It is a foregone conclusion that we will soon get confirmation of the new, smaller iPad. It could be called the Mini, but then again I’m not too bothered what name Apple decides to put on the box. All I know is that I am a prime target for a smaller tablet. I’ve laboured the point over the past two years, but I believe the current 9.7in iPad is too big. Shaving nearly two inches off the diagonal measurement of the screen and shrinking the surround sounds like a step in the right direction. I am not too concerned about the absence of a retina display, if that is the penalty we pay for product differentiation.
The current iPad is great for media consumption around the home; it can also do a presentable job of replacing a laptop for many people, especially when twinned with a Bluetooth keyboard. But when you also own an 11in MacBook Air, which is not that much bulkier or heavier, the iPad tends to remain housebound.
A smaller, lighter iPad is something you wouldn’t mind carrying around most of the time. It will slip into a bag and act as a sort of larger iPhone for reading and the sort of productivity tasks that I spend most of my time doing. It should also be a near-ideal reading device and could undermine my fetish for the iPhone as an e-book reader.
So, irrespective of the price I will buy an iPad Mini or whatever it is called. The only thing that will stop the purchase is the absence of a SIM card slot. If Apple introduces a wifi-only device it is likely to be a huge and costly mistake.
by Mike Evans, 11 October 2012