The iPad Mini—Practically Perfect In Every Way

by Randy Murray on December 6, 2012

I am gobsmacked. For all of the years of speculation about a miniature versions of the iPad and even after seeing it released I was positive that I did not need or want one. I’ve been an iPad 1st generation user since the very beginning. I wasn’t just happy with the original iPad—I’ve used it every day for reading news, doing real work, and for entertainment. I even used it instead of a laptop for travel, including work travel. It was and is a remarkable computing device.

I dutifully looked at the subsequent iPads and noted their generational improvements, but without much real desire or motivation to upgrade.

And then I made the mistake of touching an iPad Mini.

It is, in my considered opinion, the Mary Poppins of tablets.

I wasn’t just excited about the differences, I was completely knocked off my feet. The thing is shockingly thin. It’s manufacturing quality is so fine that it feels like a single machined piece of fused metal and glass. I’ve described it to others as an example of alien technology.

I’ve been using mine, a white 16 gigabyte WiFi model, with a gray smart cover, and it isn’t just portable, it’s difficult for me to put down. I can’t keep my hands off it. During my recent recovery from neck surgery, when I’ve been restricted from lifting, and frankly, have found it difficult to get comfortable, I found that I could comfortably use the iPad Mini to read, surf, communicate, and view. It’s an amazing platform for FaceTime, which we’ve come to use frequently communicating with our daughters (one in NYC, the other at school in Providence, RI).

I am quite happy with my iPhone 5, but I am nuts about my iPad Mini. I believe that Apple doesn’t just have a successful product with the iPad Mini. It’s clear to me that this is another mega hit. They will literally sell every one as fast as they can make them for months to come.

Here’s another sign that it’s a hit. Everyone in my family, including my mother and my rather tech-disinterested wife, has asked for one. My oldest daughter and I, both 1st generation iPad users, have sold our old models on eBay for remarkably good prices and have already made the move. I sold my 64 gigabyte model for enough that the cost to move to the iPad mini was just $50. My daughter’s 16 gigabyte model made it an $80 upgrade for her.

And those complaining about the screen? They’re comparing it to the Retina screens, which are remarkable. I’m writing this on my new Retina MacBook Pro and it is a glorious display. But I don’t miss it or really care about it on the iPad Mini. The screen is excellent. It’s fine. And I’d rather have the thinness and amazing battery-use time over a slightly better screen and the higher cost it might bring.

You’ve been warned. If you’re happy with your current iPad for frack’s sake don’t touch an iPad Mini!

Disclosure: I am a long-time Apple stock holder and an advocate of all things Apple since 1987.

The The iPad Mini—Practically Perfect In Every Way by Randy Murray, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

John V. Keogh December 6, 2012 at 11:44 am

I was afraid of this. Just sold my iPad 1 and not got a new one yet. The retina screen and Siri are important factors to me.

Reply

Randy Murray December 6, 2012 at 2:02 pm

Siri works fine on the iPad Mini.

And to me, the Retina display isn’t a deal breaker.

Reply

Sam White December 6, 2012 at 6:29 pm

I agree–the iPad Mini is pretty awesome.

But I really think that it’s only capable of blowing away people who either use the iPad as a their primary tablet, but not their primary computer, or people whose primary computer is junky budget box.

My plan is to use my iPad as a primary computer, not just a primary tablet. That means I’ll be writing code and words, editing some webpage layouts, and doing a whole lot of web browsing from it. I’ll be getting rid of my laptop, but I’ll keep my desktop war machine on hand (Two portrait monitors, need I say more). I haven’t bought my tablet yet, but I’ve borrowed others and used them to replace my laptop.
Once I used the Mini, once an iPad 2, and once I used a third-generation iPad.
When you’re replacing your laptop, you really do appreciate the extra screen size. The Mini is the best tablet, but it’s not the best mobile computer. I don’t think the current generation iPad is the best tablet, mostly because of its size, but I do think it can be one of the best mobile computers.

Reply

Luis December 6, 2012 at 6:54 pm

Glad to see you’re getting better after your surgery!

Reply

Leave a Comment

{ 1 trackback }

  • MacBook Pro 13-inch with Retina Display—Powerful and Compact — First Today, Then Tomorrow December 11, 2012

Previous post:

Next post: