I watched Apple’s keynote of the iPad mini event on my iPad 3 with Retina Display and had to adjust myself several times while holding the thin aluminum slab in my hands due to its weight. The iPad 3 is not a heavy device when holding it for a few minutes, but holding it for over an hour makes you wish it were lighter. It was then and there I had my Oprah “Aha! Moment”. Ever since the 1st generation iPad I always wanted an iPad that was thinner, lighter, much easier and tolerable to carry everywhere. So while holding the thicker, heavier, less easy and tolerable to carry everywhere iPad 3 I decided something was about to change. I happily purchased every 9.7” iPad Apple released on the day it was released. Why wasn’t I going after something I had been hoping Apple had created a few years ago? It was finally here, sure it lacked the Retina Display and A6 processor but I was happy with the 1st generation iPad and the iPad 2 (which the iPad mini is basically shrunken down from). So I decided to go after what I had been waiting for Apple to release for a few years. It was the logical thing to do, right?
I posted my 32GB WiFi iPad 3 on Craigslist and sold it very quickly to a nice girl who got an amazing deal on my iPad 3. So now that I was iPadless I went to Apple’s online store to try and order an iPad mini. I was greeted with a 2-week wait. That wasn’t going to work. I needed one right away (glad I’m not like this with other things). Luckily, Apple had begun letting customers take a chance at 10pm and reserve an iPad mini in a store that would have it in stock the following morning. So at 9:58 I began my mission. I chose a 16GB WiFi Black and Slate iPad mini and kept hitting refresh until I saw that there was one store in the North Jersey/New York area that had what I was looking for. I happily typed my credit card information into the fields and checked out. I received the email that told me I could pick up my iPad mini at the Apple Store in Menlo Park Mall in Edison, NJ after 10AM (about 25 minutes from me). I felt like a kid on Christmas Eve. I wondered what the iPad mini was going to be like? How would it feel? Would the non-Retina Display make a huge difference? Most importantly would I regret selling my iPad 3 to the nice girl who bought it?
I got to the Apple Store using my iPhone 5’s voice navigation, thankfully it worked and got me there without getting lost. When I saw the iPad mini on display and picked it up I couldn’t believe how light, thin, and beautiful it was. The non-Retina Display wasn’t an issue from the minute I played around with it before handing in my reservation and leaving the store with my new iPad mini.
When I got home I restored all of my apps, photos, settings, etc. via iCloud. I had a 32GB iPad 3 but never stored my music on it so everything that was on my iPad 3 synced right over to my 16GB iPad mini. I still couldn’t get over how this iPad was so different in all the right ways but still kept intact everything millions of people love about the iPad. It wasn’t like using a device that had apps scaled up from a smartphone OS, the way Google’s Nexus 7 felt to me. This was an iPad and it’s apps were the exact same tablet-quality designed apps used on all previous 9.7” iPads.
I began using the iPad mini and literally didn’t put it down for a few hours. I read a bunch of magazines, surfed the web, watched some HBO GO, played games, listened to Howard Stern on the Sirius app, FaceTimed with my sister and my 2 month old niece, and a check of the battery showed 60%. Apple does some serious tweaking when it comes to battery life and their products. It outlasted me and I was happy to know that I still had a lot more time to play; I mean be productive before it needed a recharge;)
I use my iPad mini so much more than any of my previous iPads because it’s the iPad I always wanted. I wanted to take my iPad out and about. I wanted to be able to read on the subway without feeling like I was committing some socially awkward nerd crime with a 9.7” slab of aluminum and glass. The iPad mini releases itself from the confines of a home and doesn’t get relegated to laying on a coffee table for general use. It is large enough to feel like you’re not compromising on screen view due to its 7.9” screen but small enough that you can hold it in one hand and use it for extended periods of time without ever thinking “I wish this thing was lighter”, something I would always think when using any previous iPad.
So the question is do I feel that the iPad mini was an upgrade or a downgrade from my iPad 3? I can honestly say for me that the iPad mini is a huge upgrade. It might not have a Retina Display, an A6 processor, but what it does have blows all the high-end specs away. It’s the iPad I have been always waiting for and it’s finally here!
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