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Travelling with MacBook Air and iPad mini


Since my iPad mini arrived I have sold my “new” iPad, aka iPad 3, retina display and all, and decided to give my full attention to the new, smaller tablet. For my visit to Bavaria this week I packed the mini and my MacBook Air (plus iPhone 5, of course) and it has proved to be a winning team.

In my bigPad days I was reluctant to travel with both the Air and the iPad; it usually came down to the choice of one or the other. With the iPad mini, the extra weight is not noticeable. I still have all the benefits and convenience of a tablet, plus the extra attractions of the Air for manipulating photographs and posting to MacFilos.

In its short life, the iPad mini seems to have polarised opinion. Many journalists and commentators have defected to the new tablet. Others, such as Brett Kelly have purchased a mini for trial purposes and then returned it because of the smaller screen size and lack of retina dispay.

As far as I can judge, Brett is in something of a minority. Writers such as Dan Frommer have tried the mini and decided it is the real iPad, the one we’ve all been waiting for. Dan, like me, is not at all bothered about the lower-definition screen: “The non-retina screen hasn’t been a problem at all — it’s easily worth the tradeoff. If anything, it just makes my iPhone display look even better after reading for a while on the iPad mini. Bonus!”

The mini is just so much more convenient and sensible than the heavy and massive iPad grande. It is a relief not to have to heft such a device around; the size and lightness makes reading more pleasurable and less of a strain on the wrists. After a month with this smaller size I cannot envisage going back to the original 9.7in screen.

Would I want a retina display? Yes, of course, but when it does come (mid 2013, I suspect) it will be a bonus rather than a must-have feature. For the moment, I am absolutely delighted with the iPad mini.

Sales of the original, larger iPad are being bolstered by the educational market and I can see why there is a preference for the larger screen here. But for the general consumer, the mini is becoming the iPad of choice. As Dan Frommer says, it is the real iPad.

by Mike Evans, 9 January 2013