I won’t be rushing out to by an iPad Mini. Despite Apple’s remonstrations that it is “not a shrunken down iPad,” it plainly is, and not a really good one either. In typical Apple manner it tries to give the impression that the new form factor is a brilliant, all-original idea, beautifully machined, meticulously constructed, etc. but apart from its screen size and thinner width it’s left me totally underwhelmed.
If it was designed to compete head on with the other very successful tablets in this size range it clearly misses the boat. The Samsung device uses a stylus for pinpoint accuracy when drawing is a damn sight cheaper for a similar spec. (I even write to Apple suggesting the addition of a switch that allowed finger or stylus operation, but I haven’t heard back yet.) The Kindle Fire HD and Google Nexus 7 are way cheaper and do what they say they will do brilliantly. Why would anyone want a smaller version of something that is the already the perfect size for watching video, surfing the web and handling emails. Why would I want a smaller screen begging me to squint with my failing eyesight?
I’ve been duped before. I know if I wait for the second-generation iPad Mini it will have a Retina display, longer battery life and the faster processor its big daddy now has. It’s already a second rate product by Apple’s own reckoning. And the price, well let’s not even go there!
What really annoyed me watching the full announcement presentation was that Apple kept flipping from imperial measures to metric using whichever sounded best for the feature they were trying to promote. I thought they were just being ‘international,’ but if that was the case they would use both for every weight, size or length they were promoting. For example, the iPad Mini has a 7.9 inch display, it’s 72 mm thin and weighs 0.68 lb. Lucky my iPhone has a converter program so I could check out what it all meant in measurements I was used to.
The whole show lacked the ‘pizzazz’ of the old days. We all knew the Mini was coming, we just couldn’t understand why it took so long to make it official. They could never beat the incredible secrecy that surrounding each product when Steve Jobs was around, or the time he pulled the first MacBook Air from a manila envelope on stage. The gasps were audible worldwide. The best they could come up this time was that the iPad Mini ‘as thin as a pencil.’ Whoopdeedoo!
Don’t get me wrong, I love Apple’s products and I have probably had more of them than most, going back to the Apple II, the first Mac and even a Newton! But I’m starting to wear thin with all the Applemania and am almost hoping a new player appears to challenge even Apple in the technology stakes. I’m even wishing Microsoft can come back and shake things up a bit!