Where Did You Get It? Target
What Did It Cost? $299.99 plus tax ($30 off Sale!)
Video Time Log
3:00-11:15 Unboxing and Info
11:15-End Reasons to purchase, perks, my plans, Skylanders iOS etc
I have to say, I am an Android person...I just prefer the how shall we say, less proprietary end of things? I do think Apple is making strides in this direction, but there are just the simple, little things that become complicated for a PC person when dealing with Apple products.
That said, the iPad is a great device, offers up endless fun, social networking, and if you can distract yourself from simply enjoying it long enough...you might be able to get some work done!
By no means do I consider this a replacement for a desktop, laptop, or even netbook, BUT it is portable, slim, and CAN do most of the things you expect from larger computers.
Why Get an iPad Mini?
Stating the Obvious: The Size
Well, for starters, we are talking the mini...This means you want something smaller than the 10" Tablets. I have to say, the mini is a perfect size. I can one hand it with no issues, and my 8 year old Nephew loves it in landscape and it works well for him. It really is the perfect step up from a smart phone (ie my Galaxy SIII). The iPad isn't actually that much bigger, but the few inches makes a big difference to most people. This isn't exactly pocket friendly, but that extra size makes viewing things much easier on the eyes.
Personal Entertainment Device
As mentioned, these things are pretty cool...and they are lots of fun. Games, videos, music...it has it all. If you are like myself and have an older iPod, your current one is lost/stolen, or you simply don't have one...this could be your ticket. The mini costs just slightly more than an iPod Touch, but has a significantly larger screen and much more capability. I was torn between the two, but ultimately the larger screen and easier viewing/multitasking won out. The iPod would be just like carrying around another phone...Personally, I DO NOT listen to music from my phone...just not my style. I prefer to have a separate device. Now, for those seeking portability or something you can easily run with, the iPod has the edge...for anyone else, the edge would remain with the mini. I have no objection using the big screen mini as a newer iPod...in fact, I already am! That said, I still love my old 2nd Gen Nano and it will remain the choice for active events etc.
Messaging and FaceTime
Did you know that any Apple device (the newer ones that is) can send messages and FaceTime other Apple users? You don't have to be tied in to a wireless carrier (Sprint, AT&T, Verizon etc) and it doesn't cost money. All you need is WiFi (home, hotel, hot spot etc).
So, if you want your kids to be able to text you updates from home (yardwork, homework, chores etc), they can use their iPod or iPad to send what is basically a text to your iPhone/iPad etc at work. This is kind of the work around for the common, "I want my kids to be able to text or call me, but I don't want to add a line or commit to anything long term." Putting the condition of "checking in" when you give them an iPod or iPad etc is probably not going to get much feedback complaint wise.
FaceTime is the other big deal...while you might like your kids being able to message/text you...You'll see them at the end of the work day. Kids off at college, grandparents out-of-state, or even just friends who have moved off can all use FaceTime to stay in touch with the ease of a phone call, but the enhancement of video. And again, it is free.
There are work arounds on other platforms and desktops etc, but this is a true 1-Touch and Go solution. Very nice for families that are apart etc.
The Apps: iOS Exclusives
For myself and many others, having an Android based phone gives you most of what Apple has and a lot it doesn't offer. However, there are a few Apps that stay on one side of the fence, or simply perform better on one platform. Obviously in my case, the Skylanders iOS games were a big deal. Are they alone worth justifying the purchase? No. You can get all the current games (Cloud Patrol, Battlegrounds, and Lost Islands) for under $10. For the price of the mini you could buy a console and starter pack, or 3DS and both titles. You get the idea.
That said, there are some, like Skylanders, that just help "justify" the purchase. Your personal tastes will dictate what is out there and beneficial to you.
You are an individual and we all have our reasons...For me, picking up the mini offered up the chance to do several things on the E3 trip. First, I can potentially live blog from E3 easier than on my cell phone and without having to lug around a laptop. Second, in the event I max out the SD Cards or Batteries on my Canon camera I can use it to shoot 1080 HD Video of the event. Similarly, the camera isn't great for HQ photos, but it is better than me drawing what I see. Third, and maybe most importantly, I can use FaceTime to talk to my Nephew face-to-face! Granted, this applies to any Apple people I know, but it is sad to leave him back at home when I know he would be living it up at E3. This will allow me to tell him about what I learned AND see his reaction....priceless.
On a more long term note...FaceTime will continue to be big as I have a lot of Apple friends (and I plan to keep on the Android side of the friend equation). Similarly, the compact size and portability will work great for future travels. When having a laptop isn't required, I can save a lot of hassle just taking this along...On the road you can check e-mails and manage all your Social Networking stuff. Lastly, just having a big screened MP3 Player, eReader, and Movie Machine isn't all that bad either.
Another justification for myself is that I have the Android Smart Phone...this iOS tablet opens me up to new experiences AND I get the best of both worlds having both the iPad mini and Galaxy SIII smart phone!
This kind of captures the above...the iPad mini offers up entertainment (music, books, video, games), a web browser, easy social networking, FaceTime and Messages, productivity, and does it al in an easy to manage mini size! I have no complaints about picking the mini up and will likely get a lot of use out of it.
For the price, the iPad mini is a great deal. Whether you want a really big iPod, a sleek way to keep up with emails, Twitter, and Facebook, a chance to FaceTime friends and family, or simply a nice, vivid eReader, the iPad mini does it all...and it does it at a great price and perfect size!
*Note the retail price is $329.99 as of this date. The $299.99 sale seems to pop up fairly often so check your options before paying full price. You might also see a deal to buy the iPad mini and get free iTunes cards...be patient and shop around!