Now that Apple has confirmed the iPad mini, it’s time to examine whether or not it’s worth your time and money. The iPad mini will cost you at least $329 for the 16GB Wi-Fi model, which is certainly not the best price in the tablet marketplace. But this is Apple we’re talking about. Apple always charges a premium. You just have to decide if that premium is worth it.
If You Don’t Own a Tablet
I believe the iPad mini is specifically meant for non-iPad users who may find themselves on the fence when deciding whether they should go with iOS or Android. During its presentation, Apple directly compared the iPad mini to the Nexus 7. I thought this comparison was somewhat unfair since the iPad mini costs $79 more than the 16GB Nexus 7. That’s something to consider when making your decision. The iPad is made up of higher quality materials than the typical sub-$300 Android tablet, but you will pay for that quality. Then again, the Nexus 7 doesn’t feel like a cheap piece of hardware even though it’s wrapped in plastic. The main thing you should consider is app support. There are far better tablet applications available for the iPad. Android is slowly getting better in this department, but Apple holds the crown for now. If you want in, you have to pay extra.
Another thing you should consider is your preferred ecosystem. If you’re already invested in Google software such as Gmail, Google Drive, Google Music and Google Maps, you may find your iPad mini transition somewhat difficult. Android tablets and the iPad mini thrive when connected to first-party software. If this is your first tablet purchase, be prepared to go mostly all in with either Google or Apple for the best possible experience.
If You Own an Android Tablet
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be a part of Apple and Google ecosystems. I would argue the Apple App Store has better games, better prices and has better overall app support when compared to Google Play. You don’t have anything to lose by purchasing an iPad mini. Even though I think it’s priced a little higher than I would have liked to see, I’m sure it’ll be well worth the price.
If You Own an iPad
I can think of no reason why an existing iPad owner would buy an iPad mini. If you’re making the upgrade from an original iPad, then that’s fine. However, the iPad 2 and the third generation iPad are perfectly capable of doing anything the iPad mini can do. Frankly, I think any third-gen iPad owner that is buying the iPad mini for themselves has nothing better to do with their money. Buying a smaller, less capable iPad makes no sense.
And with that, I leave you to your decision.