I still have no power (NYSEG now estimates restoration at 11 p.m. Sunday night) but I managed to get my mitts on an iPad mini today at the Apple store in Stamford, CT. As it happens, the store had no mini’s on display; several employees were carrying them around instead. They were more than happy to show them off and allowed extensive in hand demos.
Bottom line: I want one.
Yup, I’d read the reviews, made a cutout, and used other devices to get a sense for its size and weight. But in the hand….wow. To say that it weighs 1/2 as much as the iPad doesn’t quite capture it. The marginal returns from the weight loss seem greater than 2X if you follow me. And it’s seriously thin. It feels like waaaaaay less in the hand, in a less is more kind of way. Wonderful.
I focused on iBooks and Safari. Those are the apps I could envision allowing a mini to suck usage time away from my iPad. My concerns about the keyboard were more or less validated – no extensive text entry in landscape is likely for me, though using two thumbs in portrait wasn’t bad. A quick tweet and an email bore that out.
Safari was fine though not as luxuriant as on the iPad. iBooks otoh is an entirely different animal. I enjoy reading on my iPad but the weight is definitely fatiguing over time. I still do it but I would happily do it more, and more comfortably, on a mini.
As for the screen, it was fine. It worked fine for me on an iPad 1 and 2, so shrunken down was a marginal improvement over that (admittedly out of date) experience. I’ll happily get a mini with a retina display when they ultimately make one. In the meantime, they’d sold out of the 16GB model or I might’ve grabbed one on impulse. Instead, this goes on my Christmas list.
Go check one out in person. You will want one.