If you’ve never used a Retina-screened device, you probably won’t care, but if you’ve been spoiled by Retina, you’ll notice the lack of it in the Mini almost every time you turn it on.
That was my experience when I tried out a Mini this weekend. Great form-factor, but non-retina is a serious downgrade. It’s not bad, just not as good if you’re coming from a retina iPad screen (the iPhone is a different device, I don’t think going to a Mini from a retina phone matters as much).
One thing I haven’t seen mentioned enough in many of these articles is the huge disadvantage for onscreen keyboard use. To my hands, portrait typing on the Mini was an uncomfortable stretch, and unsustainable for something like blog post writing. Touch typing, like I do on the regular iPad, is a no go. I find the landscape keyboard virtually useless.
Mostly, my time with the Mini told me one thing. I can’t wait for a full-size iPad with similar thinness and size-to-weight ratio.