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.
Apple has made available some refurbished models of the iPad 4 (or 4th gen) and iPad mini. These are being offered at between 6-10% off at the Apple online store.
For iPad 4, there are 5 refurb models available – one WiFi only and four WiFi + Cellular models.
The iPad mini refurbished selection is much more limited, with just two models currently available – a 16GB WiFi + Cellular at $429 ($30 off) and a WiFi only 32GB for $389 ($40 off).
If you know anyone in the market for an iPad 4 or iPad mini at a little bit of a discount these are good deals.
Hat tip to everythingiCafe for sharing the news.
I bought a new iPad mini yesterday. That’s after I just bought one last November on launch day for the new smaller iPad – and knowing of course that we’ll see a new iPad mini at some point this year, which will in some way or other be much better than the one I just bought.
Sounds a bit crazy right? Well, there’s actually a simple, good reason for the purchase. As I spoke about in my review of the iPad mini, the newest, smallest iPad won me over just about immediately. I knew very early on that the wonderful lightness and form factor of the iPad mini more than compensated for the lack of retina display for me.
Now that I’ve owned the iPad mini for a little over four months, a couple of things have become very clear to me:
— The iPad mini is by far and away my most used device. I’d say the usage breakdown for me between the iPad 3 and the iPad mini is about 80-20 in the small tablet’s favor.
— 32GB is not enough space for me on the iPad mini. When I was buying the iPad mini back in November my thinking was that 32GB would be plenty, as I had another 64GB on the iPad 3. Over the last couple of months though I’ve struggled to keep a decent amount of free space on the iPad mini – because it has become my go-to device.
A post at the NPD DisplaySearch blog predicts that smaller tablets are set to take over in 2013, and that the iPad mini will far outsell the iPad.
The January panel shipment data may be an indicator for 2013, starting with Apple’s product mix shift. As we noted in December, Apple had planned to sell 40M iPad minis (7.9”) and 60M iPads (9.7”) in 2013. However, the reality seems to be the reverse, as the iPad mini has been more popular than the iPad. We now understand that Apple may be planning to sell 55M iPad minis (7.9”) and 33M iPads (9.7”) in 2013.
I don’t find this sort of prediction very surprising. Like many others, I was initially a bit skeptical about how compelling a device the iPad mini would be, especially once we learned it would not have a retina display. But within just a couple days of using one I was already wondering how much use my ‘big’ iPad would get. As it turns out, my usage pattern between the two of them is probably around 80-20 in favor of the iPad mini now.
For me, the wonderful lightness and form factor of the iPad mini more than compensate for the (current) lack of retina display. I know many others have found the same to be true – and they start realizing it within 5 minutes of picking up the iPad mini. And, as I said in my review of the iPad mini, when it gets a retina display it will be damn close to the perfect device.
What do you all think? Do you agree that the iPad mini will likely outsell the iPad by a wide margin this year?
As some of you may recall, last year I did a review of the Moko Slim Fit Case for the iPad 3 – and was quite impressed with the low-priced folio case.
Because of that good impression I ordered a Moko Slim Fit Case for iPad mini as soon as I noticed they were available – hoping it would be just as good as its big brother. I’ve had the case for several weeks now, used it a lot, and can now share some thoughts on it.
The Moko Slim Fit for the iPad mini is a folio style case, similar to the Marware C.E.O. Hybrid for iPad mini – but with a few notable differences which I’ll mention below.
The case is made of PU leather on its exterior, with a microfiber interior. Here are some of its notable features:
- Automatically wake/put to sleep Your iPad Mini. Acess to all feature and control (speakers not blocked).
- Premium PU leather exterior and microfiber interior. Built-in stand with multiple angles for typing and viewing.
- Built-in hand strap improves one-handed reading/viewing. Rubber band to hold the front cover open.
- Padded front cover and plastic hardback offer enhanced protection, at front, back, and all CORNERS.
It comes in a range of colors: black, blue, green, magenta, orange, purple, red, white, carbon fiber black, and genuine leather black. Oddly, the standard black case goes for $9.99 – while all the others colors are priced between $17.99 and $24.99. I didn’t actually notice that until I was writing this post – I ordered the standard black one just because I like that color choice best for this case.
Last week I posted about jailbreaking my iPad mini for the first time, with the new Evasi0n jailbreak. The jailbreak itself went smoothly and quickly and my iPad mini has been jailbroken for 9 days now.
This jailbreak has proved to be as stable and solid as just about any I can recall over recent years. I’ve had no major issues over these 9 days, and I’m even finding it hard to think of any minor ones. Perhaps an app or two that has some sporadic issues which might be due to the jailbreak or might be completely unrelated. No crashes, no need for any reboots, nothing like that at all.
So here’s the only real ‘problem’ I have with the jailbreak so far: I’m bored.
I’m sure this is very much one of those ‘It’s not you (jailbreak), it’s me’ situations. As I’ve said – the jailbreak process is easy, my device is stable and working great. And there are plenty of jailbreak apps and tweaks available in the Cydia store. I’m just finding that very, very few of them are interesting to me.