My Take on the iPad Mini After 7 Weeks

I bought the original iPad, the iPad 2 (though I protested), and even the iPad 3. However, I eventually stopped using each of them. I could not find a compelling reason to carry it over my MacBook Air, other than to read books. For that function, I used a Kindle.

Michael Hyatt Holding His iPad Mini

My biggest complaint with the iPad was it was just too big and too heavy, especially for reading. I know, this would be a laughable complaint just a few short years ago. But compared to a book, it was uncomfortable.

However, with the announcement of the iPad Mini, I decided to give it another go.

The scratch that still itches for me is my workflow for taking notes in face-to-face meetings. Hauling out my laptop feels too intrusive. Writing in a Moleskine or EcoSystem notebook and then scanning the pages is too much work.

I chose the black, 64GB, Wi-Fi + cellular iPad Mini. It arrived at my home a day earlier than Apple promised, which was a nice surprise. The packaging (as usual) made for a great first impression.

There were three attributes that stood out immediately:

  1. The Size. The size just feels right—a little bit wider and a bit shorter than a Moleskine notebook. At 10.7 oz, it’s more than three ounces lighter than Platform, my most recent book. It’s less than half the weight of the my iPad 3.
  2. The Speed. The speed of the Mini is comparable to the iPad 2 and 3. It seems plenty zippy to me. Applications load quickly, and I have not experienced any lag, other than a slight delay when opening apps.
  3. The Screen. If you are used to the retina display of say, the iPhone 5, or the iPad 3, you will notice a difference. But if you are comfortable with the screen of a newer model MacBook Air (not retina), it is comparable. The colors are vivid and bright.

Overall, the machine is beautiful. I immediately took to it.

I have been consistently getting ten hours of battery life per charge—the same as my iPad 3. Unfortunately, Apple changed the power connector to the the Lightning model used with the iPhone 5. I already had several of the 30-pin connectors, which I couldn’t use.

However, I appreciated the fact that I had immediate access to more than 275,000 iPad apps. This ensured I had zero learning curve. All my favorite apps were available on the Mini.

In fact, when I signed into my iCloud account, all my apps were downloaded to the Mini. I soon felt right at home. In addition, whenever I download a new app, it is downloaded on my Mini and my iPad 3. This is a preference setting you can turn on or off.

Though I don’t use them regularly, the Mini also has two cameras. The front-facing FaceTime HD camera sports 1.2 MP photos, 720p HD video, face detection, and FaceTime calling over Wi-Fi. The back-facing iSight camera creates 5MP photos and has auto-focus, face-detection, and a 2.4 aperture.

So the big question was whether or not I would actually use the Mini.

This brings me back to where I started. I am now reading all my books on the Mini. I have ditched my Kindle and haven’t looked back. (I am, however, using the Kindle app on the Mini.)

I am also taking the Mini whenever I leave my office or home to run errands. I use it while standing in line, waiting at the doctor’s office, or sitting at a restaurant. Cellular Internet access makes this remarkably convenient and surprisingly fast.

Best of all, I am using the Mini in meetings to take hand-written notes. I am really impressed with how far the note-taking apps have come since I last evaluated them. I downloaded all the major ones and tested them.

I’ve settled (for now) on the Moleskine Journal app and the Bamboo stylus. With it, I can export my notes to Evernote and the text is even searchable, though that takes about 24 hours to be processed through Evernote’s servers.

Does Apple have room for improvement? Certainly.

I really wish they had included a retina display. This obviously wasn’t a technological challenge, since they are already using this display on smaller devices (the iPhone 5) and larger ones (the iPad 3 and 4). Undoubtedly, Apple choose to forgo retina to keep the price point down and make the Mini more competitive.

But other than that, I am pleased with my purchase. The Mini has become an important part of my workflow and made me more productive. This is what the iPad should have always been.

Question: What do you like or not like about the iPad Mini? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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  • Jim O’Donoghue

    Michael,

    I appreciate your review on the iPad mini. I’ve been wrestling with the idea of purchasing the mini for similar reasons such as yours.

    Do you have or have you ever used a case for the mini that has a Bluetooth keyboard with it? I am curious if the size of the keyboard is too small and would be a hindrance to your productivity.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I don’t. If I think I need a keyboard, I take my Air.

