- Features No comments
- Display No comments
- Battery life No comments
- Ease of use No comments
- Storage capacity No comments
- Design and form factor No comments
- Portability (size / weight) No comments
- Durability No comments
I pre-ordered my iPad Mini and it came on November 2nd as expected and returned it back to apple on November 3rd, 2012.
As usual when ever I unboxed an apple product my expectation is set very high and Apple has always delivered in past. Our immediate family and parents combined have iMacs (2), iPhone 4s (1), iphone 4 (1), ipod touches (3), Original iPad (1), ipad 2 (1), Apple TV (4), MacBook Air (1) and several apple accessories. Our family loves Apple.
So anyone who is going to read this blog please understand it breaks my heart to tell you iPad Mini is not a Steve Job's Apple product and the $329.00 price is not justified.
iPad Mini was a disappointment in many levels and here is my short lived experience with it:
When I opened the package I admired the hardware first before even turning the screen on. It was well finished and beautiful just like the new 5th Generation iPod Touch (4 inch). In fact I felt that outer design and hardware spec. is almost identical to the new iPod touch. I personally don't care for the anodized aluminum it feels very cheap compared to the original ipad or ipad 2's aluminum material.
After admiring the hardware for a minute I turned on the ipad Mini. I was instantly disappointed with the home screens icons and label sizes. It felt as if you were holding a bigger iPod touch (5th Gen.) with small tiny icons & text. Instead of making the icons and labels slightly bigger proportionate to the 7.9 inch screen size just like they have done it on the iPad 9.7 inch.
I thought ok the main screen of icons and labels was disappointing let me see if it will grow on me and tried to convince myself otherwise. Next I tried to surf the web using safari. I look at the address bar and search bar labels and text that you type it was so tiny you could barely see it. Here I felt may the Retina Display would have made the difference but I still feel Apple as company should have put lot more efforts to make the software design match to the hardware size spec. of the iPad Mini's 7.9 inch.
A5 chip performance was sluggish especially when you are trying to install apps from the App Store or launching books from the iBook's app. Screen paints slowly when you search for apps and you go to purchased tab the load of all the apps very slow. Here Apple is marketing the iPad Mini is just like iPad. Not true.
I tried news and rss feed app: Flipboard. iPad Mini as eReader is a fine device choice but $329.00 for a eReader?
Next I tested the video and audio by playing trailers and they were fine no disappointment there.
I started to type some notes and write on the tablets using the built-in Notes App and Penultimate. I felt screen size was fine for this purpose. I was trying to evaluate can I replace iPad 9.7 inch and use the iPad Mini more than just media consuming device. I think you can but I felt this iPad Mini fell short.
I configured my Mail and that worked fine. Than I thought I have my iPhone 4s why would I open this device and send email. Most likely I will probably use it for reading emails but most of the time my iPhone would do the job to read and write.
The biggest disappoint was the first gen. iPad Mini fell short of my high expectation that I have of Apple. I strongly feel if Steve was alive he would have stopped iPad Mini Project or would have pushed the team to another level to extract the perfection that he always aspired and demanded.
If the following improvements were made to iPad Mini I would pay $329.00 or even $349.00:
iPad Mini has to fulfill a certain need. Portability and eReader is not enough for the current price point asked. Apple will never create $199.00 iPad Mini. iPad Mini cannot be iPad even though it is marketed that way. Ask yourself do you really want to carry iPhone, iPad, iPad Mini & MacBook?
Retina Display is needed and make the home screen page's icons and text proportionate to 7.9 inch hardware size. When see iPad 9.7 the icons and text are beautiful. Apple team please put some thought and effort.
Please put a A6/A6x chip with 1 GB of RAM. The whole experience is sluggish and disappointing especially App Store and iBooks.
Improve Safari's experience with bigger address bar, search bar & tab labels bigger.
Please rethink using Anodized Aluminium it feels cheap. Lighter and thinner should not be the overarching focus but the overall experience and making the hardware more durable and pleasurable to hold even-though some times it might be heavier. Here I feel iPhone 4/4s, iPad (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th gen) and iPod (3rd, 4th gen) are far superior to hold and durable even-though they are thicker and heavier.
If all of the above is done I will definitely buy the iPad Mini and replace iPad 9.7 inch.
As it stands the current iPad Mini is worth only $299.00 same pricing as iPod Touch 4 inch. (5th Gen.). Even then I would personally buy iPad 2, iPad 3 refurbished or iPad 4 and that is money well spent.
I feel after this experience Apple needs to put lot more concentration on the Software iOS and be careful with the Hardware design (thinner and lighter should not be the primary focus).
I hope the recent Apple's Management shake up hopefully make the company stronger and up hold on Steve's maniacal pursuit of perfection of products that intersects Technology & Liberal Arts.
Tim Cook's Apple still have to follow universal principle of Brutal Honesty to create delightful and innovative products and services and not an answer to the competition. I hoping Apple is still "Staying Hungry! Staying Foolish!"
PLEASE GO TO YOUR NEAREST APPLE STORE TRY TO SPEND SOME TIME WITH
THE IPAD MINI and IPAD 9.7" VARIANTS BEFORE YOU DECIDE TO PURCHASE IT!
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