iPad Mini first impressions

So you want some quick thoughts on the iPad Mini do you? Well I’d be happy to add mine to the collection. As an iPad (2) owner I have to admit I’m rather taken by the little device. I like the fact that it’s small enough to carry and hold with one hand, what with the greatly reduced side bezel and smaller screen size. Dare I say it; I even think the device looks cute and playful. I honestly thought that introducing a smaller iPad at the same time as introducing a bigger iPod touch would be the stupidest thing this side of having a bath in baked beans, but you know what, I honestly don’t think the two will cannibalize each other. I can definitely see that the two are aimed at different markets. The iPod touch is pocket friendly whereas the iPad mini is handbag and man-bag friendly. The issue is that there is only a £20 price difference between the two. So whilst I don’t think they’re overlapping products, the prices are definitely too close. It makes the iPod touch look a bit like a rip-off to the casual Apple shopper. It may even lead people to buy the wrong device if they go purely on specs.

As we’re talking price lets get it out of the way, it’s £269 for the entry-level wifi only model. This is perhaps a tad too much. The 16 GB Google Nexus 7 can be had for £199. Whilst yes, I do think over the lifespan of the iPad the extra £70 will pay dividends in terms of use and app selection. The mini will after all be able to use every single iPad App Store app. What android tablet can use every one of its apps? I just think that when put beside a comparable product for a customer who ‘just wants to use facebook and browse the web’ seeing the two side by side they’ll be hard pressed to see what their extra money is getting them.

The other curious thing about the iPad event (I’m steering clear of Mac talk right now) is the decision to replace the third gen iPad with the new forth gen one. Why? Well obviously because they want to put the new lightning connector in and upgrade the processor (we can’t be having the phone being faster than the tablet now can we?) but it does just smack of a bit of a slap in the face to all the people who bought an iPad third gen. The damn thing is months old, not years. It also leaves a hole in their next quarter. The iPad event is traditionally held in February/March. I wonder what will fill the void? Maybe the much rumoured TV?

So as an iPad 2 owner will I be upgrading? Nope. Especially as they’re still keeping the iPad 2 alive as their entry level full sized iPad model. This should hopefully mean that mine will be getting the upgrade to iOS 7 next autumn. I will however be looking into the iPad Mini product line when it is time to replace my iPad. The only downside I can see to the smaller screen is the reduced keyboard real estate. This will definitely be a device for consuming media rather than creating it. It’s bad enough typing a document on the full sized iPad with its full sized keyboard, so this will be horrendous. I do however think the smaller screen will make it far easier to travel with, thus increasing its usefulness infinitely. Why have a third device if it’s just going to stay at home like my iPad does? I can definitely see the Mini being carried around with me far more, especially if I plump for the cellular model, making email, quick fixes to documents and sharing photos a breeze.

So to recap. I like the mini. It’s cute, it’s playful, but it might just be a touch too pricey.

By Ian Dutton

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3 comments

  1. A touch too pricy like most apple products imo.

    To me it looks like an oversized ipod.

  2. I share your sentiments 🙂

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