October 23, 2012 at 9:31 pm #5627
So, the iPad mini is here at last! Smaller tablets have already carved out a real niche for themselves, and if you’ve always wanted an iPad but were scared off by its size, then maybe this is the day you’ve been waiting for.
Or maybe Apple waited too long. There are already a bunch of very good smaller tablets out there. Let’s see how the new iThing compares to the others on specs.
Let’s start with our familiar disclaimer: specs don’t mean everything. Your user experience is what matters most. That said, specs are a part of that user experience, and they can play a critical role in helping you make an informed decision on the product you want to spend your hard-earned cash on.
*Apple hasn’t said how much RAM there is, but we think it’s a pretty save assumption that it’s 512MB, since most of the other components line up pretty nicely with the iPad 2.
Let’s start out with wow it’s thin. Coming in at 0.28 inches, its certainly beats the rest of the category. It’s also the lightest on our chart at 0.68 pounds, but just barely (the Nook HD is only 0.01 pound heavier). At the same time, we don’t yet know the other dimensions (length and width), so we’ll have to wait and see just how pocketable it really is. Update: Those dimensions have now been announced, and it should be about as pocketable as any of them.
Resolution may be a bit on the disappointing side. Coming in at 162 ppi, the iPad mini comes in way behind the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HD (216 ppi) and is miles behind the Nook HD (243 ppi). Also Apple is using older dual-core A5 chip that was in the iPad 2. Does that measure up to the quad-core Tegra 3 you find on some of the others? It depends on how you benchmark it. It some ways it’s as good or better, and in others it lags behind.
There are other things to consider, of course, like ecosystems. There are 275,000 apps optimized specifically optimized for the iPad. For Android, it’s in the low thousands (those almost all Android apps stretch just fine, they just might not look so great). Ditto for the Kindle and Nook. Yes, a lot of those apps are redundant, but the pattern has remained mostly consistent in that developers generally make apps for iOS first, and then follow up with Android, then put them in the in the Amazon or Nook stores whenever they get to it.
Lastly, but not least importantly, there’s the price. Starting at £269.00, it’s a lot more than the other tablets which are really good and start at only £157.00. Considering the lower specs, that may be a tough pill to swallow. Also, it’s rumored that the 16GB Nexus 7 is going to drop to in price next week, and a 32GB version will replace the 16GB at that £199.00 price point. Regardless, choosing the iPad will likely come down to how invested you are (and how invested you want to be) in the ios ecosystem.
by Brent Rose @ GizmodoOctober 23, 2012 at 9:39 pm #5629
Not to mention that the Nexus 7 1280 X 800 (216PPI) resolution knocks spots off the Ipad mini at only 1024 x 768 (162PPI)….yep Tim Cook over at Apple didn’t make a big fuss about that when he compared it to the Nexus 7!October 23, 2012 at 9:56 pm #5644
Popped my thought on the blog, bit rushed as its late, but will edit and correct typos in the morning!!October 24, 2012 at 8:22 am #5788
My favourite quote of the pitch:
This isn’t just a shrunken down iPad
The contempt that Apple has for their core fans is astonishing!
Yes, yes it really is just a shrunken down iPad. Joe Consumer doesn’t give a damn what’s inside or whether it comes in black or white. It looks the same as an iPad, just smaller. It looks the same as an iPod Touch, just bigger.
It doesn’t do anything more or less.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s a neat machine, but I don’t see what I get for the extra money.October 24, 2012 at 10:01 am #5821
I’m sure they’ll sell them by the bucketload and they’ll be nice to use, but a lower spec for a higher price doesn’t interest me.
However, specs and ability mean nothing without a solid marketing campaign.
Regardless of how much better we consider Android slabs to be, Apple’s brand is so very desirable.
When the 32GB and 3G models are official, Google will need to plug that thing like there’s no tomorrow. Amazon are doing a good job of advertising the Kindle Fire, so let’s hope they’ll gang up against Cupertino and show the general public there’s much, much more to tablets than iOS.October 24, 2012 at 11:40 am #5855
I was really curious by how interested I was in the launch, I found myself refreshing a live feed and feeling excited about the news as it trickled out. If that’s how I felt, and I don’t see myself as major Apple fan, then I really get how some people out there are having full on nerdgasms.
And then I even imagined myself feeling embarrassed about owning an ‘inferior’ 7″ tablet. Fortunately I have since snapped out of it, mostly helped by listing out the reasons I would still chose a Nexus 7 for a future blog post.
Apple really have found the magic marketing formula. Kinda impressive.