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danpass

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Jun 27, 2009
2,600
376
Glory
The iPad Mini
A 3 month review
Model: MD541LL, 32gb black slate cellular (Verizon)


Question: Do I love it?

Answer: YES

How's that? Well ......... I suppose sommmmme background is in order. I'd always loved the idea of having just a small laptop screen with a GPS built in upon which I could load maps and aviation charts and even nautical charts.

And finally Apple came out with the iPad (1) and I quickly picked one up ...... and quickly sent it back. See I had gotten the wifi-only version which I discovered doesn't have the GPS chip in it. Too quick on the draw lol.

So the cellular version made it's way home with me. But a little extra play with it this time revealed that it was too large, too heavy and too pixelated to really meet my needs and desires. Sold it.

The concept was great, smooth OS and attention to detail in the hardware.

Then Retina. I thought maybe the 3 might make the difference. Nope. Still had that large, heavy, unwieldy feeling.

Returned it.


Three weeks later, Oct 23, 2012

iPad Mini announced! I knew immediately that it would be perfect overall. Same resolution as the iPad 1 but in a smaller screen would mean tighter pixel density and it really is just fine.

What I didn't expect is how much easier it is to type on it, horizontal or vertical and even better still after discovering the split keyboard function lol (fingers on the H and J and separate. But before letting go you can slide the split keyboard up/down).

Another surprise was the thinness. That wasn't a requirement but it has turned out perfect.

The rounded edges, the lightness, the attention to design details and to sweeten the pot, incredible battery life, 10-12 hrs for me ...... it all adds up to a top notch package.

A little more on battery life; web surfing, some games, some video, but mostly content creation! Yep, creation.


Content Creation

This review for example, written entirely on this Mini using Pages for iOS (then copypasta into this forum). No external keyboard.

iMovie for iOS and iPhoto for iOS, well worth the price for each.
The camera connection kit adapters, both the USB adapter and SD adapter, have made it into my bag. Easy, breezy, beautiful import of video and RAW pics. I've brought in 1080p30 video from GoPro, Canon 7D and 1DX and 720p24 from a Nikon P7000 as well as RAW photo files from each of those cameras.

iMovie video: http://youtu.be/yVVx4SsW9G0
Shot entirely on GoPro, imported direct to ipad, edited in iMovie and uploaded to YouTube. Just to say that I did it that way lol.

iPhoto screenshot:

p1355354616-4.jpg


Even GarageBand is in here too! Still learning some music technique and theory.



Aviation Use

Sure, not something everyone uses it for but the Mini is soooooo much better for this vs. the regular iPad.

So far I've only tried it on a kneeboard (there are yoke mounts, suction mounts, etc). I didn't like any of the commercial kneeboards so I made my own concoction out of a basic kneeboard I had.

p1327137956-4.jpg



Onscreen there is Foreflight. It makes for proper flight planning, weather checks, terminal diagrams and of course keep track of yourself while in the air.

Another extremely useful app is Cloudahoy and once again that internal gps chip comes in handy. This app will run in the background and it keeps track of your flight path, altitude, speed, etc. With the companion website you can later review it in 3 dimensions using Google Earth (it can also be done on iPad if you're part of the Cloudahoy beta).

This screenshot is a landing into MIA.

p1385814598-4.jpg




Naked

Yep, I run the Mini naked. Well, I use an Apple Smart Cover. I like its utility for watching movies and reading. That's right, reading. Perfectly fine on the Mini. Sure it will have retina one day but if it impacts battery life negatively then I'm staying with the original until resolved.

I understand about protecting the Mini. But I don't want to ruin the thinness hehe. What I have done is put some strips of gaffer tape on the back. Maintains the Mini's svelte nature while providing separation from the surface it's resting on. Also, being gaffer tape instead of duct tape, it provides some grip and having a rubber based adhesive, instead of a glue base, it leaves no residue.



Verdict

Yep, I love it. It's a near replacement for a laptop. It's what I took to New York for a week and I didn't lack for utility. The Remote Desktop apps work just fine. Web surfing is fine.

