Brian's Photo Blog — Article 182
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The iPad Of My Dreams, At Last?
Tuesday 23 October 2012   —   Category: iPad Workflows
As I briefly mentioned last week — see Nano, Nano ... Goodbye Touch! — ever since I tried the seven-inch Amazon Kindle 3 (with a six-inch screen) about two years ago, I have been longing, and waiting, for Apple to produce a similar-sized, smaller iPad. In the meantime, I have been very happy with my iPad 2, even though I did try the iPad 3 for about a week.

Although I did not like the Kindle as a machine, I really, really liked its size. Because of its smaller proportions and lighter weight compared to a regular iPad, it was much easier to hold, and my hand and wrist were less sore when using it for extended periods of time. I found myself intensely wishing that Apple would make an iPad that size — that would be a tech dream come true!

When I got rid of the Kindle after a few months, I cut and folded a piece of thick red paper — 4.75 x 7.5 inches — so that it was the about the same dimensions as the Kindle 3, which also happened to be almost exactly half the size of my iPad 2. Then I set the paper in the stand I had been using to hold my Kindle, where it has been sitting for nearly two years now (as you can see in the photo to the right). Would my seven-inch tablet dream ever come true?

During the months since then, there have been a number of popular seven-inch tablets brought to market, including the Samsung Galaxy Tab, the Amazon Kindle Fire, and the Google Nexus 7. But the hardware, the Android operating system, as well as the apps they run, all seemed more clunky and less capable than the Apple iPad. So I decided to just sit tight and wait it out, until Apple would finally see the benefits of making their own small tablet.

Today, that eagerly-awaited moment has finally arrived! This morning, Apple broadcast their October 2012 Special Event over the Internet, during which they announced the new iPad mini to the world. I had had some doubts that it would have all the features I wanted, but after reviewing its specifications, I can say that I’m quite satisfied.

At 5.3 x 7.87 inches, it’s just slightly larger than the Kindle 3 — and the red piece of paper that’s been a placeholder these two years. At approximately 194 cubic centimeters in volume compared to 394 for the iPad 2, the iPad mini is around half the total size. And at only eleven ounces (312 grams), it’s about half the weight of its big brother — with all the e-books I read, my wrist is going to be really happy about that!

So even though the iPad mini is about half the size and weight of the bigger iPad, Apple still managed to pack in the same resolution of 1024 x 768 for the screen (although, obviously, the new screen is physically smaller), the same maximum 64 GB of storage memory, the same Wi-Fi and cellular-connection capabilities as the iPad 3 & 4, and the same estimated ten-hour battery life. Once again, the Apple engineers continue to astonish! As it says on the Apple Web site,
Making an iPad this small was no small feat.... To accomplish that, we went back to the very beginning and designed it from scratch.... But the iPad mini isn’t just a scaled-down iPad. We designed it to be a concentration, rather than a reduction, of the original.
So when will I be able to get my paws on one? Apparently, I can order it in just a few days — this coming Friday. The cellular version is supposed to ship in mid-November, so if I’m really fortunate, I just might have it in time for Thanksgiving. That would for sure help me to be quite thankful!! I've already waited two years, so another month or so shouldn’t be too unbearable! But I will definitely be eagerly awaiting its arrival.

Then it will be time to find the answer to the big question: is the mini the iPad of my dreams? Or will it fail the test, like the iPad 3 did? Discover the answers to these questions and more in my follow-up article New iPad Mini Arrives Eight Days Early.
UPDATE: 21 November 2013 — Today my new iPad Mini (2) Retina arrived on my doorstep ... see The iPad Mini Comes Of Age for more details!
Brian's Photo Blog — Article 182
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