a beautiful piece of design. You’ll be amazed at how light and easy it is to hold.  At  a slim 7.2mm front to back and weighing less than a 1lb, it’ll be easy to slip into your handbag (or manbag) and you won’t even notice it’s there. 

Apple have also been rather clever about the screen. They’ve opted not to mimic their rivals with a 7” display but go for a larger 7.9” instead.  However, by making the side bezels thinner, this extra screen size doesn’t make the iPad Mini feel any larger than its rivals.  And it means web browsing with less scrolling down and left and right too. It’s the sort of stroke of genius we’ve come to expect from them.  

The ‘mini’ size makes it ideal for reading books – and Apple’s iBook store now offers 1.5 million titles – and, because the screen resolution is no different to it’s bigger brother, you can access all of the existing 275,000 iPad apps and they’ll display perfectly. Oh, and we mustn’t forget to mention it’s also got a 5 megapixel rear camera built-in unlike some of its rivals. 

Not only that, but if you’ll be using your tablet on the go and 4G has peaked your interest, then the iPad mini comes with full 4G LTE connectivity which is fully compatible with EE’s 4G network launching next week.

OK – now for some of the downsides.  The screen, at 1024 x 768, isn’t as high resolution as some of its rivals and it’s not a Retina Display like its bigger brother. And the processor is the A5 which powered the iPad 2 – not as fast as the current iPad and no way near as fast as the iPad 4 announced at the same event. But then again, if you don’t have those devices, you’re probably not going to notice.

Perhaps the biggest downside is the price, where Apple hasn’t been as aggressive as expected. At £269 it’s more expensive then its nearest rivals by £70. Will people still go out and buy it?  Hey, it’s Apple. And it’s a stunning piece of design to boot. Of course they will.