It's all good :D
 

JPNFRK7

macrumors 6502a
Sep 27, 2012
586
358
California
The iPad Mini
A 3 month review
Model: MD541LL, 32gb black slate cellular (Verizon)


Question: Do I love it?

Answer: YES

How's that? Well ......... I suppose sommmmme background is in order. I'd always loved the idea of having just a small laptop screen with a GPS built in upon which I could load maps and aviation charts and even nautical charts.

And finally Apple came out with the iPad (1) and I quickly picked one up ...... and quickly sent it back. See I had gotten the wifi-only version which I discovered doesn't have the GPS chip in it. Too quick on the draw lol.

So the cellular version made it's way home with me. But a little extra play with it this time revealed that it was too large, too heavy and too pixelated to really meet my needs and desires. Sold it.

The concept was great, smooth OS and attention to detail in the hardware.

Then Retina. I thought maybe the 3 might make the difference. Nope. Still had that large, heavy, unwieldy feeling.

Returned it.


Three weeks later, Oct 23, 2012

iPad Mini announced! I knew immediately that it would be perfect overall. Same resolution as the iPad 1 but in a smaller screen would mean tighter pixel density and it really is just fine.

What I didn't expect is how much easier it is to type on it, horizontal or vertical and even better still after discovering the split keyboard function lol (fingers on the H and J and separate. But before letting go you can slide the split keyboard up/down).

Another surprise was the thinness. That wasn't a requirement but it has turned out perfect.

The rounded edges, the lightness, the attention to design details and to sweeten the pot, incredible battery life, 10-12 hrs for me ...... it all adds up to a top notch package.

A little more on battery life; web surfing, some games, some video, but mostly content creation! Yep, creation.


Content Creation

This review for example, written entirely on this Mini using Pages for iOS (then copypasta into this forum). No external keyboard.

iMovie for iOS and iPhoto for iOS, well worth the price for each.
The camera connection kit adapters, both the USB adapter and SD adapter, have made it into my bag. Easy, breezy, beautiful import of video and RAW pics. I've brought in 1080p30 video from GoPro, Canon 7D and 1DX and 720p24 from a Nikon P7000 as well as RAW photo files from each of those cameras.

iMovie video: http://youtu.be/yVVx4SsW9G0
Shot entirely on GoPro, imported direct to ipad, edited in iMovie and uploaded to YouTube. Just to say that I did it that way lol.

iPhoto screenshot:

Image

Even GarageBand is in here too! Still learning some music technique and theory.



Aviation Use

Sure, not something everyone uses it for but the Mini is soooooo much better for this vs. the regular iPad.

So far I've only tried it on a kneeboard (there are yoke mounts, suction mounts, etc). I didn't like any of the commercial kneeboards so I made my own concoction out of a basic kneeboard I had.

Image


Onscreen there is Foreflight. It makes for proper flight planning, weather checks, terminal diagrams and of course keep track of yourself while in the air.

Another extremely useful app is Cloudahoy and once again that internal gps chip comes in handy. This app will run in the background and it keeps track of your flight path, altitude, speed, etc. With the companion website you can later review it in 3 dimensions using Google Earth (it can also be done on iPad if you're part of the Cloudahoy beta).

This screenshot is a landing into MIA.

Image



Naked

Yep, I run the Mini naked. Well, I use an Apple Smart Cover. I like its utility for watching movies and reading. That's right, reading. Perfectly fine on the Mini. Sure it will have retina one day but if it impacts battery life negatively then I'm staying with the original until resolved.

I understand about protecting the Mini. But I don't want to ruin the thinness hehe. What I have done is put some strips of gaffer tape on the back. Maintains the Mini's svelte nature while providing separation from the surface it's resting on. Also, being gaffer tape instead of duct tape, it provides some grip and having a rubber based adhesive, instead of a glue base, it leaves no residue.



Verdict

Yep, I love it. It's a near replacement for a laptop. It's what I took to New York for a week and I didn't lack for utility. The Remote Desktop apps work just fine. Web surfing is fine.

