I am in love with my iPad. We are inseparable. My iPad is my best friend (technologically speaking).
But I had a technological mid-life crisis. I was looking for a sleeker, shinier, faster model. I ate the bitter fruit.
My name is Jim, and I was unfaithful to my iPad.
A few weeks ago I was reading one of my favorite bloggers, and he was wildly enthusiastic about his new iPad mini. This intrigued me (the grass is always greener, right?), so I started reading other blogs comparing the full size iPad to the iPad mini; most of these blogs led me to believe iPad mini was becoming the go-to device for get-it-done people. To further my research, I went to a nearby Apple store and asked one of the helpful clerks which device was most popular. He told me iPad mini was way outselling the full size iPad. With that insight, and not wanting to be left in the technological dark ages, I took the plunge.
I was so excited, you know, that Christmas-morning kind of excitement. I laid aside my clunky full size iPad, loaded my apps onto the brand new iPad mini, and within a couple of hours, I was fully transitioned. My plan was to work with the iPad mini for one full week at which point I knew I’d be convinced and then sell my full size iPad. Well, as John Steinbeck said “the best laid plans ….” often don’t turn out quite as expected. Five days into my test drive, I happened to pick up and start working on my full size iPad, and in an instant I realized how much I missed it. I admit I felt kind of weird. There was so much energy from so many places telling me that iPad mini was superior to the full size version, I felt like I had to be missing something. But five days working with iPad mini, I just wasn’t getting it ….. I wanted to go back to my first love, the full size iPad (iPad 3 to be specific).
As I reflect on my technological mid-life crisis, I came to realize there are five reasons the full size iPad is better for me than iPad mini.
1. The mini iPad is too large to fit in a man’s suit or sport coat pocket, so you still have to carry it like you carry the full size version (women with purses, I don’t know, I don’t carry a purse). So while it is indeed “mini,” you don’t yet have the full advantage of portability.
2. The iPad mini’s speaker is inferior. If you listen to music on your iPad, which I do a lot, you’ll quickly notice that the iPad mini speaker’s is significantly lower quality than on the full size iPad. I’m not an audiophile so I can’t explain why there’s this sonic difference, but if you test them side-by-side, which I did, you will hear a dramatic difference.
3. The iPad mini’s camera is not as sharp. I seldom use the iPad camera, but just for grins I tested my iPhone 5, iPad 3 and mini iPad cameras, and I was surprised to see a rather clear qualitative difference. The best quality comes from the iPhone 5 camera, followed closely by the full size iPad, then finally the iPad mini. Not that that’s a big deal for me, but it might be for you. After I did my own test, I did some checking online, and I found a consensus that my results were accurate.
4. The iPad mini is a lousy handwriting experience. I have become quasi-addicted to a handwriting app on my iPad; I had read many bloggers who said writing on an iPad mini was easier because you can hold it in your hand much like a traditional note pad. This was a big deal for me, in fact, it was one of the key reasons I wanted to make the switch to iPad mini. Much to my surprise, writing on iPad mini was actually more difficult than writing on the full size iPad because, duh, there is less surface on which to write. You write and scroll, write and scroll, write and scroll. It’s not a fluid or seamless experience. But even worse, you CAN’T hold the iPad mini in one hand while you write with the other …. I dare you, try it, you can’t do it for a sustained period of time.
5. The iPad mini display is not as sharp. Ok, this one is easy to explain though it’s interesting how iPad mini enthusiasts all say “it doesn’t matter, there are more pixels on a small screen.” But I’m sorry, once you get used to watching HD TV, do you really want to watch analog channels again? When I picked up the full size version after using the iPad mini for five straight days, the visual effect of retina display was quite immediately noticeable. I admit, maybe my 60-year old eyes just need more clarity, but the fact is, the visual sharpness of the full size version is compelling.
To be fair, if I’d never had the full size iPad, I’d be a huge champion of iPad mini. However, with the chance to compare the two devices side-by-side for a few days, all I can tell you is I’d take the full size version any day.
Tennessee Valley Group
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