Let’s offer some context.
My first tablet was the iPad 2, one that I purchased just after the third generation iPad came out. It was a good one, and I never had any real issues with it. Well, except for one thing – it was a little too big for me. Don’t get me wrong – it is by no means huge. The fact that the power of a personal computer could be mastered and buckled under a 10 inch tablet size is pretty fascinating.
However I find myself not using it as much as I would have liked to. It was an awkward choice when deciding what to take with me. I found myself picking the iPhone when I needed something portable but taking my Macbook Air when I needed to use something more powerful on the go; which made my iPad the third place choice for me. I ended up gifting it to my mother in law, who really wanted one, but didn’t get around to getting one yet.
Come around fall of last year – the announcement of the iPad mini. There were already heavy rumors indicating this product was in the works, but I tend to put little weight in the rumor mill. But once the iPad mini was announced, I knew I had something more up my alley than the iPad 2 was. I ended picking up one a few months later. And I have to say I loved it since then.
It went from being portable to super portable.You would think that two inches would mean a lot, but it makes all the difference to me. I think one of the reasons is it went from being portable to super portable. I am someone that often has relatively large pockets. And being able to pocket the iPad was a big deal – no more having one hand always holding a piece of expensive technology! Another impressive feat of the iPad mini is that it has the same power and capabilities of the iPad 2 and then some. Even the battery life of the device stayed practically the same – that’s awesome to me!
However there are some reservations that keep me from recommending the iPad mini for everyone. I have come to work around these reservations myself, but not everyone would be able to do so.
Firstly, the small keyboard – while it works for me when I need to type on the go, it’s not ideal for extensive typists. The larger iPad is one you can type on just as you would on a regular computer keyboard. The smaller one would allow you at best two fingers from each hand for typing purposes. Another point to keep in mind is that compared to the current generation iPad, the processor built in is kind of dated – it is sporting the same processor in the iPad 2. As a result, it is less powerful.
Does that matter? Well, it’s not going to be a problem for most users in my opinion, as the processor can run the latest and greatest applications. But it is to note that the full size current generation iPad may be the first choice for mobile gamers, for its speed and ability to handle graphics rendering a lot easier.
Lack of a Retina display isn’t that big of a concern on such a small display.One point people bring up sometimes is that the iPad mini doesn’t have a Retina display. This does not bother me a whole lot, as the smaller screen packs the pixels closer, minimizing the advantage of a high resolution display. To be fair, I personally do not use iPad for purposes that would benefit from a higher resolution – most of my work involves reading and writing, as I reserve most of my work with video and photos to my computer. But I believe this point is made much of, and I don’t it is that big of a concern in a practical situation, on such a small display.
All in all, I find the iPad mini a great option if you’re on the go a lot, like myself, and if you want something you can pocket or put into a handbag. It’s not a question of which kind of iPad is portable – they both are. It’s a question of which one is ultra-portable. And the iPad mini obviously wins hands down.