10.1: iPad mini Day One

January 3, 2013

I picked up an iPad mini today. After having visited various Apple Stores explicitly to test drive iPad minis, I figured that it’s time to take the jump and put an iPhone 5 on purchase on hold. What follows is why I took the jump and my first day findings.

The primary reason I wanted an iPad mini today (as opposed to waiting for the second generation) was because I felt it would help me learn Processing. I have the Processing book as a PDF, and part of successfully learning a coding language is following along with the book. Up until today I’ve been reading the book on my iPhone and doing the coding on my 3rd generation iPad, but having to read the book on my iPhone was slowing me down. The iPhone’s display is simply too small for reading 700+ page books, and I needed a more book-sized display. The iPad mini does indeed help me learn Processing faster, and I’m confident I can reach my goal of being at least an amateur Processing/generative designer by April.

Probably the second reason I wanted an iPad mini is the portability. You’ll be hard pressed to find someone who calls the standard iPad unwieldy, but despite being thin it’s more of a device one uses sitting down than anything. I use public transit and I tend to pace like a maniac when I’m not sitting down. The standard sides iPad isn’t fantastic as a device to use on the bus or to use walking around, and in those cases smaller and lighter is better. I can confirm that the iPad mini has relegated my full sized iPad to tables where it belongs. Tasks like drawing and typing are easier on the full sized iPad when sitting down at a desk, however those same tasks can be completed faster on the iPad mini when walking around.

I’m not going to lie, another reason I wanted an iPad mini is because, from my experience at Apple Stores, games are more fun on it. I love gaming on the full sized iPad as much as the next guy — I spend way too much time playing Theatrhythm Final Fantasy [iTunes link] and Jetpack Joyride [iTunes link] — but the games are better on the smaller display. As with my above assumptions, I can confirm this to be true. Honestly I hate admitting this as a reason since I have a very difficult time convincing people that iPads aren’t “consumption” devices and they’re really great for productivity, but being honest, the iPad mini kicks butt as a portable gaming device.

Those are my primary reasons for getting an iPad mini. At least for me it doesn’t replace the full sized iPad, as the full sized iPad doesn’t replace the iPad mini. The two devices together make a whole, and the fantastic thing about having both is that I can choose the half that best fits my needs at any given time.

Sent from my iPad mini

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