Why I’m Not Buying the iPad mini or iPad 4th Gen

Apple introduced two new iPads this week – the iPad mini and iPad 4th generation. However, I don’t plan to buy either of them. The iPad mini costs too much for using last year’s technology, and the new 4th gen iPad doesn’t add enough to make upgrading worth the expense and hassle.

The iPad 4th generation gains more than a Lightning adapter, Apple also adds a new processor with better graphics power, a FaceTime HD camera and now support Sprint as a wireless option. The iPad 4th gen now supports faster Wi-Fi for better streaming and downloading on advanced WiFi networks.

I’d love a faster iPad, but not enough to go through the hassle of selling my current iPad. I don’t like the idea of getting in a virtual line on the web to pre-order the 32GB LTE iPad 4th generation for $729. Even after selling my current iPad, the cost to upgrade is $350.

That’s why I won’t upgrade to the 4th gen iPad.

Apple needed to do three things to push me to buy the iPad mini.

  • Make it possible to easily swap iPad SIM cards so I don’t need another data plan
  • Offer iPhone 5 caliber hardware
  • Price the iPad mini below $300
iPad Mini

The iPad mini costs too much for yesterday’s technology

The early 2012 iPad uses a micro-SIM card while the iPad mini requires a nano-SIM like the one in the iPhone 5. I can use an adapter like this one from Amazon so that’s not a big issue. If that was the only problem, I’d probably buy one.

Apple bumped up the specs on the larger iPad, but didn’t put the same advanced hardware in the iPad mini. I’m most disappointed that they left out the high res Retina Display available on the iPhone 5 and larger iPad.

I’m not going to pay a premium price for yesterday’s hardware. I’m sure it will run and sell well in spite of this, but I don’t think it’s worth adding a second iPad to my gadget bag. I’m definitely not replacing my current iPad for the iPad mini, with nearly equal specs.

The 16GB Nexus 7 costs $249. Everyone who got to hold the iPad mini in the post announcement hands-on agrees that the iPad mini hardware feels like excellent workmanship. That’s great, but my Nexus 7 holds up well at a more affordable price. I always keep my tablets in a case so I don’t notice the rubber and plastic on the Nexus 7 or the aluminum of the iPad. After multiple drops the Nexus 7 holds up well.

The Wifi only 16GB iPad Mini is too limiting for my use. iPad apps take up a lot of space, and I need Internet access anywhere i travel. Instead of paying $329 for the lowest cost iPad mini, I would need to buy the iPad Mini 32GB with LTE for $559.

At that price the iPad mini is a luxury I’m not willing to buy.