Wednesday, October 31, 2012

iPad Mini: More of the Same – But That’s Not a Problem

The iPad Mini was announced earlier this month by Apple. Naturally, people were pretty excited about the features that would be included in the product. Apple have pretty much always delivered with innovation and small touches that make a big difference.

So, the iPad Mini came out, and everyone was pretty sure that it was just a smaller version of the iPad 2, which was released last year. To be honest, they were right, but why is this a problem?

The iPad 2 was a phenomenal tablet, loved by Apple aficionados and tech geeks all over. It offered a sleek and intuitive platform with some wonderful third party apps that made it almost indispensible to users once they had it in their lives. The only issues that anyone could complain about was that it was a large and bulky thing to use – like all tablets – and general use was a bit difficult.

The iPad Mini aims to change all that. It has a smaller screen than its competitors at only 7.9 inches, and lacks the ‘Retina’ display of the previous iPad models, but Apple have kept the same pixels within a smaller area, meaning that the display is still clear and precise (even if it will look a bit less slick for those used to the Retina display of other Apple devices).

The iPad Mini is actually 23% smaller than its predecessors, and a whopping 50% lighter. It means that bulk isn’t a problem and it fits within one hand pretty easily. Using it on the go will become increasingly normal and far easier than using its larger brethren. Expect to see multitudes of these things on tubes and buses when they launch in November.

It keeps the iPad’s processing power too. The same Apple A5 processor will be making sure that every app runs to the best of its capabilities and that the smooth movement between screens and within programs translates onto the Mini. There is next to no lag when using the new iPad Mini, it’s fantastic. It has all of the power and a smaller case, which exactly what the critics of the iPad wanted.

The iPad Mini comes with a case too, which worried some. Make it too big and bulky and the benefits of a smaller product go out of the window. Apple have pulled it off though, and the cover feels like a perfect companion to the light and mobile tablet.

Its competitors, the Google Nexus 7 and the Kindle Fire, which are both small tablets should be worried about the iPad Mini. It was rumoured that the reduction would prove too much and quality would be lost. The Mini still boasts an 1080p video recorder, 5 megapixel camera and 4G LTE connectivity. This means that it is a serious contender for the portable tablet market, even if it is the pricier option.

A standard model will cost you around £269, which is more than the Fire or Nexus 7, but still decent value for what you get. If you desire more space (Apple will always have a tiered storage/price system) and you want a 4G connection then you’ll have to fork out a bit more money at around £529. That edge of the price range is pushing it for a lot of people, and those models are likely to sell far more slowly.

Don’t be fooled by that, though. The iPad Mini is an excellent step forward and proof that Apple can contend in almost any technology market. It will be a strong contender against the Fire and Nexus 7 and it deserves every single bit of praise it’s getting.