Thoughts about the iPad mini

What can I say about the iPad mini that hasn't already been said?

  • I don't miss the Retina display as much as I thought I would, I love using Instapaper on the mini and the lower DPI isn't an issue.
  • Build quality is on par with the iPhone 5, very well made indeed.
  • It's much more practical than a full size iPad when used as a camera, but still clumsy.
  • The actual display is still quite sunken from the glass, like the other iPads, but unlike the iPhone or iPod touch where the display is very close to the glass.
  • The new hinge-less Smart Cover is a big improvement. The angle in upright is more obtuse and natural, also making the iPad more stable. I wish they made a black one though.
  • The weight reduction is the biggest difference you notice, Apple definitely have to focus on reducing the weight of the next 10" iPad over anything else. My iPad 3 feels incredibly heavy after using the mini.
  • It comes with an iPhone style charger (5W), not surprising considering the battery is under two-thirds of the capacity of the iPad 2.
  • I will probably regret not getting the cellular model.

The benefits of the lightweight iPad mini are apparent immediately. I don't think it's the size or price that will drive sales of the iPad mini, but once you hold it the lack of weight makes it a very attractive device.

In combination with the lower price, I think the iPad mini has the ability to become the defacto iPad in the next 18 months to two years. If next year Apple can produce a Retina model with a similar weight and a A6X processor at the same price, it will be the iPad.