It's all good :D

Great review! I also love my Mini and have replaced my laptop with it at school for notetaking.
 

Fruit Cake

macrumors 6502a
Mar 31, 2012
597
20
I like the mini for the reasons you mention except screen. For my uses I use the retina screen for rdp and I can't go back to 1024x768. The galaxy note 2 fills the niche for me where I thinka iPad mini may have been nice to have.

Who knows, maybe next ios7 apple will have the ability for gfx to scale rather than a 1 size fits all approach, then apple can go retina without going to the level of the full size iPad, something android users can do(albeit the tablet apps suck at this point in the game).
 

HazyCloud

macrumors 68030
Jun 30, 2010
2,779
37
Fantastic review. I love my 32 Black AT&T as well and your review is making me consider dropping my back cover. I don't want to scratch it, but I've also used them naked in the past.
 

palpatine

macrumors 68040
May 3, 2011
3,130
45
I don't like the Mini much at all, but the Mini in your review sounds fantastic! It's great to see someone enjoying a purchase and getting so much out of it :)
 

Random 995K

macrumors 6502
Nov 3, 2012
295
0
The iPad Mini
A 3 month review
Model: MD541LL, 32gb black slate cellular (Verizon)


Question: Do I love it?

Answer: YES

How's that? Well ......... I suppose sommmmme background is in order. I'd always loved the idea of having just a small laptop screen with a GPS built in upon which I could load maps and aviation charts and even nautical charts.

And finally Apple came out with the iPad (1) and I quickly picked one up ...... and quickly sent it back. See I had gotten the wifi-only version which I discovered doesn't have the GPS chip in it. Too quick on the draw lol.

So the cellular version made it's way home with me. But a little extra play with it this time revealed that it was too large, too heavy and too pixelated to really meet my needs and desires. Sold it.

The concept was great, smooth OS and attention to detail in the hardware.

Then Retina. I thought maybe the 3 might make the difference. Nope. Still had that large, heavy, unwieldy feeling.

Returned it.


Three weeks later, Oct 23, 2012

iPad Mini announced! I knew immediately that it would be perfect overall. Same resolution as the iPad 1 but in a smaller screen would mean tighter pixel density and it really is just fine.

What I didn't expect is how much easier it is to type on it, horizontal or vertical and even better still after discovering the split keyboard function lol (fingers on the H and J and separate. But before letting go you can slide the split keyboard up/down).

Another surprise was the thinness. That wasn't a requirement but it has turned out perfect.

The rounded edges, the lightness, the attention to design details and to sweeten the pot, incredible battery life, 10-12 hrs for me ...... it all adds up to a top notch package.

A little more on battery life; web surfing, some games, some video, but mostly content creation! Yep, creation.


Content Creation

This review for example, written entirely on this Mini using Pages for iOS (then copypasta into this forum). No external keyboard.

iMovie for iOS and iPhoto for iOS, well worth the price for each.
The camera connection kit adapters, both the USB adapter and SD adapter, have made it into my bag. Easy, breezy, beautiful import of video and RAW pics. I've brought in 1080p30 video from GoPro, Canon 7D and 1DX and 720p24 from a Nikon P7000 as well as RAW photo files from each of those cameras.

iMovie video: http://youtu.be/yVVx4SsW9G0
Shot entirely on GoPro, imported direct to ipad, edited in iMovie and uploaded to YouTube. Just to say that I did it that way lol.

iPhoto screenshot:

Image

Even GarageBand is in here too! Still learning some music technique and theory.



Aviation Use

Sure, not something everyone uses it for but the Mini is soooooo much better for this vs. the regular iPad.

So far I've only tried it on a kneeboard (there are yoke mounts, suction mounts, etc). I didn't like any of the commercial kneeboards so I made my own concoction out of a basic kneeboard I had.

Image


Onscreen there is Foreflight. It makes for proper flight planning, weather checks, terminal diagrams and of course keep track of yourself while in the air.

Another extremely useful app is Cloudahoy and once again that internal gps chip comes in handy. This app will run in the background and it keeps track of your flight path, altitude, speed, etc. With the companion website you can later review it in 3 dimensions using Google Earth (it can also be done on iPad if you're part of the Cloudahoy beta).

