Before purchasing my iPad mini late last week, I walked over to the local Best Buy to see how tablets in the 7″ range looked and felt. I had some hands-on time with a Nexus 7, Blackberry PlayBook, and Samsung Galaxy Tab 2, but couldn’t really enjoy get a feel for them. This was partly because three out of four of those tablets were offline (Best Buy does have in-store Wi-Fi, but the tablets weren’t signed onto it), but the bigger problem was that each tablet was outfitted with a heavy, retractable anti-theft system. Big metal plates were attached to the rear of each tablet, and each of these plates was secured by a coiled cable that offered more resistance, the higher I held each tablet up.
The result of this security system is that every 7″ tablet I used felt like as heavy as a 10″ tablet, if not more so. So it looks like I’ll have to wait until this Friday, November 2, to really see what the iPad mini feels like. I know it should feel like two iPhone 4S in one hand and that it’s 60% heavier than the very light Kobo Touch e-reader, but it’s all just speculation until I can really hold the mini in my hand on Friday (UPS willing).
It was actually the Apple section of Best Buy’s tablet department (which, Apple manages themselves) that offered me the very best hands-on tablet experience. The 10″ iPad 2 and Retina iPads on display did have security measures installed, but the system itself was extremely light and offered no resistance upon picking each device up. That’s the way you do it.