Benefits of the iPad Mini

Earlier this week, Apple announced the long rumored iPad Mini. Clearly taking notice of the success other small tablets on the market, Apple is staying on the sidelines no longer.

With yet one more iPad on the market now ( in addition to the new 4th generation iPad and the iPad 2), many will be wondering what are the iPad Mini benefits?

To answer that question, let’s look at the basic features of the iPad Mini and that what these means in terms of pros and cons.

  • 7.9 inch screen
  • Weight: 0.68-0.69 lbs (depending on Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi + Cellular)
  • Cellular: EDGE (haha)/3G/4G LTE
  • CPU: Dual-core A5
  • Memory: 16B, 32GB, 64GB
  • 1.2MP FaceTime Camera in front, 5MP rear camera
  • Colors: Black & Slate or White & Silver

Image Credit: Apple Inc.

Apple has made it clear that the iPad Mini has most of the pros of the iPad and yet sells for significantly less at $329. These iPad Mini pros include:

  • Runs all the same iPad apps from the App Store. There are no iPad Mini specific apps which is great for developers.
  • Features the same familiar iPad iOS interface
  • Integrates with iCloud, iMessage, and FaceTime.
  • Allows iPhone and Mac owners to continue using their Apple ID on their tablet (you obviously can’t use your Apple ID on an Android tablet)
  • About $170 cheaper than an iPad 4 with retina display
  • Can be held comfortably in one hand, unlike the larger iPad
  • Larger screen than 7″ tablets such as Kindle Fire HD and Nexus 7
  • Lighter and thinner than comparable 7″ tablets
  • Has rear camera, something most 7″ tablets don’t have

Despite all of the benefits of the Mini above, there are some drawbacks both relative to the Mini’s big brother and other 7″ tablets. Here are the iPad Mini cons:

  • Significantly more expensive starting at $329 than the Nexus 7 or Kindle Fire HD at $200. You can also upgrade to a full size iPad 2 for only $70 more
  • Not as much screen real estate when compared to the full size iPad
  • Lower resolution than the iPad 4 and slightly lower than other 7″ tablets

So with all that said, should you buy one? Based on these features and benefits, who is the iPad Mini right for?

You Should Buy the iPad Mini If: You have been wanting an iPad as your tablet but were a bit shy of the price. Although you can upgrade to a full size iPad 2 for only $70 more, you rather save that cash and go with the smaller and more portable form factor. ¬†Additionally, if you plan to do a lot of e-reading and were afraid of the full size iPad’s near 10″ screen size, the iPad Mini should do the trick.

You Should Avoid the iPad Mini If: You are very price conscious and want the maximum bang for your buck. In that case, something such as the Nexus 7 is probably a better value. You should also avoid the iPad Mini if you plan to primarily use the iPad Mini at home rather than on the go and don’t plan to read many books on it. In that case, a full size iPad may suit you better.

What is your choice and why: iPad Mini, iPad 2, or the iPad with Retina display?

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