There have been plenty reviews from every conceivable news outlet on this device, so I won’t try to recreate any of those. I just want to give you my personal thoughts on the device and why I chose it over the iPad Air.
Let’s back up for moment. Working at Automattic has many perks, one of those being a great mobile testing program in which we can all purchase and expense up to one mobile device per year for testing and troubleshooting purposes related to our jobs (yes, we’re hiring). I immediately knew I wanted to get an iPad, as I’ve never owned one but often come across cases where it would be great to have one handy for testing, as well as just for everyday use. With the recent announcement of new iPads, it was a great time to look into purchasing one.
The iPad Air was released for, and so I was able to visit my local Apple Store to hold it and compare it to previous models. It’s definitely way lighter than older iPads, but for me, I didn’t want the large screen as I’m aiming for maximum portability and usability. While I wasn’t able to compare it to a retina mini, I was able to at least do a size comparison and see how each felt in my hand. I decided the mini was better suited for what I wanted to use it for, including writing, reading, and general web browsing because it allowed me to do all of these things in the smallest possible package while still getting all the benefits of a tablet. The amazing thing is that it has the exact same specs as the iPad Air, so the only decision you really have to make is what screen size do you prefer.
So in the end, I purchased the iPad mini with retina display, and I absolutely love it. It’s my computer when I don’t have a laptop handy. It’s surprising how much you can really do with an iPad these days that not too long ago required a more traditional computer.