Thursday, December 6, 2012

When to use the iPad Mini instead of the iPad Retina

Ever since the iPad mini was released, I have struggled to decide whether it was a better product than the iPad retina. I visited the Apple store to get my hands on the iPad mini and I was immediately taken with the form factor. Its a beautiful device and feels extremely light compared to the larger iPad. In fact, its nearly perfect, except for the non-retina display. Although it seems slightly better than the iPad 2 because of the smaller size, it is a big step down from the retina display, particularly when reading text. 

I now own both devices, and I've decided to list when to use the iPad mini over the iPad retina, based on my experiences over the last few weeks. 

When to use the iPad mini: 
  1. Laying in bed - the mini is the perfect device to use in bed because of its lightness. You can easily hold it in one hand when laying on your side or back. 
  2. When mobile - The ipad mini is fun to walk around with. I see at as an ideal tablet in a work environment for professions such as healthcare workers. 
  3. Gaming -  The ipad mini may be the perfect tablet gaming device. 
  4. As a remote for your entertainment system. - I particularly like the apple remote app. 
  5. As a portable music player - its larger than an iphone, but its still light enough for portable listening. 
  6. Reading in any position that requires you to hold the device. It feels more like using a kindle, however, a retina display on the mini would make this experience even better. 
  7. Star gazing apps - easier to hold above your head. 
  8. Taking photos and videos - An iphone is better at this, but the mini is a much more acceptable camera than the ipad retina. 
  9. Facetime - I enjoy facetime on the ipad mini because I can hold the device in one hand and walk around the house. 
  10. While traveling - its thinner, lighter, and sort-of fits in a pocket. A perfect travel device. 


When to use the iPad retina: 

  1. Sitting upright in a chair - reading a book. The iPad retina excels when you are sitting upright with the device in your lap. 
  2. Sitting at the kitchen counter - I like to sit at the kitchen counter and read news in the morning. The larger retina display is perfect for this, along with the smart cover propping the ipad up a bit.
  3. Almost any situation where you are not holding the ipad with your hands - your desk at work.
  4. Watching movies - the big retina display excels at showing movies and can make for a cinema like experience when paired with quality headphones. 
  5. Shopping - for some reason I like the larger screen for shopping experiences. 
  6. Typing - space is better. 
  7. Productivity apps such as pages and numbers. 
  8. Viewing photos - The large retina screen is the perfect device for viewing your high res photos. 
  9. Music and video productions - If you are doing any music or video editing, you will appreciate the extra screen space. 
  10. Trade show display - the retina iPad is a great device for presentations and slideshows at a trade booth.