I’m buying an iPad Mini and you CAN stop me. It’s really against my better judgement to buy a device that will clearly be replaced soon, and that clearly is a bit underpowered…but I can’t help myself. Can you reason with me?
Both my trip to the 5th Avenue Apple Store (pictures below) and some interesting things I’ve read on the mini have convinced me that it’s the right decision. Just like with family, you’ve got to love the mini for what it is, and not be bitter for what it’s not.
Why I Really Shouldn’t Buy it
I WRITE about technology for pete’s sake. I really should know better. The iPad mini is running on the hardware of 2011, and this is 2013. The screen is underwhelming even compared to far cheaper competitors like the Nexus 7. Rumors (like here, here, and here) all point towards a new mini within the next three or four months. Some say it will have a retina display, while others argue that it’s simply too costly, and we won’t see a Retina model until 2014. Some say the next model’s release date may be as soon as next month.Nonetheless, there’s consensus that now is NOT the time to buy.
Why I Will (Unless you convince me otherwise)
I’m going to do it- I swear I will. Why? Why would I waste $500 on an obsolete piece of technology? Well, first of all it costs less than you think to buy a tablet, and secondly I really like the mini.
Despite the older stats, when you actually use the mini it feels quite fast for most things. I’ve happily browsed the web, watched videos, and even enjoyed games of temple run 2 while testing out the Mini. I’m underwhelmed by the screen but overwhelmed by the design. It looks great, and it is incredibly light. I honestly loved every moment I held it at the Apple store. Another note: The camera was as fast as lightening
Typing was awkward, and the screen wasn’t great (it was pretty good, just not as good as most Apple products), but I’ve learned to accept that. I’m an accepting person, and I like the ipad for what it is: It’s a perfectly weighted portable device with the biggest possible screen that’s comfortable in the hand. It’s a device for browsing the web on the go, and doing more advanced tasks in places where carrying a computer isn’t possible. It does everything I want it to do, even if it could do a few things a bit better.
And I’m not alone. Here are some other writers who feel exactly as I do about the mini. Minimally Minimalist is a Microsoft Employee, but he loves the mini. Despite its’ drawbacks, Walt Mossberg calls it “a perfect solution“.
It is. It’s a perfect solution. That simple moniker describes it perfectly. Perfectly acceptable as a tablet solution, and so tempting despite its’ drawbacks.
Commence convincing me otherwise.
The list price may start at $329, but that’s in no way the price. The actual costs to you for a tablet may be higher or lower than list price based on a few factors. Here’s how to calculate the cost of your iPad. We created a simple checklist to calculate the exact cost to you. Add and subtract the below values to calculate the value of your iPad.
- Have you had an iOS device before? If you don’t have apps, add $50 to your costs. This is a low standardized number, but it’s a pretty good indicator. Add $10 if this is your first iPad for specialized iPad apps.
- Do you plan on selling it? How soon? Gazelle.com and other buyback services will buy it back, at about half cost on average for the most recently obsolete model, and a bit higher than 1/3 cost for older models. If you plan on selling your tablet, subtract 1/2 from the price if you plan on selling it within a year and a half, and 1/3 if you plan on selling it within three years. Selling on ebay would take longer, and require more effort, but would leave you with more money in the end.
- How many accessories do you plan on buying? A good iPad case can run you $50, and a screen protector can cost you an additional $10-20. There are thousands of other creative accessories and toys that connect with your iPad as well. Add $70 if you don’t plan on buying many accessories, and $150 if you plan on buying something beyond a case.
- What’s the value of the work you plan on doing on this? How much “value” are you creating by mobilizing your work further? Time is money too.
Calculating Your Costs:
Here’s an example: If I were to buy an iPad mini- The starting cost would be $329 if I bought the base model. If I plan to resell at the year and a half mark from its’ release, I can expect about $165 back. Right now our cost is at around $165. I already have an iPhone with hundreds of apps, many paid, so I’m only adding $15 for iPad specific apps, bringing cost to $180. Accessories are where they get me. Anyone who has seen our review page knows I like nerdy toys and gadgets. I’m going to add $30. And we’re up to $210. Now for the value proposition. I can expect to get plenty of extra work done on this, and much of the app and accessory costs are business expenses that will probably be payed off with revenue. I’m going to subtract that $30 I just added, bringing the total cost of this gadget to $180.
Depending on yourself and your device the value may vary widely, but it’s important to calculate these things beforehand. Buying an iPad mini isn’t actually that costly to me, and it may be cheaper or more costly to you. Just keep in mind these factors when choosing a device that fits your budget. I hope this is helpful, and if it is, I hope you’ll consider sharing this with your friends and signing up for our newsletter.
As Huawei unveiled the ginormous 6.1 inch Ascend Mate smartphone at CES last week, the debate over how big is too big raged on, and I decided to add my two cents as someone who has months of experience using a phablet, and years using an iPhone and smaller (think LG Chocolate). But… Check out the graphic we built on this before we get into it .
Phone sizes vary more than teen jean sizes. I remember staring in wonder at the bricks we called phones a decade ago. I would sift endlessly through their contact books, the one feature besides calling on their black and white screen. Honestly, calculators now have better screens, but at the time the technology was impressive. From there the trend was to build lighter phones, and that was done by making chips and displays smaller and more precise, so the trend shifted to the small end.
That just about peaked with the introduction of the Samsung Juke in 2007 with dimensional height of only 1.2 inches and a width of less than an inch. Ironically, Samsung has led the crusade towards large phones only five years later.
So what’s the juicy stuff? Is there a “too big”? Yes. A “too big” point does exist, but the Samsung galaxy note and note II haven’t hit it, although they’ve tested the line. As I said in my review, when I shifted from the iPhone, I thought the Note would be way too large to use, but other than calling (which looked ridiculous) I found the extra screen real estate very helpful, and thanks to great weight distribution, and a reasonably light interior it wasn’t too heavy in the hand. It easily slid into the pockets of all but my tightest jeans, and it showed great potential on the multimedia, and office front.
Since I haven’t tried Huawei’s Ascend Mate, I can’t pass judgement on it yet, but considering how close the note (5.8 in.) comes to the not-a-phone line for me, I can’t imagine using a 6.1 inch device as a phone. Texting and typing on the go was the biggest challenge of the note (besides calling), and although having a big screen is nice, if it’s not portable enough to use while walking down the street/hallway it’s a tablet, not a phone.
People say “the line between the phone and tablet is blurring”. But was there ever a line? These are new devices and there has never been a standard, so as separate as these two purported categories have been, the only true distinction between the two is SMS capabilities and an earpiece on the top.
I’d expect to see devices that bring phone capabilities to your tablet (i.e earpieces to make it work like a phone) to be paired with existing VOIP (Voice over internet protocol) technology very soon, enabling tablets as phones.
Where do you draw the line?