So much news. So much hype. The new Apple iPad Mini sure has made waves this Holiday shopping season! But is it for you?
That all depends. Here’s one non-techie family’s own experience with the new iPad Mini. Read it – then decide for yourself if an iPad Mini should be on your wish list.
Hey Mom, We Want a New iPad for Christmas!
We are a family hooked on our iPad. But our iPad is old! Like, generation 1 old! So of course, we were intrigued with the pending release of the iPad 4, with it’s impressive retina display and uber-fast A6X chip. Yep, that’s right! The iPad Mini wasn’t even on our radar.
At least it wasn’t until I got my hands on it at our local Apple store. And on it’s debut night, no less! My initial reaction – despite the naysayers over the lack of retina display and slower A5 chip, I loved it! I almost bought a 32GB Mini on the spot but instead, called my teenage son. Yep, I listened when he talked me off the cliff , “Mom, you know the iPad 4 is where it’s at.” Silly me! I walked away, leaving that uber-cool looking Mini behind. 🙁
That same teenager was singing a different tune six days later when I dragged him with me to an iMac class. It took him less than 10 minutes in the Apple store to whisper in my ear, “Mom, you HAVE to get the iPad Mini! I’ll even pay half!” That’s right – this teen who’d been hording his hard earned money for months suddenly was willing to part with every single penny of it, all for the iPad Mini.
After intense negotiations, we came to an agreement – he’d pay half, and we’d kick in the other half as an early Christmas gift. Sold! Or not! Guess I should have bought it that first night – it took several days and an increase in gigabytes before we finally got that Mini! 🙂
The hunt for the elusive iPad Mini – Worth it?
We – I say we because until December 25th, that iPad Mini is still half mine! – have had the Mini for 3 weeks now. And trust me, it’s been put to the test, including an eight hour flight in a fourteen hour Thanksgiving travel odyssey. It’s been game on, movies watched, music enjoyed, and blogging tested. It’s been fought over and drooled over. But most of all, it’s been used almost non-stop since the day it entered our house.
What’s our verdict? Was it worth the time spent to hunt it down?
The Teen’s iPad Mini Pros
- The smallness that is the device means it’s so lightweight and easy to hold.
- Good screen, even for movies!
- Cool look – so important to those teens.
- That awesome Facetime HD camera – Combined with a camera app or two, using it on little brother provided lots of fun photo manipulation and entertainment.
- Great battery life – One full-length movie, six TV series episodes, countless gaming apps, and those awesome photos of little bro’ being goofy, and yet it lasted the complete fourteen hour travel day, with battery life to spare!
The Teen’s iPad Mini Cons
- No retina display – ok, he’s read other reviews. It truly wasn’t a factor for him.
- Small screen – again, he read the reviews. He personally had no issues with the smaller screen but acknowledged others might.
- Price – hey, he had to pay with his own money!
The teen’s conclusion: Does he regret spending his hard earned cash on an iPad Mini? A resounding absolutely not! He is completely happy with it. So much so, his Kindle Fire has been relegated to a back seat, appearing only when books are to be read, or an Amazon movie to be watched.
Mom’s iPad Mini Pros
- The overall small size is great – it fits into my purse!
- Good screen display – hey, I also just moved up from an iPad 1. I’m fine with the Mini display.
- That A5 chip is so much faster than my iPad 1. No issues with processing speed for my applications.
- That battery life is most impressive. We also had the iPad 1 on the trip odyssey for little bro’ to use – battery died after a few short hours.
- Price – considering I was looking at a new iPad 4, the Mini saved me money.
Mom’s iPad Mini Cons
- The small screen may not be ideal if you have older, tired eyes like me. Editing/typing blog stuff was not impossible, just more challenging. But I could still do it.
- No retina display. In a side-by-side comparison with the 4, you can see the difference, most notably when reading books. I do prefer my Kindle for reading books.
- The A5 chip = slower processing speed when compared with an iPad 4. Not inherently noticeable, but might become so with larger, more intensive, demanding applications.
- Price – It may be less than an iPad 4, but it is still an expensive device.
The Mom’s conclusion: Mixed. Love the iPad Mini, still considering an iPad 4 down the road. Why? The larger screen size, retina display, and the A6X chip.
Final iPad Mini Thoughts:
Decide if retina display is a must. If you already own an Apple device with retina display, the lack of it could be bothersome. We don’t have a retina display device so it wasn’t an issue for us. My suggestion – do a side by side comparison of the two devices.
Don’t skimp on gigabytes. From a price standpoint, the 16GB version might be appealing, and it might be easier to find in stock, however, you might quickly find yourself out of storage space. We initially wanted a 32GB iPad Mini, but there were none to be found. Faced with choosing between no Mini or a 64GB Mini, we opted to bump up to the 64GB and are very glad we did. That iPad Mini now? It’s already loaded with over 40GB of stuff. My suggestion – get as much GB as your wallet can afford. You will use it.
Want all the techno-mumble jumble? Go to the Apple iPad Mini website page for all the ins and outs of this device. This handy iPad comparison table is also helpful when deciding between Apple’s different iPads.
Getting your hands on this hot little device.
It’s not so easy! And you aren’t likely to find it on sale any time soon. However, there are at least three places where you’ll save a little on that purchase.
- Target – Use your Target REDCard and get 5% cash back off the price. If you are fortunate enough to also have received other Target coupons such as the $10 off or the additional 5% shopping day, these can also be used to bring the price down.
- BestBuy – Use your BestBuy Reward Zone card and get $5 back for every $250 spent.
- Mr. Rebates – Buying online? Check Mr. Rebates or other similar programs for possible cash back offers. Apple currently offers 2% cash back with Mr. Rebates.
Ordering directly from Apple: There is currently a two-week shipping time. Don’t delay if you want it wrapped and underneath the tree on December 25th!
Apple Store Tip: If you have an Apple store nearby, check the website each night at 10:00 pm. If your local store will have inventory the next day, you can place your order at that time for in-store pickup the next day.
Are you in the market for a new tablet? What are your thoughts about the iPad Mini? Do you think it’s “just the perfect fit” for your next tablet? Let us know your thoughts in the Comments section below.
Learn more about the Target REDCard at Get A Target REDCard & Supercharge Your Purchases.
Learn more about Mr. Rebates at Save More With Mr. Rebates.
Images from Apple.com