Should you buy the iPad mini?
There have been varied reviews of the new iPad mini released by Apple in October 2012. I was skeptical of the value of yet another tablet, particularly as I own the iPad 3rd generation, Google’s Nexus 7 and Microsoft’s Surface.
Based on numbers alone, the iPad mini is meant to be slower than the Nexus 7 and its screen resolution is lower than the Nexus 7. Plus, its resolution is not the much-touted “retina display” seen on the iPhone 5, the larger iPads and the Macbook retina.
So, you can imagine my surprise when I find the iPad mini is every bit as good as Apple said it was going to be in their keynote. And yes, I did compare it against the Nexus 7. It stands up well in terms of speed and its screen looks great. The anodized backing and the light feel of the tablet makes it an ideal device for reading in the subway. The Apple apps ecosystem has more refined offerings than in Google play store. For example, the Amazon Instant Video is conspicuously absent in the Google Play store. As a Amazon Prime member, I think this is an important omission on the Nexus 7. The Nexus 7 feels heavier than the iPad mini, even when the mini’s smart cover is on.
But there are a few areas where the Nexus 7 comes out ahead-(especially with the new Jellybean 4.2 update) for example, the ability to place widgets on the lock screen, a more refined notification center and more crisper look to video playback are not to be overlooked. And Google Now and google maps are definitely better than Siri for local search.
Reading books using the ibooks or the Kindle app is marginally better on the iPad Mini than on the Nexus 7.
And although it is little larger than the Nexus 7, it fits in my jacket pocket and the extra 0.9 inches comes in handy when I am reading a pdf or book.
So, should you buy the iPad mini?I would say this- if you are looking for a smaller tablet than the iPad 4th generation, and you intend this to be your “go-to” device for entertainment and information, then this is the tablet for you. If you are more of a tinkerer and do not mind having to customize your device and looking around for good apps, the Nexus 7 should be on your list.