      • Freda alschuler

        Hi michael, I still use my ipad 1, and love it but I have been waiting for the perfect ipad with phone and retina screen to apeer. My ipad seems to be wearing out , what do you suggest I do also my old phone a sony ericsson is falling apart. Do I buy the iphone 5 or wait for the 6 Freda michael

    • http://www.whiteboardbusiness.com/ Dallon Christensen

      Jim, I had two trips in 2011 and 2012 where I took my first-gen iPad and a Bluetooth keyboard to a conference for note taking. It worked OK, and I definitely had people interested in what I was doing. However, I agree with Michael. I also have an Air laptop, and I bring that if I feel like I need to do anything more than take handwritten notes and check my e-mail. However, if I know I wouldn’t use a laptop much, the Mini is still a very good substitute.

      I just did a podcast on my reviews of the MacBook Air and the iPad Mini. Many of my thoughts on the Mini are similar to Michael’s. http://www.whiteboardbusiness.com/mbhp027.

  • http://www.mattmcwilliams.com/ Matt McWilliams

    Great review Michael.

    I had a client send me a Mini for Christmas and immediately was hooked. 

    I am much more low tech than you, sticking to old fashioned moleskine journals for notes, but I have found myself carrying the Mini everywhere, something I never did with our iPad, which I gladly ceded to my wife.

    The screen is plenty big enough. When I consider how I use a tablet, it is primarily for two reasons:

    1. Grab-and-go surfing/reading/working. The size is perfect for those times when I am waiting in line to get my oil changed. It has almost every function of my laptop without the bulkiness.
    2. Traveling. Again I can work at about 75% effeciency with the Mini vs. my normal work setup, which is perfect for long road trips or plan rides. 

    I like that I can type with my thumbs unlike the full iPad. Of course, I also love using Siri for those times when I am particularly thumb-lazy. 

    It’s not something I would have bought for myself, but I am extremely glad I got it and would highly recommend it to anyone, especially at the price point.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Great comment, Matt. Siri is great, isn’t it? I am using it more and more on all my devices — even my MacBook Air.

      • Matt

        Just for clarity sake from my understanding Siri is not on any of the MacBooks, but dictation is. Siri and Dictation do different things, though they both use the same cloud-based facilities. Dictation converts speech into text. Siri interprets voice commands.

        • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

          I stand corrected. But the dictation is awesome.

          • Matthew Candler

            It sure is! As you said, I find myself using it more and more. Great and helpful review!

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

       Great comment, Matt. Your review is as helpful as Michael’s post. Thanks!

      • http://www.mattmcwilliams.com/ Matt McWilliams

        Thank you Michele!

  • http://www.warriorshepherd.com/blog Dave Hearn

    Oh man, Amazon is going to hate you.  But seriously… what is it like typing on the iPad mini?

    • http://www.mattmcwilliams.com/ Matt McWilliams

      Like typing on a large phone. Unless you have Mini-hands, you should be able to use your thumbs.

      • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

        Exactly. It’s not bad. I wouldn’t want to type a book, but occasional text is not bad.

      • http://ernestdempsey.net/ Ernest Dempsey

        Yeah, I agree Matt.  I have a regular iPad and a friend brought the mini over.  The first thing I wanted to try was the typing because that is my biggest complaint with the regular iPad.  Typing on the mini was the perfect medium between the too-small keypad on an iphone and a too-big keypad on the iPad.  Like Michael said, probably wouldn’t want to type a book on it but it sure will make note taking a lot faster and easier.  

  • Hoo Kang

    Michael, 

    Great Review. Nice touch with mentioning your book too!

    Quick question: Does the lack of e-ink paper  on the iPad Mini give you eye strain when reading versus the kindle?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      No, it really does it. I haven’t noticed any difference at all.

  • http://www.growing4life.net/ Leslie A

    I hadn’t even considered the iPad mini, given the fact that I have both an iPad and a Kindle paperwhite (which I love!) but now, thanks to you, I may have to reconsider! Especially since my iPad is the original model, totally outdated, and probably needs updated this year. Thanks for the information :)

  • http://twitter.com/cgarbarino Collin Garbarino

    Thanks for the review! I like idea of the mini. The biggest problem that I see is that I already have an iPad 3, and I just can’t justify having two iPads at the moment.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I know, it’s tough. I justified it as research for my blog!

