It’s been just over a week since my regular UPS delivery man dropped off Apple’s latest iPad at my home. I’ve had almost 8 days to load it with my favorite apps, rediscover some old ones and find new ones. I wrote my full review on Monday, and after a few more days with it, my opinion hasn’t changed much, I still love it.
Within the first weekend, I’d happily stopped using my larger 3rd gen iPad and replaced it with the mini. The only thing I’ve missed about the iPad 3 is the Retina display. That’s it. For my most common uses: Facebook, twitter, Flipboard, casual browsing/gaming and messaging, the iPad mini is so much more convenient than its big brother. It’s lighter, slimmer, and you can hold it in one hand without getting severe cramp in your forearm after 30 mins. Simply put: the Retina-equipped iPad feels too big now. It’s heavy and requires both hands. As much as I love the higher resolution display, the other trade-offs don’t make it worthwhile to pick it up.
One of the biggest plus points is the camera. Apple didn’t have to pay too much attention to the quality of the lens/sensor setup, but, some of the results are comparable with the iPhone 4S’ “point-and-shoot quality” set up. To check a gallery of some photographs I took and the 1080p sample video head on over to my camera sample article.
I had a bit of an epiphany yesterday (don’t go expecting Mother Theresa, Dalai Lama or Ghandi insight here, it wasn’t that much of an enlightening experience). The only reason I’ve had to use my 9.7″ iPad is for my ZAGGKeys PROPlus, which essentially turns it in to a workstation. The keyboard is awesome with the iPad, but turns it in to a laptop replacement. In fact, I’d rather use my iPad with ZAGG keyboard (on my lap) for typing up reviews than using my MacBook. Essentially, the iPad mini now does what the larger iPad did for me, whereas the iPad 3 coupled with the PROPlus has replaced my MacBook for distraction free work out-of-office. The enlightenment: my iPad is my laptop. I told you not to expect anything majorly insightful.
Back to the mini. Yes, I wish it had a faster processor. I often play games like FIFA 13, Sky Gamblers or Agent Dash and wish it had a better display. But, whenever I’ve switched to my iPad 3 to play the same game, I’ve put it down again just because of its size. The iPad mini is more personal, and more convenient. It’s like picking up a book with a few pictures in versus picking up a mammoth encyclopedia full of high-res glossy images. Sure, the encyclopedia is impressive, but it’s not something I want to carry around all day, or pick up casually. I need a reason to go there. The iPad 3 is no longer the default pick-me-up device it used to be.
With a Retina display and an A6X chip, the iPad mini would be the perfect device.
To ask me any questions about my time with the iPad mini, feel free to hit me up on twitter: @TiP_Cam