The verdict on the iPad mini is out, it is a small iPad. The new mobile technology is Apples answer to the Google Nexus and Kindle Fire tablets. These ÔÇ£7-inchersÔÇØ are great for those looking for something more portable than a full blown tablet. We are going to talk about where the iPad mini stands in the current 7-incher market and how it compares to its competitors.
The iPad mini boasts a screen that is 7.9 inches tall where the Amazon and Google devices are a more modest 7 inch. Not only that, even with its increased display size, the device weighs less than the Kindle Fire HD and Nexus 7. This can be a big selling point for many, but beware of the resolution. The iPad mini (163 ppi) has comparable resolution specs to the iPad 2 (132 ppi), which is to say they are simply adequate. It is also important to note that both the Kindle Fire HD and Nexus have higher resolutions at 254 ppi. There are many benefits to the display size, but it is a tradeoff for the resolution. This may be a deal breaker for movie enthusiasts, but in the end it is a decision.
The life on the iPad mini is remarkably high with 12:43 clocked time. The newer, more powerful devices range from around 9:49 (Nexus 7) to 7:00. That is a lot of battery time for a device in todayÔÇÖs market, but it seems to come at a cost. With its dual core 1GHz CPU with 512MB of ram it is clocking just above the iPad 2 in performance.
Apple and Amazon are the 2 heavy hitters in the content competition. Google is no slouch, but simply doesnÔÇÖt have the volume of its competitors. Apples app store is the most robust without much competition however. Amazon is at the bottom of the ladder here with Google in the middle. Apple brings a lot to the table for its users when it comes to content. Not only do they have the most apps, but most if not all of the mobile applications are able to run on any iOS device without the problems that Google is having with its Nexus 7.
The iPad mini has a few one ups on the various devices. For example, it has both a rear and front facing camera where the competitors only have a front facing camera. Another worthy mention is the Kindle Fire HDÔÇÖs lack of a GPS chip. The iPad mini also sports a LTE enabled version that the competitors do not.
The biggest point of contention with these devices is the pricing. Google and Amazon are competing with their $199 price point, but Apple decided that their premium device is worth more than that. The question is, does a larger display, access to the iOS store, and the apple name really worth an extra $130? ThatÔÇÖs right; the Wi-Fi model of the iPad mini with 16GB is going for $329. Not to mention that upgrading the storage to 32 and 64 GB adds an extra $100 each. They also offer an LTE option for an additional $130. The iPad mini definitely has options, but are they enough?
What I Think
The iPad mini is definitely an awesome device and for the most part, beats out its competition. With a larger screen and better overall content environment, this is the ideal mobile technology for media consumption on the go. The problem that I have with it is the cost. Part of what made a 7-inch tablet appeal to me was the low cost. The Google and Amazon competitive pieces of mobile technology both come at a very low price point that makes it worth having a smaller device. By the time you are done tallying up the cost for your iPad mini that you want, you may as well have gotten a full blown tablet. I see this device appealing greatly to Apple fans that are looking for something to bridge the gap between phone and tablet, but I doubt the iPad mini will turn many from the competing devices. I find that my own Nexus 7 doesnÔÇÖt see as much use as my phone or desktop. This may be different for others, but it would be hard for me to justify the cost of the iPad mini.