  • http://www.myonlinetip.com/ Kate Luella

    ha, see I’m more of a skeptic than you, I figured they hold off on features like USB, retina etc so they can make new models soon for us to upgrade to, like you buying 3 iPads in almost one year!   It’s so annoying…. :)

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      It really is … but then I turn around and buy their next shiny thing! (I would hold out on USB.)

    • http://www.joyceglass.org/ Joyce Glass

      Yes, Kate, most things are now cloud based or you can put in the cloud through Dropbox, iCloud, Evernote etc . . . USB may be obsolete one day – Since I got my iPad a little over a year ago, I do not use a USB connection other than to charge my devices.

      And Michael . . . sorry, I LOVE my iPad. I have the iPad and iPhone, and have a case to stand the iPad up. I like he bigger screen to see things better. NOT nearly ask clunky as a laptop. What makes my iPad more functional is I use a bluetooth keyboard the majority of the time.

      I like being able to stand the iPad up and read and look straight ahead and not down. I have neck and shoulder problems that hurt if I am hunched over too long looking at the phone or a book. I like being able to read in a more neck neutral position.

      The iPad mini is not a necessary gadget for me, and I love my gadgets. I still love the bigger screen of the iPad and feel it is a good size. Then I have my iPhone to run into the grocery store or read emails etc while waiting at the doctor etc . . .

  • Pingback: tapzat » My Take on the iPad Mini After 7 Weeks | Michael Hyatt

  • Matthew Miller

    What I like most about the iPad mini is that you’re probably looking to divest that bulky, useless iPad 3. How much are you asking? ;-)

    Seriously, the original iPad is probably the greatest piece of technology I’ve ever purchased. I just wish it were a little faster and had a better screen.…

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Unfortunately, I have to keep it. I use it with my teleprompter setup.

      • Richard Evans

        Hi Michael; I am a Neanderthal when it comes to setting up my technology and I look forward to some of your recommendations. I am interested in your teleprompter set up … Do you have a blog on this information?

        • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

          Yes, I describe the gear I use here.

  • http://www.paulbevans.com/ Paul B Evans

    Thanks for this review! Is the type function pretty good for emailing?

    See you in a few weeks at Platform. :)

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Yep, it’s great for e-mailing. I just wouldn’t want to type a book on it. See you soon, Paul!

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      I look forward to seeing you again, Paul!

  • Pdaddy49

    Since you don’t use your iPad 3 or 4, could I get one of them?

  • Julie Armstrong

    Not so much a comment, just a minor edit from your “crowd source” — typo in the word “vivid”:

    The colors are vidid and bright.Thanks for the review!  

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Good catch. Fixed. Thanks.

  • Clave

    Give the Jot Pro Dampening stylus a try for notes. Precision! Bamboo to Jot is like iPad to iPad mini, what a stylus should’ve always been.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I’ve got one of whose somewhere, but I can’t find it! Thanks for the recommendation.

  • http://emuelle1.typepad.com/ Eric S. Mueller

    I use an iPad 2 with Noteshelf to takes notes in meetings. I’ll have to check out the Moleskine app. The older app didn’t have many features, so I stopped using it.

    • http://www.joyceglass.org/ Joyce Glass

      I love Noteshelf too Eric! I use it almost everyday – I journal during the week and take notes in Church on the weekend. I like that you can now type, write or draw in Noteshelf! & Of course there are all those pretty covers and papers to choose from too! :)

  • http://www.stephendesroches.com/ Stephen

    Shrug, I have the Mini and the iPad3 and still prefer the larger size. Not sure why but I always go for the large one first.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      You gotta go with what works for you!

    • http://www.joyceglass.org/ Joyce Glass

      I am with you Stephen! You can see my other reply to Kate above!

  • http://twitter.com/TakingNextSteps Jim Davis

    Michael, do you prefer the kindle app to iBooks? Is it a loyalty thing from Thomas Nelson, or as a committed author? Have you compared the kindle app to the nook app? Or is this just a specific app you use because you wanted access to your amazon purchased ebooks from your old kindle? I love the page turning animation in iBooks as compared to the “slide” I experience in kindle’s app. More than curious on your comparing the 3 if you have any experience.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I like the Kindle app, because I am not locked into anyone device AND it works on my Air (I sometimes read books on it too.) And, I have the biggest investment in my library there. Thanks.

