Even though the TN editorial staff use a variety of devices and operating systems, every new Apple product announcement provokes a long discussion thread on our private chatroom about the new gadget, and whether it’s worth getting one. Here are our thoughts on the new iPad mini and the other refreshed products Apple announced a day ago.
I’m writing this from the Bay Area, and right after the product launch I hit all the Apple Stores (including the one at headquarters) to see if I could somehow check out a demo unit. Unfortunately it seemed all the iPad Minis were at the launch event; the earliest the public can get their hands on one is on November 2nd.
I’m quite surprised by a couple of things; the rear facing camera, for one. (That’s good). The non-Retina display was not so much of a surprise because most of the rumors predicted it. The lack of GPS on WiFi only units was also a disappointment. (Again, Apple! See my iPod Touch review)
But the price point definitely was a surprise – considering that Google and Amazon are selling very capable 7″ tablets for much cheaper, I think Apple is counting on their app ecosystem and vaunted design and build quality to justify the added cost.
I wanted to be blown away by the iPad Mini because right now I’m really tempted by the Nexus 7. I’ll wait until after I get my hands on a display unit on the 2nd of November to decide. But right now, based on what I saw at the launch, the Nexus 7 is still a very strong contender for my money.
The iPad mini is bad news… for the bigger iPad, that is. Why? Because the mini will be the new normal for Apple tablets. The larger iPad Retinas may be more gorgeous visually, but henceforth they have now become premium products that fewer people will go for. Most everybody who’s out to get a tablet will go gaga for the mini.
Will I get one? Eventually, to replace my iPad 2, but it’s not a pressing need. Particularly because I’m still wary of switching to the new port that it uses. Plus aside from having a better camera (and a backside logo that lights up), there’s nothing it can do that the iPad 2 can’t.
Will I get one for my mom? Nah, it’s too small. I’d give her… my iPad 2.
It’s wait and see for me. I’m still on the fence on how more useful it is downsized. Right now, I use my iPad 2 mainly for viewing videos with my wife, and occasionally, believe or not, I also use it to type up reviews. Can I do that on the iPad mini? Definitely. Will it be as enjoyable, though, on its smaller display? Ahhh. Now, that’s something only a hands-on review can answer.
And right now, after having spent the past few days with the Galaxy Note 2, Sammy’s new phablet is at the top of my compact tablet shortlist.
But hey, we’ll see. After all, there once was a time I said I’d never go for a Samsung smartphone, and here I am now. Going googoo and gaga over the Note 2.
The iPad mini can do everything that my iPad 2 can, in a much smaller and lighter package, so it’s no brainer for me: an iPad mini will definitely be replacing my iPad 2. The non-Retina Display screen isn’t a dealbreaker for me. I’d rather have small and light than a high pixel density. About the only gripe I have is the switch to the new Lightning connector — I’ll have to get a whole new set of adapters (VGA, HDMI, etc.) to use in my classes and seminars.
Prior to the announcement of the iPad mini, I had been looking and looking at the Kindle Paperwhite as something that can help me get back to reading books again, but the iPad mini’s size and weight looks just right for an ebook reader. One of the reasons I didn’t read as much as I expected on the iPad 2 was the size — it was just a pain to get it out of a small bag and to hold it up for long periods; it just wasn’t handy.
The rest of the products unveiled — iPad with Retina Display, MacBook Pro 13′ with Retina Display, new iMacs, refreshed Mac minis — are nice, but I don’t see myself getting any of them in the next year or so.
What about you, the readers? Who’s getting one and why or why not?
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