I have been going on and on about an iPad mini for quite some time now. The smaller screen allows for less guilt when using it in class. The smaller screen makes it more portable in a bag already packed to the gills with books, papers, folders and other important things. The smaller screen allows the device to be cheaper overall. That’s the theory.
The iPad mini meets that theory well, but I have high standards. The iPad mini didn’t live up to my expectations in these areas:
- the screen: lacking an high resolution display, the iPad mini is not even close to a retina-display device. Other devices of less cost have pixel densities higher than that of the iPad mini. Despite Apple’s touting that the Nexus 7 browser has less screen real-estate, the Nexus 7 shows more pixels on a single screen so it’s not quite as fair. Nobody is going to make a big deal about the density disparity the iPad line presents (where two-thirds of the lineup are non-retina devices), but I don’t like it. To fix that problem, Apple might pull the plug on the current generation iPad mini earlier than expected like they did with the six-month old iPad 3, introducing the iPad 4th generation today as well.
- the pricing: $329 isn’t that much more than $299, the entry price of the 5th generation iPod touch. It’s fine, I paid that price easily when I bought my iPod touch 4th generation two years ago when I take Apple Care into account. Nobody will have a problem with the price when actually buying one, but combining the iPad mini’s slightly higher price with Apple Care and the inevitable purchase of a Smart Cover, you’re looking at an easy $150 increase. I wanted the iPad mini to be cheap enough to buy another one instead of relying on Apple Care.
Even though my expectations weren’t quite met, there were positive points:
- the camera: the camera is the same iPod touch 5th generation camera, which from what I hear, is great — it’s not a cheap joke that the iPad 2 was telling everyone every time they took a picture.
- the design: the Chamfer (the beveled edge on the bezel) is beautiful and it was smart to carry that to the iPad mini. The colors and the seamlessness are great. Usually I dislike the white models of Apple products because the black screen surrounded by white edges seems constricting, and that’s true with the iPad mini as well, but Apple has improved their white products. The Chamfer is really highlighted with the white model, where it’s more obscure with the black model.
So. With all that, will I buy one?
I’ll let you know on November 2nd.