iPad Mini: Why I am buying one as soon as possible

iPad Mini: Why I am buying one as soon as possible

Summary: Even though I have no shortage of tablets, if the iPad Mini is announced as expected I will be buying one. I won't be holding off to think about it either, I will order one as soon as possible.

TOPICS: iPad, Android, Tablets
JK Tablets (600x262)

You could say tablets are in my blood. I have been using them for over a decade, starting with the old-school Tablet PC. I have traded up more often than I care to admit and currently own four tablets.

My love of the tablet caused me to jump on the first iPad at launch. It also prompted me to get the first Android tablet, the Galaxy Tab. That tablet first exposed me to the benefits of a 7-inch tablet. 

More recently I picked up a third generation iPad which is an outstanding tablet. I use it for both leisure activities as you would expect for a tablet, but also to get real work done. 

It hit me squarely that if there was a smaller iPad I would not ever be using the Nexus 7. While the Android apps are good and the Nexus operation is OK, a smaller iPad would be better in every way.

When Google started selling the Nexus 7 I wasted no time grabbing one. I already knew how useful a smaller tablet can be, and the Nexus 7 hasn't disappointed me in that regard. Even though I still use the iPad quite a bit, more often than not I end up grabbing the Nexus 7.

The improvements Google incorporated into the latest version of Android, Jelly Bean, go a long way to making the Nexus 7 work well. The Project Butter features in Jelly Bean finally bring a smooth operation to Android. I have used the Nexus 7 heavily since buying it, with no complaints.

So why am I planning on buying an iPad Mini as soon as possible?

To tell the truth I only came to this decision recently. I used only the Nexus 7 for a week not long ago with no issues. This was not a conscious decision, I simply ended up grabbing the Nexus 7 instead of the iPad due to the more comfortable tablet size.

I spend a heck of a lot of time using a tablet and the smaller Nexus 7 is more comfortable to use. I can do everything I want with it and hold it for long periods. It's just the right size for extended use.

When I realized it had been days since using the iPad I started picking up the iPad instead of the Google tablet. The more I used the iPad the more firmly I realized how much better the experience is compared to the Nexus 7. While I have good apps on both Android and iOS, the iPad apps are better at what they do. The interface of every app I use on the iPad is better than the equivalent app on Android. The features of the iPad apps are carefully tailored to fit the interface, more so than the Android equivalents.

The iPad operates more fluidly than even Jelly Bean on the Nexus, and it never frustrates me with lags or interruptions. The more I use the iPad the more I realize the only reason I have been picking up the Nexus 7 is due to the more comfortable size of the latter.

It hit me squarely that if there was a smaller iPad I would not ever be using the Nexus 7. While the Android apps are good and the Nexus operation is OK, a smaller iPad would be better in every way.

This is not the first time I have come to realize how much better the iPad is than the Nexus 7 for me, but the fact it's a recurring observation is telling. No matter how much effort I put into Android and the Nexus 7 it keeps falling short.

This is strictly my opinion and not intended to persuade anyone to do anything. I firmly believe everyone should use the device that fits their own needs and that they enjoy using. My opinion is not based on speculation, this is my observation formed after hundreds of hours of using both the iPad and Android tablets. While the Android tablets are not bad, the iPad is simply better for me in every way. 

Apple has not admitted there will be an iPad Mini, but I sure hope it produces one. It will be a product I will buy as soon as it goes on sale, and that's a rarity for me. I would gladly pay double what I paid for the Nexus 7, which says a lot. I am probably not alone in how badly I want an iPad Mini.

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Topics: iPad, Android, Tablets

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  • 7" Windows 8 Tablet please

    That coupled with project glass = godsend when I do my hospital rounds
    • For rt?

      I think 7" win rt is going to happen, not quite so sure about win 8 full tablets, but if it can be done, the great thing about OEM partners is that someone will.

      As for iPad mini, I'm still skeptical. Not about how good it would/could be - there's enough iOS devices about to know if you like it or not. My skepticism comes from apples pricing.

      Ipod shuffle £40
      Ipod nano £130
      Ipod touch (old) £150
      Ipod classic £199
      Ipod touch new £250
      Ipad 10" (old) £329
      Ipad 10" new £399
      IPhones 329 and up.

      They just don't seem to have left any room in their ios pricing slots for a new 2-300 device that wont impact the surrounding products. If they do introduce a smaller pad, the signs to me suggest it would coincide with a new larger pad, or ipad price adjustment to facilitate this.
      • No technical problem

        The latest Intel Atom, the Clover Trail Z2760 is, on paper anyway, comparable to a dual-core ARM Cortex A9 at the same clock speed in both performance and power consumption. While matching ARM doesn't exactly seem an earthshaking event (particularly given Intel's using much smaller chip design rules to do this, and it's matching ARM's last-generation CPU core), if this works in practice it suggests that one could have an x86 Windows 8 device following the profile of any ARM Windows 8 device.