This screenshot is a landing into MIA.

Image



Naked

Yep, I run the Mini naked. Well, I use an Apple Smart Cover. I like its utility for watching movies and reading. That's right, reading. Perfectly fine on the Mini. Sure it will have retina one day but if it impacts battery life negatively then I'm staying with the original until resolved.

I understand about protecting the Mini. But I don't want to ruin the thinness hehe. What I have done is put some strips of gaffer tape on the back. Maintains the Mini's svelte nature while providing separation from the surface it's resting on. Also, being gaffer tape instead of duct tape, it provides some grip and having a rubber based adhesive, instead of a glue base, it leaves no residue.



Verdict

Yep, I love it. It's a near replacement for a laptop. It's what I took to New York for a week and I didn't lack for utility. The Remote Desktop apps work just fine. Web surfing is fine.

It's all good :D

QFT... Personally I prefer the 4 as it suits my needs better but what an excellent review. 2 thumbs up :)
 

TyPod

macrumors 68000
Nov 2, 2006
1,745
18
Minneapolis, MN
Great review, I love how you use it with aviation! I use my iPad mini with just a smart cover too and haven't even considered a back cover.
 

larrybeo

macrumors regular
Jul 8, 2008
130
0
Chicago
No One Has Anything Negative To Say About This Guy's Post?

Wow this is a first - no one's left a bashing comment about this guy's review? Is this not Macrumors? :).... I was very skeptical about the mini (mostly the price) until I picked one up. It's not *that* small. It's nice to hear about all of the uses soemone can get out of it. I mostly use it for games and reading - though I like how you point out that content creation can be done with this. I was comparing the PC Photoshop CS with Snapseed to a friend and pretty much determined that anything we would *want* to do (being simple minded photo enthusiasts, not professionals) with a photo we can do it on an iPad - and much faster with simpler controls.

As much as I love the iPad, it's never going to replace a laptop or a PC until it's easier to save things found on the internet to it. Email attachments, MP3s, webpages, and a lot of other content is too hard to save locally. That being said, the hard drives are way too small as well, and Apple's price points for their SSD drives are ludicrious. What world do they live in that a 32GB SSD upgrade is worth 100 dollars?
 

dinggus

macrumors 65816
Jan 17, 2012
1,303
57
iMovie came out awesome! Good review!

Can we meet up one day at MIA and you can let me jump out of the plane?
 

D.T.

macrumors G4
Sep 15, 2011
11,050
12,455
Vilano Beach, FL
Wow this is a first - no one's left a bashing comment about this guy's review? Is this not Macrumors? :)

Hahaha, well, it was well written, had terrific supporting content, actual examples of output ... plus it was coupled with a really interesting use case (i.e., aviation).

Hell, I think 50% of the people talking about their good or bad experience with <insert_apple_device> don't even own one. :D
 

danpass

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Jun 27, 2009
2,600
376
Glory
Thanks everyone and yes DT I was looking to demonstrate that the iPad can be much more than a toilet seat reader (it can do that too ... jussayin :D )
 

AbyssImpact

macrumors 6502a
Aug 6, 2010
804
17
The iPad Mini
A 3 month review
Model: MD541LL, 32gb black slate cellular (Verizon)


Question: Do I love it?

Answer: YES

How's that? Well ......... I suppose sommmmme background is in order. I'd always loved the idea of having just a small laptop screen with a GPS built in upon which I could load maps and aviation charts and even nautical charts.

And finally Apple came out with the iPad (1) and I quickly picked one up ...... and quickly sent it back. See I had gotten the wifi-only version which I discovered doesn't have the GPS chip in it. Too quick on the draw lol.

So the cellular version made it's way home with me. But a little extra play with it this time revealed that it was too large, too heavy and too pixelated to really meet my needs and desires. Sold it.

The concept was great, smooth OS and attention to detail in the hardware.

Then Retina. I thought maybe the 3 might make the difference. Nope. Still had that large, heavy, unwieldy feeling.

