March is just around the corner, and with it comes the wish lists and rumor-mill pre-game shows leading up to a probable Apple Event. The spring time is when we have come to expect new iPad announcements that often include accessories with with some occasional iPhone goodness sprinkled in for good measure. This year appears to be no different. In fact, this year might actually be one of the busiest spring Apple Events in recent memory.
All the usual, mostly reliable suspects are chiming in, and many of them have been predicting very similar announcements. Tops on the list of predictions is the release of a new iPad screen size in the lineup. The size reference to this new iPad size varies somewhat, but it is expected to be in the 10.5″ to 10.9″ range, with the latest supply line leaks suggesting more than likely to be 10.5″.
As we close the book on January, the rumors of a March Apple event centered on the iPad are coming fast and furious now. There are multiple reports of a new iPad Pro in a different size, an Apple Pencil refresh, and potentially some other Apple device updates, as well. With the iPad line progressively trending away from the Air and Mini and toward the Pro line over the last year, this next event should give us some clarification as Apple’s intentions for the tablet category going forward. This will be especially interesting given the continuing declines in year over year sales and profits for the iPad line that we recently learned about during Apple’s quarterly sales call.
Refurbished Retina iPad minis are available now, and for the first time, at the Apple online store. This morning there are just two models available – the 32GB WiFi only model at $419 ($80 off the new price) and the 64GB Wifi only model at $509 ($90 off new).
The refurbished section is updated often though, so I imagine we’ll see 16GB and WiFi + Cellular models of the Retina iPad mini available soon too.
Apple ‘s refurbished line has quite a good reputation – all their refurbished products are tested and certified and come with a one year warranty. Refurb iPad models also come with a new battery and outer shell.
You can check out the refurbished Retina iPad mini deals at this Apple online store page.
Happy iPad shopping.
Over recent days I’ve started seeing early talk of new iPads expected this late this year and in early 2015. Apple Insider has a report up, citing an analyst (Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI) with a respectable track record on these sort of subjects, that talks about some expected features for new iPads that are now on the horizon.
The highlights so far, at least for the next-gen iPad Air, seem to be:
— A new A8 mobile processor
— A Touch ID sensor as the new iPhone 5s has
— An 8 megapixel rear-facing camera
Now that we’ve entered what is expected to be ‘New iPad Month’ (some of you may know it as October) of course the iPad rumors are flying round at a great pace.
iPad 5 rumors, iPad mini 2 rumors. iPad 5 being more like the iPad mini. iPad mini 2 getting a retina display. All good stuff for those of us who can’t wait to see the next generations of the iPad and iPad mini.
Then there’s this one, reported recently by MacRumors – a gold iPad mini 2. Their report shows alleged ‘”leaked” photos of a new iPad mini with a Touch ID style sensor on the front and a gold back shell.
Touch ID sounds fine to me, but a gold shell is a big No Thanks. I love the slate style of the current iPad mini’s back. If a color has to be borrowed from this year’s new iPhone’s Space Gray sounds fine too. I’m just not a fan of gold at all on mobile devices.
Oh well, these photos may well be fake of course, and as long as Apple provides a choice of colors I can opt for my slate or gray preference.
What do you all think? Do you fancy a gold iPad?
The latest iPad mini rumors don’t make for happy reading, especially if you’re keen to see an iPad mini with Retina display. And let’s face it, I think that most everyone using an iPad mini, or thinking about getting one, would love to see it have a Retina display added.
The iPad mini is already a superb device, but the addition of a Retina display would make it a near-perfect tablet. Sadly, there seems to be a growing number of rumors suggesting that Apple will not be ready to release the iPad mini Retina (or whatever it gets named) until 2014. An article today at 9to5Mac highlights a report from Digitimes that says Apple will release a ‘slightly updated’ version of the iPad mini by the end of this year and then Retina version in early 2014.
I also noticed that John Gruber of Daring Fireball had this to say on another report about the iPad mini Retina version not coming out in 2013:
(I’d love to be wrong, but I don’t think it’s going to happen this year.)
I am of course still hoping that this latest report is inaccurate, and that we will see an iPad mini with Retina display this year. The idea of a just slightly improved iPad mini late this year and then a Retina model early next year sounds odd too. Then again, this has been a pretty strange year for Apple product release cycles all the way around. Hopefully Apple will enlighten us all in a couple months.
I am a little ashamed to admit that I have been neglecting my iPad 3, a lot, over recent months. I got an iPad mini on its launch day morning last November and it quickly won me over with its wonderful lightness and form factor.
Like others, I was initially skeptical about the 8 inch (or near enough) tablet form factor, but after just a day or so with the iPad mini I was a big fan of it. All these months later, I still am and it’s easily my most used device. I’d say my usage pattern on tablets recently has been around 60% iPad mini, 30% Samsung Galaxy Note 8, and only 10% iPad 3.
