... Okay, pretty good stuff:
- New, slim, MacBook with 13-inch Retina display.
- New, slim iMads. (Not retina display.)
- A new Mac Mini with many fast/new connections.
- Surprise: an iPad generation 4! Didn't see that one coming. No new features really, but faster overall.
- And the worst-kept surprise since the last royal wedding: a new, smaller iPad: the iPad Mini.
The iPad Mini seems really nice. Basically it is an iPad 2 (the one before the Retina Display), shrunk down. It is shrunk down so you get exactly the same number of pixels as on the 2nd generation. You can do the same stuff on it because it's the same pixels, but it'll seem a bit sharper because the pixels are smaller. And you can hold it much more easily in one hand, something I and others have been wishing for, for a long time, for reading purposes.
It is $329 and up. Mmm, I really thought they were going for at least down to $299. Sure, that would have collided with the newest iPod Touch, but that really could be $269, I think. It really does seem that Apple refuses to join "the race to the bottom". Good for them, I hope it works. Anyway, for now, that's how it is, and I don't doubt it'll sell real durn well, because Nexus 7 or no Nexus 7, the iPad is still the best and most fun tablet, and now you can get a hand-sized version.
In fact I've been using my Nexus 7 and thinking: "This is really great. But it would be much more fun if it was an iPad." Well, now I can get it. The interface is better than Android I think, there are many more apps designed for it, and the content store is much bigger and better. (With the exception of the iBooks store, but you can just run the Kindle app on the iPad Mini.)
By the way, in this space I before have wished for a smaller iPad, and one under 300 grams. Well, they almost made it: the iPad Mini is 308 grams! I'll call that close enough, and I look forward to using it. ... Actually it is impressive, because the Nexus seven is over 30 grams heavier, has a plastic back, and it was the low-weight leader until now, and has a smaller screen (though higher pixel-resolution).
The thin vertical bezels might have presented a problem, but:
iPad mini intelligently recognizes whether your thumb is simply resting on the display or whether you’re intentionally interacting with it.
Now that kind of design intelligence is typically Apple, sorry to say it.
I am not the only one to wonder about the price. Gizmodo calls it "crazy expensive": they point out that for a couple of years there, Apple was beating everybody on both price and features/quality, with the iPad and the MacBook Air. But now Amazon (Kindle Fire) and Google (Nexus Seven) is beating the iPad Mini soundly on price, at the same time as having much sharper displays.
I don't know. It's a bit disappointing. But then we know that Amazon deliberately makes no money on the hardware, and it seems pretty obvious that Google is trying the same thing, gaining market share with a loss-leader in the Nexus Seven. Apple won't do that, neither do they need to, probably. But it is a big price difference. If at least the display had lived up to current high-end standards (above 200 pixels per inch)...
There's a temptation to say that it's just Apple charging Apple prices, but that instinct is dated. The real genius of the original iPad wasn't just that it was first—it was also cheapest. It took competitors a full year to come up with a tablet that could even remotely compete at $500. Ditto the MacBook Air of the last several years; it set a price so low for ultrabook-style computers that Intel had to start a $300 slush fund to help PC manufactures hit that price point.
I, too, am surprised by the price but am sure they will sell millions.
Oh, undoubtedly. I’ll buy your whole family one if they don’t. As certain as rain tomorrow here.
I predicted mainly two things: cheap. And light. They could’nt overcome their addiction to 25% profit margins (who can blame 'em?), but they did well with the weight, very well. I would’a thunk they would have to make it plastic to make it that light. Instead they beat plastic devices on their own game!
It must be very thin.
I like the shape. Not those durn tapered edges on the 2 and 3. Nicely rounded. Easier to handle and to plug things into.
If a 264 PPI screen (iPad 3) has not ruined me for a 163 PPI (iPad Mini), we may have a winner. (iPad two has 132.) But surely the screen is improved in other ways too. (You may recall my comparison showing that the MacBook Air looked much sharper than the iPad 2, despite the same pixel density.)
The Mini and the Kindle Paper White, good pair. for long-reading and surfing.