Before I decided to pick one up, I really didn’t think a smaller iPad had a place in the way I do things. You see, I already have the third-generation iPad as well as the iPhone 5 and I thought this was good enough. And really, it is… but at the same time, it isn’t. When I went to my local Best Buy and saw one in person and played with it for a few moments, I was sold. A whole new world of iPad usage was apparent to me. The smaller form factor is fantastic for so much of what I do.
I usually keep my grocery list in OmniFocus and use my iPhone when I go to the store. Often, I find myself being interrupted with phone calls and emails and other things that demand my attention and so the phone piece of the iPhone is a bit of a hinderance. Also, the size of the iPhone was also sometimes just not comfortable when pushing a cart and grabbing items. At the same time, I would feel awkward if I was grocery shopping with the normal iPad as it is just too large. The iPad mini fits perfectly into a situation like grocery shopping.
I work in IT for an organization with many buildings. This is another situation where I find the iPad mini’s size to be perfect. I am constantly in and out of my car, in and out of various buildings, and often running back and forth between different departments. I’m finding that the iPad mini is much easier to work with when I’m on the move like this. The screen is still definitely big enough for LogMeIn sessions; and it is easier for me to use both the iPhone and iPad mini at the same time as opposed to the iPad.
As for the device hardware, I am more than happy. As Apple said at the announcement, the internals are the same or better than the iPad 2. It doesn’t have Retina Display; and I certainly notice that, but honestly, it’s ok. The speed of the iPad mini is close enough to the third-generation iPad that I don’t notice too much difference… if any at all. Some things, like Siri, actually seem a little bit faster than on my other devices.
Overall, I really like the iPad mini… much more than I thought I would at the announcement. I think this is a great device for people who have been debating whether or not to get an iPad. If you are someone who uses iTunes or has any Apple products, this is a much wiser choice than any of the other tablets from Amazon or Samsung or whoever.