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November 18, 2012

"Why would I want a smaller-screened iPad?"


Above, an exchange I had on Twitter last night that pretty much boils it down.

If you don't have something with you by default, only one thing is certain: you won't have it when you really, really need it.

nuf sed.

My mini arrived Friday afternoon and I've been putting it through its paces big-time.

No, it's not perfect: Of course I'd prefer a Retina Display.

And it could be an inch narrower to be more comfortable in my hand.

But guess what? When I'm out doing this or that — watching college football while doing yard work, standing in line at Kroger, waiting in the bank drive-through — I can ask "What's the weather in Pittsburgh?" and there it is onscreen.

Perfect is the enemy of way better than good.

All the other tablets — Nexus 7, Kindle Fire HD, etc. — are just junk in comparison.

Same goes for using iPad mini as an eReader: dwarfs and crushes Kindle Fire HD and Paperwhite.

Not even close.

November 18, 2012 at 07:01 AM | Permalink


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This promo video sums up why the iPad Mini is all that...


Posted by: Rocketboy | Nov 20, 2012 9:40:29 PM

Since Book of Joe has become a subsidiary of Apple Inc. this year with ongoing gushing about iWhatever, I must praise the real best phone/tablet mashup: the Samsung Galaxy Note. Perfect size, incredible resolution, and infinitely customizable.

Posted by: Clay | Nov 20, 2012 1:11:49 PM

(1) Does it fit a lab coat pocket?
(2) I'll buy the Retna release next year.

Posted by: 6.02*10^23 | Nov 19, 2012 10:38:08 AM

I've been a 7" tablet advocate since buying an Archos 70 two years ago.

Being able to slip it into a back trouser pocket or a jacket breast pocket is key.

I would disagree that the Nexus 7 is junk though. It is well-made, has a good screen and positively flies with the Tegra 3 processor. It also functions independently, not needing IOS's iTunes umbilical cord in order to operate.

Posted by: Fred | Nov 18, 2012 9:36:06 PM

We're a split household - I go Android and my wife is Apple. She uses few apps beyond browsing, Email, and Facebook, and values the seamless integration that is Apple's real value-added proposition (beyond all the fanboy fashionista stuff) enough to pay for it. I use my Android stuff to pieces, so the ability to get "under the hood" is valuable to me, and it's cheaper.

In general, the Mini/Nexus 7 form factor is a winner since it's small enough to carry and big enough to be useful for most tasks (primarily Email and browsing which is a pain on a phone). After that it's a cost-benefit game; Nexus costs less but doesn't have much in the way of outputs (though the display, GPS and OS work very well and are updated on-the-fly without any hassle) - I like mine very much. Apple's offerings some additional connectivity, dual cameras etc. at a substantial premium. It's a shame that Apple requires you to buy the cellular version to get any kind of GPS functionality.

I expect to see a lot of copycat devices coming down the pike very quickly, particularly from Samsung.

Posted by: Scott | Nov 18, 2012 11:17:03 AM

I don't have a Mini yet but plan to get one. I've read some other high profile bloggers say that it is now their primary iPad for various reasons.

My comments on your take:
I take my iPhone everywhere and can look up whatever on the fly that way. I do it almost daily. I thought about a 3G iPad and no iPhone (I don't make phone calls, but am deaf so can get a minute-less plan that's $50/month) but I love the iPhone form factor.

I agree that even just the hardware of the other tablets feels junky, especially compare to an iPad. Plastic boxes, nowhere near as light, and almost twice as thick. The paper white will be nothing but a reader. The others might be okay if the iPad didn't exist. I only recommend the Nexus 7 or Kindle Fire if someone is putting price as their primary criteria, and even then it's a hesitant recommendation.

Posted by: Sara | Nov 18, 2012 9:11:38 AM

Interesting that you refer to the Nexus 7 as junk, when it addresses the two problems you mention with the mini (it has a higher resolution and is about an inch thinner).

(I don't have a Kindle Fire, a Nexus 7, or a mini. When I make buying decisions, ideology, utility, and value--in that order--trump aesthetics, trendiness, and brand power. None of these small slates are junk, IMO, they merely address market segments that I am not in.)

Posted by: Nathan | Nov 18, 2012 8:48:50 AM

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