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The iPad Mini Experiment Ends

I just bought an iPad Air. I didn’t want to and I was able to hold off for months but the iPad Mini drove me to it. I don’t think a day went by when i wasn’t frustrated or unhappy with the iPad Mini in some way.

The display was too small, the Logitech keyboard I bought for it always seemed too cramped to be comfortable. The form factor seemed like it would be well-suited for reading and media consumption but it always seemed a little too small to be good. Comic books and reading PDFs required a lot of panning and scanning and games were pinched and, frankly, ran like shit. Coming to the iPad Mini, I was used to a retina display on the iPad 3 and while I could convince myself the tiny form factor was handy (it did fit in my back pocket after all) it never looked good enough.

I probably wouldn’t have been looking at the iPad Air if the performance of the iPad Mini was up to snuff but with the processing power of an iPad 2, it was anemic at best. Opening apps was sluggish and Hearthstone (my current “most fun thing to do”) demonstrated how anemic the Mini was. All it took was a few minutes playing with an iPad Air at the Apple store to convince me that it was a worthwhile upgrade, especially since I have a big secret project coming up that will require one anyway.

The thoughts then turned to what would become of the iPad Mini. Gazelle gave me a paltry trade-in quote; hardly enough to be worthwhile. While I wasn’t happy with the Mini, I still wasn’t willing to let it go so cheaply when it could still be pressed into other service. But what other service? The text was too small and blurry to be of use to my parents (who still seem quite happy with their iPad 1). It seemed too extravagant to be a gift to my two sons. I do most of my nighttime reading on my Kindle Paperwhite so book reading seemed like a bad fit too.

For now, it sits on my desk, wiped of all settings. I think the best use of it will be (at least temporarily) as a dedicated Status Board screen at some point, when I get around to configuring it.

The iPad Air is really nice. I paired it with a Zagg keyboard on Gabe’s recommendation and it is really nice. I can type quickly on it and it feels sturdy. The ability to adjust the viewing angle makes it a better choice for me than the previous Logitech keyboards I bought for my other iPads. In the end, the iPad Air feels a lot more like a real computer than the Mini ever did. Comic books, PDFs, magazines and books (not to mention the web) all look amazing on the retina screen too.

No regrets so far (the credit card bill hasn’t come yet…).