This past Monday I wanted to get a multi-screen setup going while taking in Apple’s WWDC 2013 keynote event. I decided to view Apple’s live stream on the iPad, follow the Engadget liveblog in Chrome on my iMac and use Evernote on the iMac to take quick notes during the event.
The iPad 3 screen was the obvious bigger, better choice for watching the Apple live stream. It also served as an instant reminder of how fabulous the iPad 3’s Retina display is, and of just how much I’d been neglecting my big friend.
The Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover for iPad mini is a super slim Bluetooth keyboard and aluminum smart cover for the iPad mini. Logitech describes it as ‘the other half of your iPad mini’.
I did a review last year of its big brother – the Logitech Keyboard Cover for iPad. I was disappointed in that one primarily because the cover would come unattached from the iPad far too easily. I also thought the keyboard was not overly impressive. My understanding is that the flaw in attaching strongly was corrected quickly – as many users who bought one in months after I did reported no problems with that issue.
The Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover for iPad mini (which I’m just going to call the Logitech Ultrathin for iPad mini brevity sake from here on) looked very good when I first saw it announced and I ordered one fairy soon afterwards. I’ve had mine for about a month now – and I’m ready to share my thoughts on it.
One of the more notable features for this keyboard cover include its lightweight form factor – it weighs in at just 208g – almost a third less than the iPad mini itself.
Logitech also touts the keyboard as being very effective despite its diminutive size:
Featuring EasyType keys for fast and comfortable typing experience. EasyType keys offer a traditional typing layout in a small form factor, plus iPad mini function shortcut keys for commands you use most often, such as copy, paste and more.
The keyboard case comes in three colors: black, white, and purple. I got the black model.
It’s priced at $79.99.
Hit the break for a rundown of highlights and lowlights for the Logitech Ultrathin for iPad mini …
The iPad mini Case Prodigy is a case + magnetic stand combo for the iPad mini, made by ZooGue. It’s the new little brother of the iPad Case Prodigy. A couple months back I did a review of the iPad Case Prodigy, case and magnetic stand from Zoogue. I had very positive impressions of the case – here’s a little slice of my sum-up on it:
The iPad Case Prodigy is an impressive and versatile iPad case. It’s solid and professional looking, offers great protection, and works very well as a stand. It seems like a good fit for business users and especially for anyone who needs a pretty sturdy case + stand combo. Everything about it feels secure and well-made.
I was certainly impressed enough with it to immediately order the new iPad mini Case Prodigy when it was released. I’ve had the case for several weeks now and have given it a lot of use. Since I now use the iPad mini a lot more than my bigger iPad, I had high hopes that I would like this case as much as I did the big brother iPad Case Prodigy.
The iPad min Case Prodigy is a folio style case for the iPad mini, but one that offers some extra features not found on a typical folio case. For starters, it uses a magnetic kickstand that supports 5 different stand angles.
It’s made of relatively thin leather (or maybe faux leather) and has soft, microfiber cloth on its interior. It supports the iPad’s automatic sleep/wake feature and offers access to all the iPad mini’s ports and buttons.
The case comes in black only right now and is priced at $49.99.
Refurbished models of the iPad mini now start at just $299 on the Apple online store. That price is for the baseline 16GB WiFi only model and it’s a $30 discount on the standard price.
There are refurb models available for the full iPad mini range now – from 16GB to 64GB and both WiFi and WiFi + Cellular – though which specific models are in stock at any given moment will vary as many appear to be selling very rapidly. When I first hit the Apple store page today there were no 16GB units available. After a few minutes and a manual page refresh a black 16GB unit showed as in stock and ready to ship.
I’ve bought refurbished iDevics in the past and have had only stellar experiences with them. If you’re looking to get an iPad mini, it’s well worth keeping an eye on the Apple store page for the refurb models.
I handed down my still-very-new iPad mini 32GB to my 10 year old daughter, Zoe, a little over a week ago – when I switched up to a 64GB model.
My original plan was to sell my 32GB iPad mini, which is in mint condition, to help cover the cost of the bigger model. Then I thought about how much use Zoe could get out of it, about the outstanding school year she has had as a 4th grader. About how she has been using an original iPad for years now and has become a real power user – and it didn’t take long to change my plan and give her the 32GB iPad mini.
I thought Zoe would get tons more good use from the iPad when she changed to the iPad mini, and that has absolutely proved to be the case. It’s great to see how much she is using it. Even greater: seeing that by far and away her biggest use of it is for reading. She is devouring 1,000 and 1,500 page books in iBooks. The Kane Chronicles series is a particular favorite right now. When I walk past the living room and she’s stretched out comfortably on the couch, she’s reading in iBooks. She now takes the iPad mini to school in her backpack several days a week and is allowed to use it for reading only when her class has their reading periods.