While I’m the CTO of the Zatz household, my wife Melissa is also capable of making tech purchasing decisions… and living with the consequences. What follows are her thoughts on swapping the iPad 3 for an iPad Mini.
Living with a tech expert I’ve come to appreciate (and depend on) the latest gadgets. Dave understands what we all might like or need. And when the iPad Mini was introduced, he knew that the smaller size was going to be more comfortable for me (yes, size does matter!). While I enjoy taking my tablet to Starbucks or Panera, I also love lounging on the couch with it. My iPad 3 was incredibly uncomfortable and difficult to hold in this position and I frequently found myself putting it down – reaching for my iPhone instead.
So Dave took me to see the iPad Mini, thinking Apple’s newest product addressed my need for a smaller device. Dave was confident I would walk away with a new toy (and maybe secretly hoped I would want one so he too could play around with it while he decided what gadget changes to make). While I was impressed with the Mini’s form and size, I was disappointed in the quality of the screen. I recall removing my sunglasses thinking that maybe they were dirty, causing the screen to appear blurry! Unfortunately, my specs were not to blame. And I walked around the display table comparing units hoping that first one was defective. The Mini’s screen resolution is just weak compared to my iPhone and iPad 3, fuzzy-looking and not sharp or gorgeous like a retina display. We walked out of the store empty handed.
Following our visit to the Apple store my love-hate relationship with my iPad 3 was growing. Dave and I were getting ready to leave on an overseas vacation and I was thinking more and more that I would appreciate having the compact Mini for our 20 hour journey. Unfortunately, when I ultimately made the decision to replace my iPad 3 with the Mini, they were out of stock and my new toy would only arrive upon our return. But I pulled the trigger.
I’ve been using the Mini for a few weeks now. While I’m not overly excited about it there are a few things I love:
- The size. It fits perfectly in one hand – it is both light and comfortable. Perfect for lounging around.
- The portability factor. I can easily throw it in my purse and not notice it is there.
- It’s pretty fast, unlike Dave’s new Kindle tablet.
The things I don’t like:
- Lack of retina display.
- Tiny font (probably my biggest complaint). It is actually very annoying to have to constantly adjust/pinch the screen. It makes my morning routine of having coffee while reading Online Newspapers or reading up on the latest celebrity news in the evening less enjoyable.
- I find it uncomfortable using Apple’s Smart Cover as a stand.
Overall, the portability factor of the iPad Mini outweighs my complaints. I love being able to hold it comfortably in one hand whether I am lying down or sitting up. I’m looking forward to taking it on an upcoming trip and suspect I won’t miss my laptop or iPad 3 during our getaway. While there is plenty of room for improvement (primarily with the display), this Apple fangirl and novice tech user will continue to appreciate the overall simplicity of the iPad Mini…..until the next best thing comes along.