  • Kurtz Kevin

    Now would you review the Bamboo stylus?  I cannot find a stylus with a tip fine enough for note taking.  What do you think of Bamboo and how do you overcome the obtuse tip?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Unfortunately, the are almost like that. It has to to with the receiving end on the iPad itself.
      Most apps get around this by offering a magnified view. The early versions of this workaround were clumsy at best. The new ones are much better—not perfect but workable. I don’t even think about it any more.

  • Jim Cumbee

    Agree with your overall conclusion, though I believe the iBooks app is much better than Kindle app.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I agree, but I have to much invested in Kindle content. Plus, Apple does not have a version for the laptop or desktop yet.

  • http://twitter.com/fitdabattle Josh N

    I really love my Mini! No doubt a retina screen would have been the icing on the cake, but I waited to buy an iPad until the Mini arrived. There’s something about being able to hold it one palm that makes more sense to me than the full size model.

    Thanks for mentioning the Moleskine journal app, I didn’t know about it.

    • http://www.timpeters.org/ Tim Peters

      The journal application is great! 

  • http://russpond.com Russ Pond

    I also bought the new iPad mini when it was first released. I had been using an iPad 1 for quite a long time, and it was just time to upgrade.

    When I first got the mini, I liked it. It was small and lightweight. I enjoyed doing all the normal iPad things, but smaller. I quickly noticed that the actual resolution was smaller than the iPad, meaning that an app icon on the iPad 1 was larger than an app icon on the mini. The pixels were denser, but not retina dense. I was expecting to see the same size graphics on the mini, just in a smaller space, but it seems like things were actually smaller.

    I found it was a bit harder to read than my iPad 1. After about 30 days, I decided that I was going to return it and go with an iPad 3 retina since I liked the larger screen and easier to read text. So, I went to the Apple store, mini in hand. Before making the switch, I decided to give the iPad 3 a test run, and tried it out there in the store. Yuck! It was too big and heavy. 

    I decided to keep my mini and have enjoyed it ever since.

    • http://russpond.com Russ Pond

      Forgot to mention that I upgraded from the iPad 1 wifi-only to the iPad mini with LTE, and wow! I love it! The data speeds are amazing and I use the hot spot when working with my clients.

      • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

        They are amazing. I was quite surprised.

      • Rowan

        The mini has the *same* resolution as the iPad 1 and 2 (1024×768) but the smaller screen means a higher pixel density so what is displayed on the screen is exactly the same, just that everything is smaller. Actually, the mini’s screen brings the pixel density up to the 163ppi of the first three models of iPhone and iPod touch, so if you hold it next to one of those you’ll notice that the font size in the OS is matched (look at the status bars for example) whereas the iPad 1 and 2 only had 137ppi IIRC so all the objects on the screen were “blown up” and looked ugly.

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

       Helpful comment, Russ. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  • http://www.danerickson.net/ Dan Erickson

    I love my 11-inch MacBook Air, but am considering a small tablet to share with my daughter.  I have a Nook reader, so I’m weighing the pros and cons between a Kindle Fire or iPad Mini.  I’d like something that will work for my needs, email, Internet, some writing (although nothing replaces a real keyboard), reading, but also will have features a 7/8-year-old girl will like (apps/games).   I’m told the Kindle Fire would work, and it’s less expensive, but I love Apple products.  Any input?  Fire or Mini?  

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I have a fire and am not crazy about it. No comparison with the Mini.

      • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

         Yes, my daughter has the fire, too—the UX/UI seems a little cumbersome.

      • http://www.danerickson.net/ Dan Erickson

        Thanks, Michael.  It won’t take too much convincing for me to go with the Apple product.

  • Rob Gunter

    I bought a mini the day they came out while on my way to catch a plane.  Loved using it on the plane.  However, a couple days later, I returned it for the new ipad thinking I would trying not caring my computer and take advantage of the larger screen and use the ipad with a wireless keyboard.  Unfortunately my ipad and key board were soon after stolen out of my car on Black Friday!  After filing a police report, I immediately went to the apple store.  I walked out with a MacBook Air and the 64GB wifi+cellular mini.  I haven’t missed the retina display, I love having the cellular option and have grown to love being able to carry the mini with me everywhere I go…any other combination would seem like a step backwards at this point!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I agree. It’s a setup that’s hard to beat.

