Review: Surprise -- the iPad Mini doubles as business tablet

The iPad Mini's small size doesn't hinder many apps, whereas the fourth-generation iPad adds little value

By , InfoWorld |  Consumerization of IT, ipad mini, tablets

The fourth-generation iPad has the same configurations as the iPad Mini, for $170 more; these are the same prices as the third-gen models but with a Sprint cellular version not previously available. Top-quality Android tablets such as the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 cost about the same as the fourth-generation iPad -- $499 for the 16GB model and $549 for the 32GB model -- though cellular models are rare.

The one warning I have on the new iPads is the same as for the new iPhone and iPod Touch: You'll pay a lot more for Lightning-compatible accessories. The $49 cost each of a VGA and HDMI adapter is simply mind-blowing, even when compared to the not-so-cheap-at-$29 Dock equivalents. A basic Lightning charging cable costs $19, and Dock-to-Lightning adapters range from $29 to $39, and they don't support many Dock peripherals. The switch to Lightning easily adds $100 to a new Apple device's costs, though the cables and adapters work across the entire new Apple lineup.

Small business tabletApple iPad Mini

Much more than a media tabletWhen Apple announced the iPad Mini, I didn't really see the point. At best, I thought, it would be a portable iTunes appliance that would move past the book orientation of the Kindle-style media tablet. There's nothing wrong with that, but it didn't seem interesting. However, after spending several days with the iPad Mini, I get it.

Yes, it's a far superior media tablet than the Kindle Fire HD or Nexus 7 -- as Apple products tend to be when they enter an established market. And the iPad Mini outclasses both the 7-inch Nexus 7 and the 7-inch Galaxy Tab 2 7 as business tablets. But the iPad Mini is also every bit as good as a full-size iPad as a "regular" business tablet, at least if your apps are readable on it, as so many are. That surprised me. For people in highly portable field jobs, the Mini could make the regular iPad look as excessively bulky as the iPad compared to a laptop.


Originally published on InfoWorld |  Click here to read the original story.
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