Once upon a time there was an AT Specialist (me) who lived in a school. She needed a device that would allow her to read, work, watch video, and more. She also needed a device that could be easily carried in a purse, beach bag, or laptop bag.
While the birthday fairy bestowed upon her an iPad, which she loves, it felt too big. Reading was heavy. Apps worked well for educational purposes, and note-taking was a breeze. However, taking photos and video seemed a little clumsy. Having an iPhone was nice, but reading was just too small. She wondered if there was something out there that was just right.
It didn’t take long, because the Holiday fairy surprised her with an iPad Mini.
The iPad Mini is smaller than the iPad- obviously. It is amazingly light. The combined weight of my iPhone 5 and iPad Mini is less than the weight of my New iPad.
The display is similar in terms of retina display and HD capability. While it appears in the above picture that the Mini is not as bright as the iPad, I have the brightness turned down on it-something I don’t do on other devices, but for some odd reason, it works well on the Mini for me. Of course, navigation is the same, and the accessibility features are the same, and you can get apps galore, which are all super cool. There is one reason I prefer the iPad Mini over the iPad, and that is for reading.
While these enhanced books are the same, and while it does display larger on the iPad, the weight of the iPad makes it tricky for a voracious reader like myself to use it for that purpose. I feel like the iPad Mini is just right for reading. I have read 4 books since I received it, compared to maybe one on my iPad, and a few on my iPhone.
But I like the Mini for other reasons besides reading. I like the mini for photography, for checking e-mail, social networking, and even for note-taking. The camera is fantastic, just like the iPad and the iPhone 5, but I found that there was an ease of use that I had not quite found with other iOS devices- and I love my iOS devices.
Apps that I have tested work well also. While I have not tested every single app I own on the Mini- and there are a ton of those- the ones I have used that are updated for the iPad Mini work just as well as they do on any other iOS Device.
I am a firm proponent of finding the right tool for the task. Do I feel that the Mini is the be all end all of devices? No. But for me, it is a device that is quickly becoming my go-to for reading, watching video, and other tasks that I would do on my phone or iPad- short of making calls. I feel that each device has it’s benefit. For little ones, the Mini may be a great alternative-something in between an iPod Touch and an iPad, lightweight, easy to carry, portable, and great for reading.
For those of us that wanted a choice that was not as big as the iPad, but not as small as an iPhone or iPod, the iPad Mini is an excellent option. While having several choices may confuse some users, or be overwhelming to some users, having the ability to choose a device that suits my needs is pretty cool. Too bad we can’t do that for practical reasons in a school setting. But it’s something to think about.
Lastly, I am hoping that the company that made my new iPad skin will have one for the Mini soon.