A week with the iPad Mini
I have heard nothing but love for the iPad Mini, so I thought I’d take a week and force myself away from my 4th generation iPad.
Some context. I love the iPad, but I may not be a typical consumer user. I tend to use it more during the 9-5 hours, consuming email, calendar notifications, and pounding content into Evernote. I don’t read ebooks, watch Netflix or play games. I’m a boring, corporate blue, enterprise user. That said, here is what I found during my week with the Mini.
Day 1. I miss Retina, the big screen, and I want my big iPad back! Reaching for my 4th gen iPad was a natural and consistent behavior throughout the week. It’s not that I disliked the Mini, I just wanted the other iPad back. However, there were still some things that I really liked about the Mini.
- Beautifully designed hardware. The design takes cues from the iPhone 5 that give it a nicer feel and look as compared to the iPad 4.
- Lighter. Lighter is better, no doubt about that.
- No performance drawbacks. Really amazing that I could switch to the Mini and still have all of my apps work flawlessly and with the same performance.
Despite these benefits, I think the form factor of the full sized iPad just works better for the way I use a tablet. I think the Mini provides only incremental usability over my iPhone, where the iPad 4 gives me enough extra screen to really provide a transformed experience - it’s possible that’s just in my mind. Given that I have an iPhone 5 and a MacBook Air it’s tough to justify owning an iPad, but the Mini just seems a bit too phone-like to justify the purchase. My feelings about the Mini may even have something to do with a tablet gender divide. Interesting.
We saw the 7-inch devices having more traction with women, while the larger 10-inch devices had more traction with men.
With my one-week Mini test behind me, I have switched back to the big bad iPad.
My approximate personal device usage in an average week. iPhone 5: 80%. iPad v4: 15%. Macbook Air: 5%.