I picked up my iPad Mini Retina last Thursday.
I've held off posting much until now, as I wanted to get out of the "Wow, this is amazing" phase before doing so.
I have now done so and moved to the "Wow, this is REALLY amazing" phase.
This little gadget is now my Most Impressive Computing Device I've Ever Owned, having stolen the crown from my MBA, which is only a few weeks old itself.
Honestly, I don't know how they do it. It is SO fast. The battery lasts longer than advertised. It's weeny tiny, yet perfectly readable. To the point where it's replacing not only my iPad 3, but also my Kindle. That's even better than I'd hoped for. One tiny device instead of two smallish devices to carry around.
It's small enough to go everywhere with me. Previously, when I went to restaurants (alone - Billy no mates style - when working away from home), I would just take the Kindle and iPhone. Now I take the iPad, as I can just pop it into my pocket. It goes everywhere (well, nearly) with me, whereas the iPad 3 didn't. It is therefore proportionally more useful to me.
This is proper sci fi stuff from the future right here in my hand.
There are no compromises here at all that I can see.
I really do believe there are now only two types of tablets worth speaking of. Those that are iPad's, and those that aren't. I've not seen or used any device from any other manufacturer that comes even remotely close. I see everything else as a compromise now. I see other tablets as "Not bad, for the price", or "Okay for an Android device" (and I've been to Android and come back again). I can't imagine anything right now that would drag me away kicking and screaming from the iPad Mini Retina.
I know I probably come across as the stereotypical Apple fanboy here. Frankly, I don't care. Right now, it doesn't get any better than this in the tablet arena.
I can save manufacturers of other tablets a fortune in advertising consultancy fees. Simply state "It's not an iPad, but it's cheap", as price is about all you've got right now.