Brian's Photo Blog — Article 293
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The iPad Mini Comes Of Age
Thursday 21 November 2013   —   Category: iPad Workflows
Almost a year ago to the day, the iPad of my dreams — the smaller iPad Mini — arrived eight days early at my doorstep, exactly a week before Thanksgiving. And now it’s déjà vu all over again, because yesterday my new iPad Mini Retina arrived one day early and eight days before Thanksgiving!

My ownership of an iPad with Retina display got off to a rocky start back in the Spring of 2012 when I decided to upgrade to a iPad 3 after being a happy iPad 2 user for a year. But the iPad 3’s extra weight (55 grams), extra thickness (0.6mm) and significantly-decreased battery life caused me to revert back to the older iPad 2 after only a week.

I continued to use my iPad 2 on a daily basis until last November, when Apple finally released the smaller iPad I had been longing for. The fact that the 2012 iPad Mini was built using much of the same year-and-a-half-old technology of the iPad 2 did not really bother me much, because I was satisfied with the iPad 2. But those who were comparing the iPad Mini with the full-sized iPad 3 and 4 were disappointed and felt like it was a step backwards.

When I upgraded to iOS 7 a couple of months ago I quickly discovered that my iPad Mini was not quite up to the task. Its limited memory (512 MB) combined with a slower processor (Apple A5) caused a noticeable performance lag. So I started to dream of the rumored iPad Mini 2 (Retina) which was expect to come out before the end of 2013.

Now that it has been in my hot little hands for 24 hours — or less ... I DID get a decent night’s sleep last night! — what are my first impressions? OK, its extra 29 grams of weight and 0.3mm extra thickness is somewhat noticeable, but it’s not that big of a deal. Much more important is the increased memory (doubled to 1 GB) and the 4x faster processor (Apple A7).

The high-resolution Retina display is a nice perk, but not the main attraction for me. Personally, I would rather do without the Retina and have a lower weight, smaller thickness and/or increased battery life. But Apple didn’t ask for my design input, so I have to take what they decided on!
I've been seeing some articles online this week about subpar color reproduction on the iPad Mini’s Retina display. From my perspective these kind of reports are really nitpicky analyses which don’t have a huge significance to ordinary consumers. This controversy is not an issue for me at all.

In just the short time I have had it, I can already see that the iPad Mini 2 performs much, much better than the original Mini. It is wonderful that the technology inside the new Mini is Apple’s current state of the art, on par with the latest iPhone 5S and iPad (5) Air rather than playing second fiddle to them. The faster processor and increased memory make a huge difference in the performance of this new iPad and thus in the pleasure of using it.

As would be expected, this new iPad Mini works just fine with the Thought Out iPad Mini Stand, the Logitech Wireless Illuminated Keyboard, and the other accessories which I had purchased for the original iPad Mini. Such might not be the case for those upgrading from the full-sized iPad 4 to the new iPad Air.

All of my previous iPads were Verizon cellular capable and had the maximum amount of storage (64 GB), so this time around I followed the same trend, choosing the new maximum of 128 GB — awesome! It is astonishing to realize how much power and technology and capacity and capability is packed into this tiny computer which can easily be held in one hand (or by two fingers, as the photo above demonstrates)!

Because my previous iPad Mini is only a year old and is still in excellent condition, and because it was a top-of-the-line model when I purchased it, I’m planning on selling it on Craigslist for $450 — just in time for the holiday season. Although Apple is still selling the original iPad Mini, they are no longer offering a 64 GB model. If they were, it would run $668 (with a Smart Cover), and the iPad Mini Retina with 64 GB and Verizon cellular (and Smart Cover) is going for $768.

Well, I’m very happy with and excited about my new iPad Mini Retina. Because I use it extensively every day, it seemed like a good decision to upgrade, jumping a few generations, to the latest technology. I should be set for another couple of years, but on the other hand, you know how Apple likes to come up with enticing new models. Hopefully I haven’t begun an annual Thanksgiving iPad Mini tradition!
Brian's Photo Blog — Article 293
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