iPad Mini – Why it might be a good idea to hold off

The long awaited iPad mini has finally arrived, and while Apple normally tries to throw us off with a name we weren’t expecting, everyone was definitely expecting the name ‘iPad mini’. I was one of the early adopters of the original iPad 2, and while it was a great device, there were 3 things about it that I thought needed improvement. The camera being one, the screen resolution, and finally, THE SIZE!

Let’s start off with the size. The iPad 2 displays a screen size of 9.7 inches and is a great form factor for doing almost everything a tablet is designed to do. The only grudge I had against this is when I was trying to read an ebook at night, I just found it too large to hold. This resulted in me buying a much smaller 6” Kobo ereader, which I find perfect for this purpose. The new iPad mini boasts a 7.9-inch screen, and though it’s a bit larger than the 7-inch I was hoping for, it seems that it would be a much better fit for my intended purposes.

Model Size
iPad mini 7.9”
iPad 2 9.7”
iPad Retina 9.7”

Next let’s talk about the camera. I’m not sure if you’ve ever tried the camera on the iPad 2, but it was just awful. Considering they already released an iPhone 4 at the time with a great camera just boggles my mind for why they had to put lower grade camera in the iPad 2. This just lead me to abandoning the camera feature altogether and just using it for purposes such as Facetime and chatting. The new iPad mini does have an improved camera compared to the iPad 2 at 5 megapixels, but again was not the grade of technology in their newest devices such as the iPhone 5 (8 megapixel). Am I the only one sensing a pattern here?

Model Camera
iPad mini 1.2 MP Front; 5MP Back
iPad 2 VGA Resolution Front; 960 x 720 back
iPad Retina 1.2 MP Front; 5MP Back

And finally the resolution, I personally did not find the iPad 2 resolution to be all that great. This was especially true when reading things like magazines with very small font. The sharpness of text just wasn’t there especially when comparing it to my iPhone 4. Yes, the 3rd generation iPad did fix this problem with their new retina display, but again the retina technology had already existed with their existing iPhone 4 product when the iPad 2 was released. So it did not surprise me when they said that the iPad mini would have the same resolution as the iPad 2 instead of the retina technology, since it seems putting dated technology in their products is common practice for Apple. With that said, although the resolution is the same, text may appear still appear sharper in the new iPad mini since the pixels are more compressed with a higher pixel density.

Model Resolution
iPad mini 1024 x 768; 163 ppi
iPad 2 1024 x 768; 132 ppi
iPad Retina 2048 x 1536; 264 ppi

So my final thoughts on the iPad mini, I think it’s a great product, but not at the level I want it to be at. One thing I’m not complaining about is the size, which seems perfect, but the technology I want just isn’t there. So for now I’m going to hold off and choose to wait a year until Apple releases the new iPad mini 2 with retina display.


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