I took a trip into New York today and got a chance to walk through the Grand Central Apple Store. It's beautiful, as expected. While I was there, I popped over to one of the iPad tables and got my hands on a black iPad mini.
It's thin, it's light, it felt incredibly solid in the hand. All in all, it was a product that didn't feel like it should exist. For those who think average customers are going to scoff at the non-Retina display, you have no clue what you're talking about. The display looked great.
This is the iPad everyone is saying Apple should've made the first time around, that this is the "real" iPad.
Please, everyone, stop saying that. As beautiful and wonderful as the iPad mini is, saying it's the "real" iPad is like saying the MacBook Air is the "real MacBook."
How upset would laptop buyers have been if Apple only released an ultra thin laptop in two small screen sizes with few ports and no CD/DVD drive, as well as limited RAM upgradability and an integrated graphics chip? Those users who needed the extra power for more system-intensive things would've been pissed at their lack of options.
The "real" anything is whatever the user needs and for me, the iPad mini is less "real" than the 9.7-inch model. I need something I can type on with a full-sized keyboard (yes, I'm talking about the touchscreen keyboard). I need a larger canvas, more room for my text, and something that can actually double as my computer when I don't need my MacBook Air.
The iPad mini is a fantastic device and while I only had a few minutes to try one, I understand the appeal. Most users don't need a full-sized iPad. They need a thin and light digital paperback. But I'm not most users. For me, the "real" iPad is the larger model.