When I was testing the iPad mini this weekend, I pitted it against my 11-inch MacBook Air and third-generation iPad to see what device I would use more around the house and would take out on the road to do some work on. The clear winner was the iPad mini. Despite the fact that it runs on a slower processor, lacked the Retina Display, and had a lower resolution than the iPad and competing tablets, this was the device that I enjoyed picking up to work on.
The iPad mini wasn't meant to be a secondary tablet nor was it meant to be a "budget" device as we all thought it would be. With the starting price of $330, the cost is a bit more than what we expected, but the premium build quality and design of the mini justifies the price. That said, those who have a budget of less than $200 should look at alternatives such as a Nexus 7 at $200, which is also a great device.
The design, build and size outweigh the cons that I described above, but everyone's needs are going to be different. I can understand that quite a few people are going to need the bigger screen, the higher resolution, and faster performance of an iPad 4th-Gen. In fact, I won't be surprised at all if these are going to be deal breakers for some, especially with the lack of the high-res display.
Once Apple updates the next generation Mini with everything that this is currently lacking, it will be an invincible device. However, regardless of what it is missing, the iPad mini stands very well on its own, and is a nice start on what Apple will have in store for us in the future.
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