Yes, you read that right: I love my new Apple iPad Mini.
For those of you who know me, you'll know that I'm a PC guy (despite the fact that the vast majority of my career has been spent on Apple products, mostly because I've been in the publishing sector). I consider myself proficient using both platforms, but I've always preferred PC mainly because of the easiness of “getting under the hood,” so to speak.
Some of my fondest memories from my youth are the time I spent with my father staying up (almost) all night working on computer upgrades or simply building one from scratch (we usually bought a case and a few key parts and sometimes even used spare parts to put together our newest PC box). I loved building or upgrading a computer's hardware — when it comes to Apple, I don't think I've ever met anyone who's built one from parts and it seems like the preferred method of upgrading is to just buy the next one.
That's just a quick background on my preferences, now back to the iPad Mini. I won't go into the specs and capabilities of this little device, they're about the same as the regular iPad and you likely know them already.
What I love about the iPad Mini is this size — and that's the main factor for my happiness with the product.
When the original Apple iPad came out, it was about time to get my wife a new computer. It was also about the time (give or take) that Apple released its Air product line. Sure, the Air cost a little more, but it was basically the same size and weight as the iPad and it was, for lack of a better phrase, a real computer with actual programs (not just apps) and an actual keyboard. We got my wife the air. She loves it.
In fact, we mocked the very existence of the iPad. I still do, to be honest. It's too big to hold with one hand (unless you grasp it between your thumb and fingers or mash it with one hand against your belly — as I'm literally watching a guy at the airport do this very second). If I wanted to play with something that size, I'd just assume use my wife's Air.
With with the Mini comes an iPad that's a size I can get behind. I can hold it in the palm of my hand, and operate it with the other hand. It's perfect for light browsing, reading, playing app games.
My favorite use of it is that type of browsing you do when you're just hanging out watching TV.
“Hey, honey, isn't that the guy from that serial killer movie?”
[Grabs iPad Mini, goes to Google ... 30 seconds later]
“Yeah, he's the guy who was the killer on Silence of the Lambs.”
That's pretty much what I use it for (that, and I'm about to watch a movie on it during my flight to Vegas for New Media Expo). It's a toy, and it's the perfect size.
Does it replace my need for an “actual” computer? Far from it. In fact, I'm typing this post on my Asus laptop running Windows 7. I've used my blog publishing platform on my iPad Mini, and it works fine. But it's not a computer. For any serious work, I'm sticking to either my laptop or my desktop (also an Asus).
But I sure do love playing with my Apple iPad Mini!