iPad vs. iPad Mini

I mentioned elsewhere that my ‘stunt computer’*, a 2005 PowerBook G4, failed on our trip to New Orleans, leaving me ‘off the grid’ for seven days. Since I wasn’t sneaking in any work (girlfriend = no downtime to do so) I don’t need a laptop on vacation, and a tablet would be considerably lighter and less bulky. I’m asking for experiences with the Apple iPad and the iPad Mini.

I’d like to have a smart phone, but based on my experience using the Internet with my iPod the screen is too small to be very practical. The iPad has a good screen size. The Mini’s screen is smaller, but better than an iPod/iPhone, and it’s smaller size makes it easier to pack/carry. Incidentally, the size of the iPad is why I would not get one with a phone plan. I want a phone I can put in my pocket.

Though the iPad is large-ish, I think that when I get a tablet it will be this one. I think it would be more practical to actually use than the Mini Still, I’d like to hear opinions from those who have used both models.

*A ‘stunt computer’ is a computer that you’d be less concerned about damaging than your primary computer. In my case, the 15-inch PowerBook fits in the case and the 17-inch MacBook Pro doesn’t, and airline travel can be hard on fragile things.

I bought both and kept the mini for myself and gave the full sized iPad to my husband. The mini is great for web searches, scanning emails, reading ebooks, texting, and keeping up with forums or blogs. If you want to watch videos or you read a lot of PDFs or news/articles/magazines/comics, then I’d recommend the full iPad.

I’m not an Apple fan, but I gave an iPad 3 to my wife when they came out, and it’s regarded as as a treasure by the whole house. (I use my S3 most of the time, though.)

The iPad mini strikes me as horribly overpriced, with substandard features. Even liking the big tablet as much as I do, I’d buy a good Android tab if I wanted a 7-inch. Half the price and the same or better performance, if perhaps lacking that last gloss of Appleness… which for $200 I could forgo.

A minor correction, you cannot an iPad with a full ‘phone plan’. You can get one with a cellular data connection for $20/month that ia handy when away from WiFi - but to make phone calls, you have to use a VoIP App like Skype. Texting is built into iOS with iMessage.