  • http://MainStStark.com Jeff ‘SKI’ Kinsey

    On hearing it’s announcement last year, made the same day Apple announced they had sold 100MM iPads in 2.5 years, I predicted they would sell another 100MM in one year because this is the device we all have wanted. I loved my BlackBerry PlayBook, but it just didn’t have enough software, including the lack of a Kindle reader and would not even run Kindle Cloud Reader. It was the perfect size. Now, the iPad mini closes that loop. Thanks Apple and thanks Michael for a great shout out. By the way, I now believe that I will be light on my project by as much as 100%. In other words, there could be as many as 300MM iPads sold by Christmas 2013.

    • http://www.timpeters.org/ Tim Peters

      I agree in the iPad mini closing the loop. I look forward to checking it out and increasing the revenue of Apple. 

      • Talshiatsu

        what about the nexus 7 32gb wi fi + cellular its a great device! And coast only $300!!!

  • Alex P

    Thanks for the review Michael! Just wondering if the primary reason you prefer the mini is the size or the weight? I’m curious to see what Apple does with their next revision of the regular sized iPad in terms of weight and wonder if that would matter to you.

    Thanks again!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I really think both. I don’t want anything bigger. The weight is secondary to me.

  • http://twitter.com/PeterKremzar Peter Kremzar

    I think you should really try Microsoft Surface Pro. It can be both a laptop and a tablet and it has a stylus with proximity sensor. It’s something completelly different than any stylus you can use on iPad.
    I’m available to add lots of more additional benefits.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I want to. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to have a lot of applications available yet.

  • Sundayormesher

    Thanks for the review–I might not have read the entire review had it not been that my son bought me the mini iPad for Christmas! what a surprise.  He said that he and my husband have all the latest gadgets that I should too!  I am still learning….but really like it! On your recomendation I installed Evernote on my phone months ago–so when my husband said he had found Evernote–Ha! I was able to say I already have it! He was surprised to say the least–but has really enjoyed using it! Thanks again–have a great day!

  • http://happymonday.biz/ Danilo Vargas

    Nice review. I’m sold. I’m to get a little more utility out of my iPad 2 but once it turns two, I will give the mini a try. Thanks!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Retina might be available by then, which would be cool!

  • http://dsargentblog.us/ Darin Sargent

    Great review Michael.  Thanks.  I have a question, I predominantly use my iPad 2 for two reasons:

    1.speaking 
    2. reading.  

    You covered the reading portion of the Mini but what is your take on using it to speak from?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I have never tried it. I like to go hands-free!

      • http://dsargentblog.us/ Darin Sargent

        ok thanks 

        • http://www.timpeters.org/ Tim Peters

          Darin, I know several people who bought the iPad mini specifically for speaking and enjoy the mini way more than the iPad original. 

          • http://dsargentblog.us/ Darin Sargent

            Thanks Tim. I appreciate the feedback.

  • Mark Crowley

    Michael -
    I’m totally hooked on mini day one!

    I’ve used iPad 2 for about 18 months and my wife bought the mini for me for Christmas. I have wifi only because I have a 4g hotspot.

    My key productivity app is Pocket Informant Pro Calendar – syncs all my calendars iOS , Exchange, etc. they recently released the iPhone version. I find myself using the voice notes function to capture fleeting thoughts and they are automatically synced and show up on the mini which is where I typically turn them in to action items/appointments.

    On reading your email this morning, I downloaded Kindle App an made Icarus Deception my first title.

    Like you, I think it’s just the right size for note taking,etc. in meetings – just seems to be a more “courteous” device.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I am loving the Icarus Deception. I’m about halfway through it.

  • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

    I bought the iPad 3 and use it all the time—and love it. But when I went to the Apple store and actually held the mini it felt way more portable! It’s on my birthday list!

    Michael, I don’t know if you have seen Conan’s spoof on the iPad mini? Hysterical!!!!!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7J2Au80BmHc

  • Eileen O’Brien

    Dear Mr Hyatt,

    I read your posts through my email and find great encouragement in them. I am a middle-aged, woman who has had an amazing life and 2 1/2 yr ago gave my life to Christ. Since that event I lost my job (still unemployed), my health has taken a turn for the worst; although I will not surrender, and I am in jeopardy every day of the Sheriff coming to my home to either serve me with eviction papers (my house went into foreclosure in 2010 after losing my job), my car being repossessed or notices of personal property seizures (of which I own nothing).

