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Old Jan 3, 2013, 04:41 AM   #1
macrumors 6502
Join Date: Oct 2008
Is the iPad mini right for me?

Who I am:
Fifth year engineering student studying mechanical engineering.
Also a bit of a tech guy, I love playing games, love watching movies and videos and I'm constantly on the go.
My textbooks weigh about 450 pounds each and I'm sick of it. Any book not available in Ebook format, I would promptly scan and make it so.
I don't have fairly large hands but i can single hand the iPad Mini easily.
I'm fairly Google oriented. I use Gmail for everything and Google Voice for texting/VOIP calls (I managed to get a Sipgate account/phone number before they ran out).

What I would use it for:
Reading ebooks/PDF's
Watching videos on Youtube and possibly HBO2Go, downloaded movies and lecture videos or podcasts
Playing the occasional casual game like Angry Birds, Draw Something and maybe an occasional FPS game like ShadowGun or NOVA2. I've never beaten any of those games on Android tablets so it wouldn't bother me much if the newer releases don't play on the iPad Mini with great graphics.
I would write the occasional document. Nothing fancy but maybe taking notes in class, possibly hand written equations with a stylus because of the physics equations and such.
I would definitely start reading comic books and novels on it.
I would also want to track my budget/finances with it, have it linked to my bank account to show me my spending.
I want to have information on it like my class schedule, class due dates so it pops up reminders here and there.
I also wanna use it to play music when I'm at the gym running on the treadmill or hooked up to my car's auxiliary port.
I have a 50GB Dropbox account and the majority of the time, I'll be on WiFi. So I also want to play music and download movies from my Dropbox, delete them after watching, etc.

Now here's the caveats/concerns:
WiFi or LTE? I have a T-Mobile SIM with 5GB of 4G data a month and I live in an area where T-Mobile already refarmed for AT&T's HSPA network so I would get the 'up to 20 down' speeds easily with an AT&T iPad Mini, but it's $130 more and puts it almost at iPad 4 range. However, it will come with built in GPS, I can straight substitute it for a phone and I'll have it with me 90% of the time I'm awake. (Having sex and taking showers is an exception, unless I'm needing the camera or music for some reason >.>) I also have Google Voice and a Sipgate phone number so using the right tools, I can use it for phone calls with my bluetooth headset.

Also: I already own a 13.3" MacBook Pro Classic with 8GB of ram and an SSD on the way. The iPad isn't a 'poor man's MacBook' for me, but rather a complimentary device because reading books on my MacBook SUCKS and it's not that portable.

But is this a tablet worth almost $460? I noticed the screen real estate is massive compared to the Nexus 7. Sure the Nexus 7 has a slightly higher resolution, but when you're reading books? Looking at web pages? Slight pixelation isn't going to change the fact that you have so much more screen size. It almost looks like a regular iPad, whereas the Nexus 7 looks like a big Android phone.

I don't want to spend $600 on an iPad. I mean I could, but that means less partying, less nice clothes, less dates. I don't want to pinch my pennies that much. So the decision is more or less:
iPad Mini WiFi 16GB + save the $130
iPad Mini LTE AT&T 16GB + save the $40
iPad 4 WiFi 16GB
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