The new iPad mini is going to see a lot of use. Mine arrived Friday afternoon, and I haven’t been able to put it down. It’s fast, sleek, light-weight and everything I’ve been looking for in a tablet. I’m using it to write this article. It paired with my Apple bluetooth keyboard super fast (as soon as I remembered to release the keyboard from my iMac).
I used the new SD card reader to download some photos from my old Kodak and was amazed that it connected and launched Photos much faster than my old iPad. Because Apple sells the new SD reader and USB camera cable adapter separately now ($29 each) instead of together for $29, I only ordered the SD reader. On the chance that it would work, I connected the camera cable to the old USB adapter and then plugged that into a 30-pin to Thunderbolt adapter cable, and I’m happy to report that it worked — fast. So, if you have the original camera connector kit, you don’t really need the new ones. Just use a 30-pin to Thunderbolt adapter or cable. I bought one of those just so I wouldn’t have to swap out cables at my charging center.
There has been a lot written about the lack of Retina display on the mini, and if I had had spent a lot of time with one it might change my opinion of the mini. As it is, I have no problem with it. I’m sure that the iPad mini 2 will have it. By then, the cost of producing the Retina displays will be down. My gut feeling is that it was not included this time around in order to keep the cost down. I could be wrong, but …
I do have one complaint. I couldn’t wait until my case arrived. The back of the mini is ultra slick. Add that to the barely-there weight, and it gets dangerous. I had to be very careful where I set it down. On Saturday it slipped off my desk several times because I set in on a stack of papers that were not totally level. It hit the floor a couple of times, but survived without a scratch. Yeah, it’s a sturdy little thing.
Cameras — the 1.2 megapixel front camera is very sharp. Too sharp. Catches every single wrinkle. Ugh! Don’t try to Facetime with me. The back 5 megapixel camera is terrific. I’m anxious to see what it will do in very low light situations.
Cases — while the Apple cover is nice, I need something that will protect it on all sides. M-Edge had their cases on sale (50% off) 10 days ago, so I ordered their incline case, the only one available at the moment. The cover folds to create a stand, and the inner portion rotates for portrait as well as landscape position. It’s a nice, well-made case, but a bit bulky. (Can’t have everything, I guess.) I have a second, more compact Acase on order, but the company I ordered from is in New Jersey and still recovering from Hurricane Sandy. It will arrive eventually. The cost for both cases is still less than Apple’s cover.
My original plan was to keep my old iPad and use it for my knitting patterns and other PDFs. Now, I’m not so sure. I think it may need a new home. Ditto my Nook Tablet. As I’ve said before, there’s not a flavor of the Android OS that can compare with any version of iOS. After 24 hours with the mini, I started thinking seriously about paring down my gadget collection. Anyone want to buy a slightly used 8 GB Nook Tablet? I’ll give you a great deal.
For all of you here stateside — if you haven’t voted today, go now. Do it. If you don’t vote, then don’t complain about our politicians.