After the Apple announcements last week, it was interesting to follow all of the various comments, both pro and con. I will freely admit that I ordered an iPad mini on Friday. I knew it was coming. Rumors have been flying for months. And the prices didn’t really surprise me. While some were speculating that they would start in the $199 to $249 range, my gut instinct was saying at least $299. Okay, I was off by $30, but I’m not going to complain.
Many expected the prices to be comparable to the Kindle Fire and other small tablets, but that’s like expecting a Lexus and a Ford Focus to carry the same price tag. If you apply the same reasoning to autos, they both have 4 wheels, they can both handle the highway speed limits, they can both get you from point A to point B in the same amount of time, and maybe even with the same amount of gas, but a Ford Focus is not a Lexus. Ditto, a non-Apple tablet is not an iPad.
The one place where Apple has always beaten the others is with elegant and easy to use operating systems. Whether you are looking at desktop or laptop computers, audio players or tablets, the Apple interface just makes sense. (With one or two exceptions.)
I love my original iPad, but I’ve dreamed of a smaller version for a long time. The iPod touch is a passable substitute part of the time, but try working with a Pages document on it. Now, iBooks it can handle, but Pages? Nope, not gonna happen.
Earlier this year I bought a Nook Tablet. Speedy, right size to drop in my bag, not bad with web access, but it’s no iPad replacement. My daughter bought a Nexus 7 when they were released, and I’ve played with it a bit. Again, the size is nice, and it’s fast, but like the Nook Tablet, it lacks the elegance and ease of use that you see with the iPad, iPhone & iPod touch. Maneuvering between apps is easier in iOS, as is organizing your apps. And there are many, many more apps (free and paid) available on the Apple side. There is a price to pay for elegance and ease of use, and some of us are willing to pay for it. A lot of us are willing to pay. As of yesterday, the initial supply of iPad minis is sold out. The white & silver model sold out in 20 minutes. Overpriced? I don’t think so.
I’m anxiously awaiting the arrival of mine on Friday. I’ll give you my take on it next week, after I’ve had a few days to play. In the meantime, just for Halloween we have a new appearance of the MacGroup 5 doing The Time Warp.