To Buy or Not to Buy - Apple iPad Mini

Apple debuted the iPad mini this week, with a screen two-thirds smaller than the full model, and half the weight. With a 7.9-inch screen, the iPad mini will allow the convenience of being able to take pictures, browse the web, watch video, read books and listen to music on a well designed device that's pancake thin.

The iPad mini will compete with Google's Asus-made Nexus 7, with which Apple made rather derisory on-stage comparisons at the launch, along with Amazon's Kindle Fire HD and other rival tablets from Samsung and Barnes & Noble. 

Apple has today started pre-orders for the iPad mini, with the base model of the firm's new small-screen tablet rumoured to have already sold out of initial stocks worldwide.

However the release presents me with a problem should I go for the more practical tablet or enter the mini space world?

In true Apple fashion the invite gave us a cheeky tease, stating: "We've got a little more to show you."

Just as the iPad mini launch was getting ready to start, a last-minute rumour came in to say that Apple already had iPad mini Smart Covers ready and waiting.
Apparently set to be named iPad mini Smart Cover, that pretty much ended other rumours that the shrunken iPad might be called the iPad Nano.

The device has a 7.9-inch Multi-Touch Retina display, compared with the 9.7-inch display in the main iPad, and is powered by the new Apple-designed A6X chip. 

The iPad mini, clearly aimed at taking sales from the Nexus 7 tablet that Google are selling and the Kindle Fire from Amazon.com.

The iPad mini is available in two colour options, black & slate or white & silver. Built with an aluminium and glass body, the iPad mini is just 7.2mm thick and weighs only 0.68 pounds. It boasts an estimated 10 hours of battery life and has FaceTime HD and iSight cameras.

Apple intends to sell the WiFi-only iPad mini models first, and then later launch versions that can support WiFi and 3G/4G connectivity. 

I have been looking into the iPad now for a few weeks and I have familiarised myself with all the features and functions. The only thing delaying my decision was the rumoured unveil of the iPad mini this week. Figuring out which one is best-suited to me seems to be coming down to price, weight and features . To me the most impressive improvement is the battery life; Apple has managed to give the iPad mini an impressive 10-hr battery life despite the tablet being so thin. The other point that I must think about is that the smaller iPad is clearly aimed at classrooms and readers. How long will it be before all our children decide that they need to take the iPad to school to reduce the school back load?

Some specs I needed to see before I could decide:
-- iPad v4
• Height:9.50 inches (241.2 mm)
• Width: 7.31 inches (185.7 mm)
• Depth:0.37 inch (9.4 mm)
• Weight (Wi-Fi): 1.44 pounds (652 g)
• 9.7-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit Multi-Touch display with IPS technology
• 2048-by-1536 resolution at 264 pixels per inch (ppi)
• Dual-core A6X with quad-core graphics
• FaceTime HD camera - 1.2MP photos - 720p HD video
• Main camera: 5MP photos - 1080p HD video recording
• Up to 10 hours of surfing the web on Wi-Fi, watching video, or listening to music

- iPad mini
• Height:7.87 inches (200 mm)
• Width:5.3 inches (134.7 mm)
• Depth:0.28 inch (7.2 mm)
• Weight (Wi-Fi):0.68 pound (308 g)
• 7.9-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit Multi-Touch display with IPS technology
• 1024-by-768 resolution at 163 pixels per inch (ppi)
• Dual-core A5
• FaceTime HD camera - 1.2MP photos - 720p HD video
• Main camera: 5MP photos - 1080p HD video recording
• Up to 10 hours of surfing the web on Wi-Fi, watching video, or listening to music


- Chromebook
• 11.6'' (1366x768) display
• 0.7 inches thin - 2.42 lbs / 1.1 kg
• Over 6.5 hours of battery 1


- Samsung Exynos 5 Dual Processor (ARM based)
• 100 GB Google Drive Cloud Storage2 with Solid State Drive
• Built-in dual band Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n
• VGA Camera
• 1x USB 3.0, 1x USB 2.0
• HDMI Port
• Bluetooth 3.0™ Compatible

An interesting fact is that analysts expect the Apple to sell 5 million to 10 million iPad minis before the year is out. Apple shares fell 3.3% to $613.36 when the price was announced. Shares of its rivals rose.

Alongside the iPad mini, Apple has today started pre-orders for the fourth-generation iPad that was also announced on Tuesday.

Still not sure but I am leaning towards the iPad mini!!

 


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