iPad Mini review, thoughts and why I returned it… (update) and bought it again.

Update July 2012:

I missed my iPad. When I bought the iPad Mini I had given my iPad 3 to my wife… and sold off her iPad 2. So when I returned the iPad Mini I had no iPad (I know… first world problems here). I was holding out hope that Apple would release a Retina iPad Mini soon and I would just grab that version. Its been months and mo Retina iPad Mini yet… and I realized that all the things that made me love the iPad and iPad Mini were missing from my workflow and life. I decided to go back and give it another try. The screen is still pretty underwhelming but the rest of the device (size, weight, feel in your hand) is amazing. For now, I am enjoying what I can and hoping that the Retina version is around the corner.

Original Post:

Last night I zipped over to my local Target to pick up an iPad Mini. I was excited. I have been doing some design work that is targeted toward a smaller screen and have had using a Kindle Fire to emulate the screen size. I love the overall size of the Fire. It is light, fits in my pocket and hand(s) but does not feel cramped. I expected the iPad would be even better. And I was right.

The build quality on Apple products is reaching a point where they seem perfect. I mean it, they are a delight to just hold. The iPad Mini is no different. It feels great. Its light to a point where my brain kept saying this is a hollow demo unit. And, why does the Fire suddenly feel heavy. I think that at a certain point your eyes tell you something is heavy or light. I am impressed!

But the screen.


The software side is awesome too. Its an iPad alright. I used a back-up from my iPad 3 and all my apps, setting, etc. were on the iPad mini. Its like my iPad 3 had magically shrunk and lost weight.

But the screen.

But the screen indeed. I wanted to love this iPad Mini. Everything about it seemed perfect. The size and weight are phenomenal. I can shove it in my pocket. And the fact that it can run all the iPad apps is wonderful.

Time to enjoy it, to read, right? Well no. I am spoiled. Super spoiled. My first iPhone was the 4, my first iPad was the 3. Both have Retina screen. Amazingly beautiful screens with crisp type. I didn’t realize how much I had become accustom to that detail until I started reading on the iPad Mini. Its noticeable. Worse, it was annoying AND distracting…

Instead of having an experience where the hardware and software fade back and I am able to just enjoy my video/images/content, my damned twisted mind kept going, what the hell is up with the text… it looks clunky. And ugly. And weird. The text is what really got me.

I would force myself to move on, knowing I would get acclimated to this factor. I did not. Less than 24 hours later I wiped the device (inside and out), stuck it back in is box and, my dear wife, returned it to Target. Apparently the lady behind the counter rolled her eyes when Amanda tried to explain why her nit-picky wanted to return the iPad Mini. I do not blame her.

Anyway… I will buy an iPad Mini Retina the day it comes out. Heres to hoping that day is sooner rather than later.

* Foolishly, I took no pictures of the iPad Mini I purchased and did not have anything to use to anchor this blog post. Instead I have asked for permission from http://www.looptruth.com/ to use the photo with this post. I am using with permission an image from their unboxing post at http://www.looptruth.com/ipad-mini-unboxing-photos/. Thanks to Marek Bell for granting that permission!


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