At one point, the iPad Mini was rumored to have the name "iPad Air." At a $329 starting price point, they should have kept the name and added "ball" to the end of it. They completely missed the mark. Sure, die-hard fandomites will suck these up just because they are Apple. But, why would anyone in their right mind want one? Other 7-inch tablets are $199-$250. Meanwhile, the big brother is now on its fourth generation, thrown in as an aside to today's Mini launch.
I cannot possibly recommend the Mini to anyone: school or otherwise. Common Core specs aside, the Mini is an absolute waste of money. Want a smaller form factor? Get the new Touch. Want iPad functionality, get a real iPad for $70 more (even an iPad2 is a better device than the mini - and, since the 4 is out, the 3 will most likely drop in price). Apple could have absolutely walked away with the entire tablet market had the Mini been better-spec'd and lower-priced. Finally, Apple throws out a junk ball not seen since Newton. They shoot and miss.
The only saving grace for Apple: Windows 8 will surpass the Mini in absolute fail-ability. Two disastrous tech releases in one week. That's got to be some kind of record.