        This is good in one way, bad in another. On the good side of things, an x86 device may offer advantages to the user. It can run regular Windows apps (more on that in the "bad" paragraph) as well as WinRT/Metro apps. Microsoft is still following x86 PC anti-trust rules, so if Intel's not gouging on price for these chips (a pretty big "if"), Z2760 based tablets could actually hit the market for less than ARM tablets. And of course, they aren't locked in to the Windows Store for all software support, or the whims of Microsoft for the eventual Windows 9 upgrade.

        On the bad side, you may still lose part of the tablet experience. Obviously, the "classic" Windows applications want mice and keyboards, not touchscreens, so there's some limit on value here. And also, there's the relative CPU performance. When you have a current tablet for iOS or Android, you have the top-of-the-line performer for all of those apps. The tablet is fast. The Z2760 is still an Atom, the same CPU line that powered the original Netbooks. It's dual core, and can be clocked slightly higher than last year's Netbooks, but many will relate that desktop apps just plain crush a Netbook. They will your new Atom-based tablet, too.

        I know Microsoft's planning their Surface Pro around a laptop processor, an Ivy Bridge series, probably some version of the i5, which will make it more competitive to mid-range laptops on performance. But that's also where you start to wonder if a $700+ tablet will sell, even if it's effectively a full laptop in performance. Also to consider is the battery life... if you don't get 8-12 hours of real use out of a tablet, you're missing the main point of having a tablet.

        And then there's storage... the Surface units max out at 128GB, plus SD card. That's not horrible, but then again, you're thinking about installing some real Windows applications. How big is the C: drive on your laptop or desktop these days? I have 64GB on my Android tablet, another 64GB in microSDXC, and that's very comfortable for Android. I assume it would be similar for WinRT/Metro. For Windows Classic, not even close, to match my desktop setup. Now, if I left off everything that wouldn't run well on a 10" tablet... there's a chance.
        • Thanks, i didn't know atom and arm were so closely marched now.

          The software has alsways come easier to me than the hardware. Is that for single or dual core clover trails? I know moto are using a single core in their new razr and have indicated good power usage, though they're using a 2Ghz which is higher than most dual arms if I'm correct?

          Linking back to my first post, I was just wondering how windows 8 would cope with the form factor; redyced battery capacity and space for heat dissupation? Also was wondering if the need for a minimum of 32gb and higher flash plus larger amounts of ram needed would be feasable?

          In terms of windows 8 on atom, I'm not currently experiencing any additional issues with it on my 2GB mini itx board on an old n270, over a virtual machine assigned 2cores and 8gb ram... Obviously it's not as fast, but no real issues.

          To be completely honest I'm not that excited about a ipad mini... Now an ipad pro that can run full MacOS... Now you're talking; especially if it comes with bootcamp.
      • Different markets

        I think overall the iPad "mini" fits good in the $200-$300 range. Sure, it will eat into some iPod Touch sales but if you are looking for a small portable touch screen media player such as the Touch that you put in you pocket or a belt holster is the iPad "mini" really an alternative? I think they are different enough in size that they won't compete too much with each other. For the person just looking for a media device for around the house, the "mini" will probably win over but on the go I see the Touch being the better option.
    • The most spectacular opinion James

      Apple came to stay... it simply set so high standards that a bunch of open source hippies cannot simply meet....!!!

      Bravo James...!!! Bravo Apple...!!
      • Troll alert

        Do not feed.
        • Not even just a nibble?

          Please? I love feeding trolls, they get all excited and drool all over themselves.
        • Trolling a troll

          Who's trolling who? The author of this article is a troll.

          He's all over Apple products like Fox news on the GOP -- all his articles boil down to two things 1) Praise Apple 2) Bash Windows/Android
          • Did you read the article or just jump to conclusions?

            Basically you are calling him an Apple fanboy but unlike Apple haters he states this is only his opinion and is not meant to sway anybodies decision making process. He compliments Android and Android tablets several times but all you see is bashing because overall he chooses Apple.
    • Wrong!!!

      Yeah, make sure you have all those patients Hipaa data on your typically unsecured hospital network.
      • Hospitals have had wireless networks for a decade.

        Are you sure they're unsecured? When I was in hospital back in 2003, my consultant came round with a laptop on a wireless network. The hospital didn't have a public network then, I remember; it's when I realised that my then new winxp laptop was pretty useless without the internet. This was also still when you couldn't use mobiles in hospitals and there was one tv per ward. Still they did save my leg after a crash, so all in all I don't think the entertainment mattered really!

