Quick Review: iPad mini

Hand holding an iPad mini.Apple’s done it again. They created something that made me go “why would anyone, let alone me, want that?” This time of course it was the iPad mini but it wasn’t long ago Mr. Jobs introduced the original iPad. While it seemed kind of cool, I couldn’t figure out how it could be all that useful. Turns out I was wrong. After a few months of reading about and playing with store models, I was intrigued. Sure I couldn’t build websites or do any kind of profesional level graphic design with it but for everyday tasks it seemed great.

I was fortunate enough to start using an iPad a few months ago and instantly fell in love with it. I found most of the time having a browser, email and tons of time-wasting-but-loads-of-fun games was more than sufficient. I even started using it as an e-reader. It really shined for taking notes at meetings allowing me not to have to lug around my laptop.

Recently I got even luckier and was able to upgrade to an iPad mini. Everything I loved about the iPad but in a smaller, more ideal size. Reading on a mini is so much more convenient too. It feels about the size of novel and is easy to hold in one hand. When it was announced I thought the iPad mini would be too small to really get anything done. It turns out Apple’s picked the perfect size and weight. It’s easy to carry around, it still has a lot of space to do things and best of all it runs all of the iPad apps already out there.

I was extremely surprised how much I preferred it to a full-sized iPad. The biggest complaints I’ve read about are the lack of retina display and it’s small size. Honestly I don’t find the screen to be a big deal. Sure retina displays are beautiful but I don’t know if it’s entirely necessary (of course when the retina display does arrive, I’ll probably rave about it and be jealous I don’t have one, such is life).

As I said before the size is perfect in my opinion. The iPad was great but it always felt a little awkward to hold, especially with on hand, and was definitely hard to type without going one-finger peck style or setting it down on something. With the mini I can use the familiar two-side grasp and thumb typing I’m used to on my iPhone. Best of all it fits in an inside coat pocket rather nicely, which makes bringing it places pretty easy. I think part of the size complaints stem from how it was billed in the media as a seven inch tablet. In real life it’s much closer to an eight inches and because it’s taller than the 16:9 widescreen ratio many Android tablets use, it’s actually feels comparatively large.

Overall I’d say they’ve done a fine job. It’s not revolutionary like the original iPad but it definitely improved on some of my iPad complaints. The iPad mini is a fun little tablet with a great size, decent price and all the App Store goodness iOS devices provide. I have to highly recommend it.

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