Returned it.


Three weeks later, Oct 23, 2012

iPad Mini announced! I knew immediately that it would be perfect overall. Same resolution as the iPad 1 but in a smaller screen would mean tighter pixel density and it really is just fine.

What I didn't expect is how much easier it is to type on it, horizontal or vertical and even better still after discovering the split keyboard function lol (fingers on the H and J and separate. But before letting go you can slide the split keyboard up/down).

Another surprise was the thinness. That wasn't a requirement but it has turned out perfect.

The rounded edges, the lightness, the attention to design details and to sweeten the pot, incredible battery life, 10-12 hrs for me ...... it all adds up to a top notch package.

A little more on battery life; web surfing, some games, some video, but mostly content creation! Yep, creation.


Content Creation

This review for example, written entirely on this Mini using Pages for iOS (then copypasta into this forum). No external keyboard.

iMovie for iOS and iPhoto for iOS, well worth the price for each.
The camera connection kit adapters, both the USB adapter and SD adapter, have made it into my bag. Easy, breezy, beautiful import of video and RAW pics. I've brought in 1080p30 video from GoPro, Canon 7D and 1DX and 720p24 from a Nikon P7000 as well as RAW photo files from each of those cameras.

iMovie video: http://youtu.be/yVVx4SsW9G0
Shot entirely on GoPro, imported direct to ipad, edited in iMovie and uploaded to YouTube. Just to say that I did it that way lol.

iPhoto screenshot:

Image

Even GarageBand is in here too! Still learning some music technique and theory.



Aviation Use

Sure, not something everyone uses it for but the Mini is soooooo much better for this vs. the regular iPad.

So far I've only tried it on a kneeboard (there are yoke mounts, suction mounts, etc). I didn't like any of the commercial kneeboards so I made my own concoction out of a basic kneeboard I had.

Image


Onscreen there is Foreflight. It makes for proper flight planning, weather checks, terminal diagrams and of course keep track of yourself while in the air.

Another extremely useful app is Cloudahoy and once again that internal gps chip comes in handy. This app will run in the background and it keeps track of your flight path, altitude, speed, etc. With the companion website you can later review it in 3 dimensions using Google Earth (it can also be done on iPad if you're part of the Cloudahoy beta).

This screenshot is a landing into MIA.

Image



Naked

Yep, I run the Mini naked. Well, I use an Apple Smart Cover. I like its utility for watching movies and reading. That's right, reading. Perfectly fine on the Mini. Sure it will have retina one day but if it impacts battery life negatively then I'm staying with the original until resolved.

I understand about protecting the Mini. But I don't want to ruin the thinness hehe. What I have done is put some strips of gaffer tape on the back. Maintains the Mini's svelte nature while providing separation from the surface it's resting on. Also, being gaffer tape instead of duct tape, it provides some grip and having a rubber based adhesive, instead of a glue base, it leaves no residue.



Verdict

Yep, I love it. It's a near replacement for a laptop. It's what I took to New York for a week and I didn't lack for utility. The Remote Desktop apps work just fine. Web surfing is fine.

It's all good :D
Amazing review!!!:D
 

macsrcool1234

Suspended
Oct 7, 2010
1,551
2,130
It's a good review of the iPad but there's nothing at all that makes it suggest why a mini would be better IMO.

Other than this:
Still had that large, heavy, unwieldy feeling.

But then again, I don't have girl hands and am strong enough to carry the iPad around so I guess that doesn't make sense to me.
 

flavr

macrumors 6502
Nov 9, 2011
363
40
But then again, I don't have girl hands and am strong enough to carry the iPad around so I guess that doesn't make sense to me.