        It seems odd that they'd have now gone to unsecured networking?
  • I want one too...

    I want one too, but will probably end up not getting one unless the rumored specs are false. The rumored specs show it to be very low end and low resolution... It may be that Apple will try to make the iPad Mini be a cheap version iPad instead of a smaller iPad... so I'm not buying an iPad 2 level iPad just because its smaller at the end of 2012. Someone tried to tell me they couldn't do better in that size of an iPad, so I asked how they could do better in an iPhone thats even smaller... uhh.. yeah, they could make a iPad Mini thats better than the iPad 3rd gen. I'd gladly pay extra, I don't want a smaller iPad to be cheap.
    • I would hate it to be low end

      If they make an iPad mini with less power than the new iPhone, that would be embarrassing and tarnish their image I think. I'd have to qualify statements when referring to iOS devices.
      If its power and resolutions is anywhere in between the latest iPhone 5 and iPad 3, anywhere in between, I would be happy getting one and recommending it, providing it lives up to the quality of the iPhones and iPads I've used.
      I really hope they go after the size market, and not the cheap one. More affordable yes, cheap with the budget specs to match, I hope not. It has to be a real alternative, not just something they can say is an iPad mini...
      • That's been my concern, too.

        People keep assuming an iPad Mini would be a lot cheaper than an iPad. If they make it cheaper, it's going to be because they sacrificed a lot of functionality in the form of lower resolution displays, lack of cameras, no GPS, or whatever else. Such a device will be the biggest disappointment possible and generate a lot of ill will. It cannot have all the same features and be priced lower.

        Think about it. A fully-equipped iPad costs around $800. A fully-equipped iPhone costs around $800, too. (without subsidies) Making a fully-equipped device which is halfway between the two in size will STILL cost $800. So, it comes down to one simple fact: A fully-equipped iPad Mini is either going to be cheaper by being severely feature-limited or be the same price as an equivalent iPhone or iPad.
        • Not Quite

          This is not quite accurate, that is how much a fully equipped iPhone/iPad sells to the consumer for. On average these products cost Apple around $150 to manufacture.

          This is why Amazon is able to offer the Kindle Fire HD at such a low cost, their plan is to sell the device at about their cost and make money from people shopping on Amazon, buying Kindle Books, Movies, Music, etc. and subscribing to Amazon Prime.

          It's a similar concept to the phone companies offering subsidized phones, the difference is since Amazon has already recovered their cost, they don't feel like they need to lock you into a two year contract.

          So, the point is Apple could decide to match this thought proces (unlikely, but they could) and price a quality iPad mini at a reasonable price.
          • You're around $100 off

            Most estimates place the cost of a top nexus 8 at around $150. Iphone and ipad costs seem to estimate between $220-260 depending on specs and such. Those figures of course don't include r&d, shipping, advertising, paying for retail stores& their on site repairs.

            I'm not apple's biggest fan; especially when it comes to pricing. However suggesting that they could basically sell an ipad for $200 is just misinformed. They sure aren't the tight products for everyone.

            As I have suggested previously, amazon's tactic is risky; they aren't the first to try it, though i hope the succeed. The problem with the strategy is that you are always playing catchup; covering the costs of your hardware and relying on profits from services doesn't leave much room for additional services and r&d has to be paid for from the companies general operating profit; ie amazon.com, not just the device itself.

            At the emd of the day having the choice is great. You have amazon devices for light users, apple devices for those that need the support and regulated os, and android users for those that like more choice.

            This is actually going to get better as windows comes in, along with many linux platforms waiting in the wings. Even before they enter the market we have a device for almost anyone. However pretending they are all the same at different sales prices just isn't correct.
          • Not saying they can do it but

            Isn't the iPhone 5 cost down to about $180? Or at least that was I believe I saw the other day.
    • It's an interesting niche

      Most of the rumors expect Apple to go directly against the Nexus 7 and the Amazon Kindle Fire with a 7 (or 7.8", depending on rumor), which would mandate a fairly low cost design. But really, when has Apple even worried about matching other companies on cost? Their big win has, since the 70s, been selling much the same technology in a very appealing package at twice the price.

      With the iPad Don't-Call-Me-3 starting at $499, and the new iPod Touch (which should have been rechristened the iPad Nano) at $299, the old iPod Touch still around at $199, I think this pretty much demands that the iPad Mini, if it ever materializes, starts at $399. Not that it's absolutely necessary to not price the Mini too close to the iPod, but that seems like something they'd do.
      • Could be.

        They could have the iPad mini replacing their iPad 2 in their lineup (phasing out iPad 2) and at that same price-point.

        iPod Touch 4 - $199.
        iPod Touch 5 - $299
        iPad mini - $399
        iPad - $499