    Through it all my faith has grown stronger. As it says in Isaiah 45:3 “I will give you the treasures of the darkness, riches stored in the secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who summons you by name” – God knows the plan through this darkness and I have been given a writing job with a Weight Loss Surgery Surgeon to document the testimonies of 100 of his patients, I myself, am one.

    The problem is my lack of efficient tools – my computer is from the late 1990′s and is really only one “Power On” from death, actually I never turn it off anymore because I am afraid it will just go to sleep and give up! 
    So I come full circle to the reason I am writing you today. If you have not already found homes for the electronics you no longer have a need for, would consider selling one to me? I’m not looking for a hand out but a hand up. 

    I’d really appreciate your consideration of this request. God bless you and thank you for helping to bring Andy Andrews into my world….he is such a major inspiration and one of the reasons, throughout this dark valley, I have not stopped writing or singing!

    Sincerely,
    Eileen O’Brien
    eiobrien@hotmail.com

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for writing, Eileen. I am sorry for your circumstances. I actually do give my old machines away, usually to someone in need locally.

  • Debbie

    Michael, I too got the mini (for Christmas — which was a good thing because two days later my kindle went “missing”…don’t even ask!). I LOVE it. It is absolutely.  I had to read your review though as I really do respect your informed and thoughtful opionion. As well, I usually learn something new and of course I did. I immediately went to the molskien app and now I’ll be spending some time learning my way around that!

    Thanks again. I really appreciate your sharing this stuff with us!
    Debbie

    • http://www.timpeters.org/ Tim Peters

      Debbie, glad the Moleskin was helpful. It is great. 

  • Tod Shuttleworth

    I want to say I told you so, but I can’t b/c this is the iPad mini. :) –  Remembering back to earlier conversations in the “good ole days” concerning dedicated readers vs. tablets.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      You did tell me so! I stand … converted!

  • http://garymorland.com/ Gary Morland

    Thanks for this. Got one last night. Do you use a case/cover for your mini? Any advice or suggestions on that?

    • http://www.timpeters.org/ Tim Peters

      I would recommend using the Smart Cover for iPad mini. 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Yes, I use the BookBook from TwelveSouth.

    • http://www.whiteboardbusiness.com/ Dallon Christensen

      Gary, I actually received two case covers for Christmas (my family members didn’t use the shared checklist I had well enough! :) ). I have the InCase cover and a Belkin cover. I like the Belkin more. It uses a magnetic enclosure instead of the elastic band around the front. Both allow me to view the iPad in landscape at different angles, and both are under $40. I’d recommend either but prefer the Belkin case.

    • http://twitter.com/I_Am_Rion Rion Jacobs
  • GarrettDenney

    Michael,
    Do you miss the e-ink display on the Kindle?I’ve never switched to an iPad for reading because my eyes get tired enough looking at my Macbook Air screen all day. The e-ink Kindle displays are just so easy to look at (for hours!) after a long day at the office.

    What do you find?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      It doesn’t seem to bother me. I haven’t had an issue with it. Thanks.

  • Frank Eriksen

    Hi Michael, I love your blog and have learned a lot. Thank you! But many of us do not have the luxury of having a Macbook Air, iPads 1-2-3 and Mini, Kindle, etc. Not knocking your success, but this post seemed to miss the heart of your massive audience. That said, I do have a few devices of my own. So I’ll see your IPad 2 and raise you a Macbook Pro and a Galaxy Tab. Top That! :) 

    ***Just in case this comment comes off as snarky to you or others – it is written with the utmost respect for you and your desire to help others. 

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      Frank,
      I appreciate your comment and thought it was sincere—not snarky. However, I find just for the reasons that you stated—that we all can’t afford the devices you listed, that I really appreciate the reviews that Michael provides—ya know? If I only get a new device once every few years I am trying to make the best choice for my situation and the input Michael provides is valuable!

      Just a thought—thanks, Frank!

      • Frank Eriksen

        Excellent point Barry. Sometimes I can’t see the forest through the trees. Or is it the other way around? You’re right. People want to know what works best. And someone like Mr. Hyatt, who has sampled all these devices, does indeed impart first-hand, impartial and much needed information to potential buyers. I sit corrected.