And there it is...the first negative comment...had a great streak going...oh well

great review, for a great device, thanks for sharing :)
 

Oridus

macrumors 65816
Oct 8, 2012
1,274
1,607
And there it is...the first negative comment...had a great streak going...oh well

great review, for a great device, thanks for sharing :)

I think he said it just because until the mini was announced, people really weren't complaint about the weight..... The ipad four is definitely a lot lighter and more portable more than the average laptop. I, as well, prefer the four over the mini. I use one for work, and for right now think that the screen size is perfect for the productivity, and the retina display does not disappoint. That being said, I know a lot of people like the mini.... I just think its getting a lot of hype partially due to it being the new hotness from apple.
 

isephmusic

macrumors 6502
Oct 31, 2012
416
0
i cant decide between a retina mini or a full size ipad but lighter and smaller bezels. they are both rumored products but if both were to come out i would go insane trying to pick one. i want to use it for productivity but portability is especially important so ...

hm
 

nStyle

macrumors 65816
Dec 6, 2009
1,448
906
My thing is... Sure you can process and create content on the iPad, but does it really make sense when a laptop does it so much more efficiently? I have a Mini as well as a MBP and not once would I seriously consider editing photos on the mini I am typing on now versus Lightroom. iPad for consumption, laptop for creation. There isn't a device out today the does everything perfectly, so there is no point in pretending. Yes my phone takes pictures, but does it replace a DSLR? Tablets are just another device, not a be all end all device for most people.

The aviation uses you have found for it are great though.
 

Night Spring

macrumors G5
Jul 17, 2008
13,830
6,914
And there it is...the first negative comment...had a great streak going...oh well

great review, for a great device, thanks for sharing :)

I agree that the girl hands remark is uncalled for, but I also feel that the OP shows how an iPad can be a great productivity device, but not how a mini is a better productivity device than a full-size iPad. I read the list of things OP does on his mini, and I kept thinking, "yes, but they are even easier to do on the bigger iPad." I understand that for the OP, the lighter and more compact format of the mini is probably important, and I too now mostly take the mini with me when I go out. But when I'm home, I definitely prefer my iPad 3 -- anything that can be done on the mini is easier to do on the 3 because bigger screen means more space. Everything is just easier to see and manipulate.
 

danpass

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Jun 27, 2009
2,600
376
Glory
My thing is... Sure you can process and create content on the iPad, but does it really make sense when a laptop does it so much more efficiently? I have a Mini as well as a MBP and not once would I seriously consider editing photos on the mini I am typing on now versus Lightroom. iPad for consumption, laptop for creation. There isn't a device out today the does everything perfectly, so there is no point in pretending. Yes my phone takes pictures, but does it replace a DSLR? Tablets are just another device, not a be all end all device for most people.

The aviation uses you have found for it are great though.
If I had both then yes the laptop would take precedence.

----------

I agree that the girl hands remark is uncalled for, but I also feel that the OP shows how an iPad can be a great productivity device, but not how a mini is a better productivity device than a full-size iPad. I read the list of things OP does on his mini, and I kept thinking, "yes, but they are even easier to do on the bigger iPad." I understand that for the OP, the lighter and more compact format of the mini is probably important, and I too now mostly take the mini with me when I go out. But when I'm home, I definitely prefer my iPad 3 -- anything that can be done on the mini is easier to do on the 3 because bigger screen means more space. Everything is just easier to see and manipulate.
I only wanted one ipad. The mini fits the cockpit area MUCH better. But even so, in general, the bigger ipad was a hassle to use as a portable tablet.
 

JoshMKB24

macrumors 6502a
Jan 5, 2013
520
44
Midwest
If I had both then yes the laptop would take precedence.

----------


I only wanted one ipad. The mini fits the cockpit area MUCH better. But even so, in general, the bigger ipad was a hassle to use as a portable tablet.


Nice review!

What types of planes are you flying?

I'm assuming you are a commercial or private pilot? My dad has a few airplanes, I always told him to buy a jet, but he said you need 2 pilots for it
 

maxosx

macrumors 68020
Dec 13, 2012
2,385
1
Southern California
Hell, I think 50% of the people talking about their good or bad experience with <insert_apple_device> don't even own one. :D

Hell, I think 50% of the people talking about their good or bad experience with <insert_Apple OR Android OR AnyOther_device> don't even own one.

Yes... it's incredibly refreshing to read a well written review, sans the immature comments by others.

To the OP, Kudos!
 
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