The Real iPad

I have been able to play with an iPad mini for the past week or so and I have to say, it is a spectacular device.

However, there has been a lot of crazy talk about how this is “the real iPad”. I’m going to link to Harry Marks’s take on all of this because I agree pretty much with everything he wrote. I’m not done, however.

I find the iPad and iPad mini holding very different places in the workflow of different people. For one, most of the people who are declaring this “the real iPad” are using the iPad mini as a secondary device almost exclusively. That’s what happens when bloggers add a device, it doesn’t usually supplant the old one, but is added to the large array of devices that the person already owns.

That’s how they’ve built their lifestyle. That’s what they’ve already done with the laptop, desktop, gaming console(s), handheld gaming console(s), TV, smart phone, microwave, and fridge that they are already owning. They have tailored their life around using multiple devices.

The iPad mini is perfect for that because it fills that void between their 4″ smart phone and their 13″ laptop very well. 8″ is a great size for that.

It also helps that the iPad mini is crazy thin and light. I’m still shocked sometimes by how light it is, yet how rigid at the same time.

Does this mean the iPad mini is “the real iPad”? Heck no.

The iPad, the original one that is still being sold and just received a DOUBLE SPEED BOOST from Apple, is a much different device. The iPad can remove the need for a computer for many people almost completely. My dad has no need for a laptop or desktop … he needs something that allows very few things to take place:

  • Check email
  • Lookup prices on farm equipment
  • Not shoot himself in the foot by doing the above two

The iPad mini would not work for him as well as the 10″ iPad already does. That last point above can’t be stressed enough either. By eliminating choices, Apple has freed people to just use the iPad without having to worry about doing something bad. Automatic backups to iCloud are a huge plus as well.

I’m not mentioning the Retina display because no one is expecting the iPad mini to stay non-Retina forever.

The iPad mini might very well be “the real iPad” for some people, but the iPad is also “the real iPad” for others. The iPad mini might very well fit what many people wanted from the original iPad, but that doesn’t mean there is no room for a 10″ iPad or that original iPad is somehow “the faux iPad” … it just means that it is different, it fits a different role, and that Apple has a lot of room to improve things on both ends for years to come.

That excites me almost as much as the idea of tablet computing in general.