The iPad Mini

The iPad Mini - pretty much everyone seems to love them, or, bizarrely, hate them with a passion. In here I talk about my own experiences and thoughts on the unit.

Update 28 February 2013
An update to an update as they say. Even a week ago I was saying that I thought the Kensington keyboard for the iPad mini was workable - I’ve now completely and utterly changed my mind! I’m allowed.

I’ve found it terrible to use, and so massively inaccurate. I think I was possibly wanting it to be as workable a combination as its bigger brother - it simply isn’t however! Never mind.

Everything else stands about the mini - it’s an awesome device.

Update 22 February 2013
As I promised, a revisit after owning the device for a while. So, where am I at? Has it been consigned to a cool nice to have, or has it made it in to my every day device list...? What do we think?

Well, I’m still completely taken with the device and form factor. It goes everywhere with me and has become my primary reference point at work. It absolutely has to be the form factor doesn’t it? I mean the previous iPad (the full size unit) does exactly the same thing...just bigger. So why the difference in attitude to it? It can of course only be form factor, as that’s really the only difference.

Coupled with EverNote - a simply spectacular product I use across my Mac(s), Windows, and mobile devices - it makes the iPad Mini completely worthwhile.

I still think I struggle a bit with it as a content creator. For instance I recently bought a Kensington keyboard for the mini - one of these. Truth be told I struggled with it. I found the keys too close together, and the screen angle hard to adjust to make it comfortable....until I noticed something so blindingly obvious it was embarrassing. The keyboard detaches.

 This changed everything - all of a sudden it is comfortable to use, at a reasonable angle, and I’m fairly accurate on it too. I can understand why some people would think the keyboard cramped and prone to error though.

Quick summary - now, it’s an every day work device, I’d feel fairly lost without it. Once the next refresh happens I’ll be in line to buy it, but the 3G version (I only have the WiFi version).

On the models by the way, I find the size issue quite interesting. I usually buy the largest storage available - I.e. 64Gb in this case...and yet I find myself having not gone near the limits on this at all. Think I may scale down to the 32Gb next time.

Anyways, as you can tell - I think it’s ace. The form factor makes it a lot more usable than it’s larger cousin.

Original Article - 5 November 2012
It would appear every tech-blogger in the world is now writing about the iPad mini - so I thought I best join in. Wouldn’t want to feel left out now would I?

I find the iPad to be a curious device. I know a lot of people actively use them for work (often with attached BlueTooth Keyboards) but personally I’ve struggled to find a real use for them. The original iPad is actually fairly big. Add a keyboard to it and it becomes fairly substantial to carry too. Feels as big as my Macbook Air 11” anyways.

So, I end up taking the Air. It’s far more functional than the iPad would ever be, and is not really that much harder to carry. Sure, it’s a lot more expensive, but then again it’s a hell of a lot more flexible too.

What’s the iPad good for then? To be clear, when I ask this I mean what’s it good for for me. It’s rare my iPad leaves the house really. If I’m off for a night out it’s too big to lug around. I may take it out if I’m off out during the day and have some dead time on the tube/train - I can fill the time with reading/videos etc.

When I’m traveling (flying/holidays etc.) of course it’s a brilliant device.

I think for me I’ve just struggled to find a *real* use for it. Awesome gadget, but a gadget looking for a function.

In fact, it probably gets used as a Remote more than anything else.

So why the iPad Mini then? I’ve picked one up as A) I love Technology and B) It’s my daughter’s birthday...and she loves the things. Or rather she now has my full size iPad and I’ve ended up with the Mini.

I’m a few days in....and I love the device so, so much more than the original. I’m finding the form factor so much easier to use and work with. I can use it easily to type and consume, and it’s not so big as to be a pain to carry.

I’m as surprised as anybody by this. I thought it’d be a toy I’d use around the house much like I’ve used the iPad to date. I did not expect to find it far more usable and have more function than I did the original form factor.

Even the fact that I can hold it and type away with both thumbs seems to make a world of difference to its usability. iMessage is now coming in to its own for me.

Ok, it’s early days, so I’ll update this in a few weeks to see if I’m still as taken with it or whether it’s ‘New Shiny - Find a function for it’, but right now I’m loving the unit far more than I expected, and certainly more than the previous units.

The screen resolution & size makes browsing, accessing my email/calendar (and Lync) stuff a doddle.

I think it’s a device of complete and utter win. Now, let’s see what I think of the Surface when that finally turns up.....

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