The iPad mini Review
I was in an airplane this June, flying towards San Francisco, a six-hour flight from Birmingham, en route to a design expo. On either side of me were developers and executives also flying to San Francisco for Googleʼs I/O conference. Twenty minutes into it we all pulled out iPads, and thatʼs when the problems started-since most airplanes were designed in the seventies and eighties, they didnʼt think bout what if someone had a touchscreen device on those pop-out trays. The iPad fit on them fine, but typing on them became challenging-we were constantly elbowing each other! As developer and design types do, we talked about a seemingly specific problem-the iPad seemed to be too big to use in a cramped environment.
Iʼm going to be very honest-I love my iPad. I love the freedom it gives me most of the time. Coming from the design world, I put myself into situations where I need a laptop sometimes, but that need is ever narrowing. Having spent a day with the iPad mini, however, I have one thing to say:
I want this in the most unreasonable way.
If the original iPad is suited for reading magazines, this iPad is suited for reading books- itʼs definitely filling a spot where Kindle Fire and Even Barnes and Nobleʼs Nook readers held-a paperback-sized tablet. Unlike the Nook, the mini is a tablet that does everything, and unlike the Fire, it is blazingly fast, thanks to the A5 Dual-Core chip.
Feature the iPad has had for a while, like the cameras, seem easier to use on the mini. Taking photos with the rear camera no longer feels like youʼre holding a flat press camera, although itʼs still more conspicuous than using a smartphone. You can thumb type on the mini without having to split the keyboard, and the barely there bezel makes it a pleasure to do so. The mini itself is barely there-this is far from scientifically accurate, but the mini without a case feels like it weighs as much as my iPhone 4 without a case.
Should you buy it?
YES. You get the power and convenience of an iPad, but in a smaller, more mobile package-if youʼre on the go, this is a cinch to stuff into a messenger bag or backpack, or your pocket if youʼre a freak.
One of the only cons of the iPad mini is the price-it starts at $329, versus the Nexus 7 at $229 and the Fire HD at $199 Thatʼs the kind of premium that will deter a lot of buyers, especially if they already have an iPad. But if you have a laptop and need something ore mobile, that price gets you a well-designed and dependable product.
iPad mini is the kind of product I wish I had for travel-on an airplane headed towards San Francisco, I could have actually been more productive with a smaller product.