Like I do with most high-end gadgets, I have been debating whether or not to buy an iPad mini, Apple’s latest 7.9-inch tablet. And after quite a bit of thought, I originally was going to pre-order one, I’ve decided that I won’t be buying this first-generation iPad mini, at least not for myself.
As a content consumer, gamer, reader, and writer, tablets factor into my daily life. I use my 9.7-inch third-generation iPad on a daily basis for work and pleasure and I use my Nexus 7 from Google at least once a day as well, generally to watch video or browse the web as it’s much more portable than the larger iPad. So, when Apple finally announced the iPad mini, I began thinking about how I might fit the smaller iPad mini into the fold.
And as we have finally landed on the iPad mini release day, instead of waiting for the doorbell to ring or heading down to my local Apple store, I am instead planted firmly in my chair with my Nexus 7 and iPad sitting next to my computer.
That’s because, unlike others here at Gotta Be Mobile, I’m sitting this one out. And it’s not because I think the iPad mini is a bad product. So why is it? Well, here is why I won’t be buying a first-generation iPad mini. And maybe, just maybe, my thoughts will help a few of you that might be struggling with the decision like I have been.
No Retina Display
For me, the lack of a Retina Display is absolutely killer. I realize for many people, this won’t make a big difference but trust me when I say this, the reason I even bought the third-generation iPad to replace the iPad 2 was because of the Retina Display. In fact, my usage of the iPad increased probably ten fold from where it was with the iPad 2 because of the Retina Display.
Many times, I’ve gone back to my iPad 2, which has the same screen resolution as the iPad mini and it’s just not the same. Video looks average, books aren’t crisp, it’s simply just not as good.
And I know it would just drive me nuts with the iPad mini which, in turn, would make the iPad mini a waste of money. And that’s because I wouldn’t use it to consume content in my home like I do with the larger iPad. I’d just use the iPad and its Retina Display instead. And that brings me to my next point.
As I’ve said, I already own a Nexus 7 which is a 7-inch Android tablet made by Asus. When the Nexus 7 first came out, I was a bit skeptical, but decided to take the plunge a few days after its release.
What can I say? I absolutely love the thing. It’s easy to hold, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, its operating system, is stellar, and its HD display with 216 pixels-per-inch make books, games and video easy on the eyes. The resolution on the display of the Nexus 7 is higher than that of the iPad mini. Its PPI is also higher. But those are just numbers.
Read: Nexus 7 vs. iPad mini.
What matters is is that the iPad mini doesn’t offer much of anything that I don’t already have on the Nexus 7. A bunch of applications? Check. A robust amount of books and magazines? Yup. Games? You bet. And they all look fantastic. I can’t speak enough about the build quality either. Yes, the iPad mini is sleek, but the Nexus 7 is solid as well and very easy to hold in one hand.
So, there is simply no reason why I would pay the $329 or more to replace the Nexus 7 which I bought for $250 and easily does everything I would expect from the iPad mini.
A lot of things would have had to have fallen into place for me to pick this up. One, Apple would have had to have beat Google to the punch with its 7-inch tablet. It didn’t. And it would have had to have Retina Display, which it doesn’t.
If I didn’t already own two tablets, I’d have to give the iPad mini a look. However, for me, it would still be a tough sell. For the full tablet experience which means high quality apps, HD video, web browsing and more, I’d opt for the larger tablet.
And it would be extremely hard for me to hand over $329 for an iPad mini 16GB without a Retina Display instead of paying $250 for a Nexus 7, that features just about everything I want from a 7-inch tablet (portability, easy access to books and web) with double the capacity.
When the second-generation iPad mini comes out, then Apple might have a sale.