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Old Nov 22, 2012, 11:23 PM   #1
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Join Date: Apr 2007
iPad mini -> 4 -> back to mini

This is my first time posting here, so if you don't want to read another one of these threads, feel free to flame away. Won't hurt my feelings in the slightest.

I read macrumors from time to time, especially when considering a new purchase, and I'm writing to help anyone who may be in a similar situation. The following is the opinion of an unbiased ipad virgin. I know everyone's experience is different, but here's mine:

With the announcement of the ipad mini, I decided to make my first ipad purchase and immediately preordered. I've always lusted after an ipad, but seeing as I'm the happy owner of an 11" MacBook Air, couldn't justify a $500 toy that really isn't that much smaller than my laptop.

I have an iPhone 5 and my roommate has a 3, so I was a little worried about the non-retina screen before my new idevice arrived. When it came, I was (like most) blown away by the weight and build of the mini. It truly is a pleasure to hold. I thought the screen looked pretty dern good, despite being able to see pixels if I hold it 4 inches from my face.

Before the arrival of my mini and immediately after, I frequently read these forums to gather a general consensus on how well it stacked up against its competition (namely, the larger iPads. Sorry android)

Despite having a good experience with my new toy, I kept seeing others post about how badly they missed their retina screen, how 512 Megs of ram and an outdated a5 processor made the mini a dumb investment, etc., and decided to return my mini to "upgrade" to a 4. After using the 4 for a week, I made a final trip to the apple store, and wound up with a 32 gig mini. I couldn't be happier, and here's why:

1. Weight (duh). I found that to use the 4 for any period of time, I had to be resting it on something, be it my leg or the table. I'm a 25 year old athletic dude, so please don't spout the "go lift, brah!" BS I've seen in other threads.

No, the full sized ipad isn't heavy. It isn't light, either. 5 lb dumbells feel light at first, but hold those suckers out for a few minutes and see how your shoulders feel. The mini is like a friggn' feather. I can surf one handed with this bad boy til the cows come home without feeling like I need to immediately chug a protein shake afterward for recovery.

2. For general purposes, the 4 isn't that much faster. Yes it has much higher benchmarks, but I really couldn't tell much of a difference in speed for everyday use (beside graphically intense games, which I didn't like playing on the 4 because of the weight)

3. Retina. Yes, it's gorgeous. Text pops and pictures look stunning. It's also (for me) almost completely useless. Most of the time I'm using my ipad I'm holding it about the same distance I would hold a book, and at this distance the pixels are indistinguishable on both devices. Even when I'm holding the mini closer to my face and can see a little pixelation, it is negligible.

My main use of the mini is to access the Internet and my main use of the Internet is to access information. I can read text on both devices perfectly fine (especially after downloading perfect browser with default text override) and pictures look great on both

3. Typing. Unless you have a wireless keyboard or put your pad down to touch type in landscape, text input is remarkably easier on the mini. I found that while using the 4, simple tasks such as performing a google search or typing in a URL were overly frustrating, and I have rather large hands. This seems like a small deal on paper, but from a usability standpoint it's paramount.

4. Anything I could do with the 4 I could do with the mini, but the opposite isn't true. All apps I have found run and run well on the mini. Browsing is great. Video is great. Even multitasking is great, despite 512 ram. With the mini, I can do these things easily and for a prolonged period of time while holding the device in any manner I please. With the 4, I cannot. This brings me back to...

5/1. Weight (duh). I really can't say enough about the form factor and usability of this device. It beckons to be played with, in a way that its big brother simply does not.

So there you have it. Another worthless opinion from one of the masses. Hopefully this post might help save an indecisive buyer such as myself from second guessing the decision to go with apples svelte new toy. If not, I just got some great thumb typing practice on my new toy.

Goodnight, God speed, and have a great weekend.
ddaniel is offline   24 Reply With Quote

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