        For what’s it’s worth – I have an iPad 2 and see no reason to upgrade. I also have a 2012 Macbook Pro which I love. And as Michael uses these devices he has shared several great apps that I have looked into and bought and they that was very helpful. 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I understand, Frank. Thanks for providing your input. I think of myself as a reviewer for my audience. I buy them and test them, so you don’t have to.

  • http://twitter.com/PeterKremzar Peter Kremzar

    Well. As I mentioned the Microsoft Surface Pro edition (an
    Intel i5 processor based tablet) not the Microsoft Surface RT. You can run any
    application on Microsoft Surface Pro edition that you can run on a desktop
    computer because it has the same processor as your desktop computer. That means
    far more applications than iPad offers you.

    But anyway. The quantity doesn’t mean quality. Just a good
    example. Do you prefer having let’s say one single BMW car or do you prefer
    having 10 Daewoo cars. I would definitely prefer a single BMW.

    And you will definitely never install all of those 200K+
    applications on any tablet. Many of these applications counted in 200K+ are
    games like Governor of Poker, Action Subway, Wolfenstein or similar.

    You’ll rather install some 30-40 serious applications that
    you really need for your work. As a photographer I would enjoy running Adobe
    Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom applications that you can never run on an iPad.

    • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

      Ah, apps like Adobe’s that only run on one OS are why there will continue to be competition.  Not necessarily a bad thing.

  • http://ronsparksonstrategy.com/ Ron Sparks

    So where is the line (or the grey-ness) between your iPhone and the the iPad Mini?  
    From the article it makes me think they are in two different worlds.

    Is it just easier for tasking notes? and write with? 

    maybe we need a device the transforms from phone to mini and back

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I personally don’t like taking notes on my iPhone or reading books on it. Admittedly, the line is gray.

      • Barbara Keene

        I had been checking out e-readers and tablets for the past year, but decided to delay my purchase when Apple announced that they were coming out with the iPad Mini. I’m so glad I waited. The iPad Mini is fantastic!

        It’s the perfect size to take everywhere. I’m actually transitioning a lot of my iPhone apps over to the Mini where screen size makes the user experience so much better. And now my iPhone is being used mainly for calls and texts. So how soon do you see the devices morphing into some sort of iPhonePadMini?

        BTW- thanks for the Moleskin and stylus recs. I love that I can easily export my notes to my Evernote account.

  • pstreadwell

    Ditched your Kindle?  Where exactly? :-)

  • http://twitter.com/quirkycity Heather C Button

    We just got the new Ipad without cellular for my mother for christmas. They said if we had an iphone we could tether them so you don’t have to add a cellular plan. Has anyone else tried that?

    • Dave

      Works like a charm, my father uses it frequently.  If you do buy an iPhone, you will “BUY” some type of a data plan with it – connected via wi-fi, the iPad will piggy back that data plan.  When using this iPhone tether/hotspot option with your iPad, the functions between the two can be confusing to the user.  

      There are three important things to master if using this feature: 1) how to turn the data & hotspot features of the iPhone on & off,  2) turning the wi-fi connection on the iPad on & off, & 3) how to close programs on the iPhone & iPad that can use data even when you are not actively using them.  I frequently check my father’s iPhone & iPad because he never closes his apps, a number of which regularly use the data connection on their own.  

      Check with your carrier or the Apple Store to learn these features.   Mastering these can help prevent you from having additional “surprise” data costs next billing cycle.  Enjoy. 

      • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

        That’s great info, Dave!  It would make an excellent blogpost!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      That’s actually a good solution. I know people who do just that.

  • http://www.youngcreativeministry.com/ Danny De los Reyes

    I love my iPad mini. It’s just the right size

  • http://www.thedailyretort.com/ TorConstantino

    Awesome review! Personally, I’m a huge Kindle Fire fan and haven’t found the need for an iPad…yet simply because I still carry a moleskin journal for note taking.  That all could change based on your review. Until now I had been under-whelmed with handwriting recognition apps and relied on the bound journal for sake of ease. Now I’m intrigued by the possibility. 

    • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

      Evernote’s handwriting recognition is killer!  I’ve started snapping shots of my journal notes on my iPhone and retrieval by ANY keyword in the document is sooo easy!  I love it!!

      • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

        Really? I had no idea. This is amazing.

        • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

          Yes, it’s great stuff!!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      The cool thing is that Evernote uses it’s OCR technology to read your handwritten text and make it searchable. Very cool!

  • Zach Ford

     First off, I just want to say I really appreciate your product reviews and find them a very reliable source for honest feedback.  The fight between waiting for retina and the debate going on in my mind of “is the cellular worth it?” So it’s great that you briefly mentioned both of my hesitations.  I did however have the chance to try it out at the apple store recently and being the musician that I am,  found my self recording in GarageBand and was amazed at the possibility of the experience. I think you sealed the deal on my purchase Michael.

  • http://jessemutzebaugh.com/ Jesse Mutzebaugh

    I’m actually surprised you chose to ditch the kindle for the iPad. I remember a post you wrote a while ago (http://michaelhyatt.com/why-the-ipad-couldnt-kill-the-kindle.html) where you said the iPad’s apps distracted you from reading. 
    Is this still true? Or have you just disciplined yourself to not check your email/platform while you are reading on the iPad?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      No, I’ve gotten used to it. I can stay focused reading when I need to.

  • Adjustmedc

    I switched the the galaxy note since the mini didnt come with a phone. And I have been an apple for years. I wanted the mini for the same reasons you like it… all I wanted was the ability to use it as a phone. I seam to be the only one though!

    • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

      Good reason to switch.  You are one of the few people I’ve known to make a move from iOS to Android.  Any complaints about the move?

      • http://www.whiteboardbusiness.com/ Dallon Christensen

        I was going to ask the same question. For me, the Note just seemed too “in-between” for fair usage. I did see a video presentation Leo LaPorte gave at New Media Expo where he used a Note for his speaking notes, and it wasn’t too distracting to see the Note in his hands.

        My biggest issue with Android is the relative immaturity of the app market compared to Apple. 

        • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

          That makes sense.

  • Paul Vance

    I’ve seen reports that the next Mini is to have a retina display and will be coming out in March.

    • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

      Good info, Paul.  It makes sense that they’d roll out the upgrade after they’ve had a chance to establish the market at a lower price point.  

  • JasminaBoulanger

    My view of all these iPads is the same as yours, though I find the iPad 3 to be too heavy to travel with and it heats up noticeably when in use.  I still love my iPad 2 as well as the Mini, which easily fits in almost any purse without seeming to add weight.  

  • Jamesg

    I, too, went from an iPad 1 to a 2 to a Mini and am so pleased with the size/weight. Now I actually carry it with me. I used to preach from my iPad 2 but it was heavy after 35 minutes (or maybe I should preach less), but the new mini shines in this department. I have my iPad 2 to my wife and kids for Netflix and Angry Birds! I’ll have to checkout the moleskin you mentioned. I use GoodReader for all of my sermons and presentations.

    • Daniel bolton

      I know what you mean, James! The iPad can get a bit heavy with speaking – I’ve just ordered the mini today, So I can’t wait to try it out :) 

  • http://about.me/revchadbrooks chadbrooks

    I understand really wanting to be able to take notes on the iPad. I live off mine but almost always carry a paper notebook as well. It wasn’t the size issue for me but the lack of a great stylus. The bamboo is a bit to small for me and I kept finding myself not really writing legibly. 

    I saw the Paper app for the iPad and it really appealed to my visual sensibilities. I prefer making charts and sketches to convey ideas and my moleskine chicken scratch just looked to rough. When I found the Cosmonaut stylus paired with Paper everything changed.

    Thanks for the mini review, it is seriously tempting

  • lindseyrnobles

    Now I want one…

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      It’s pretty cool!

    • Jim Martin

      This is exactly what I have been thinking after this post!

  • jvoeltner

    I can see why someone who wants to use a tablet, primarily for reading books and viewing material would prefer the iPad MINI, although I have to disagree with the idea that the new Mini is what the iPad “should have always been”. As someone who develops (and plays) games for the iPad, as well as using it to take notes (using the in-screen keyboard, as opposed to a keyboard attachment)… I cannot imagine using a tablet that is smaller than the standard iPad size. For these purposes, I believe the standard tablet size is actually perfect. However, I do agree that it’s a bit heavy and cumbersome for book-reading usage. The screen glare is also an issue, when using the iPad outside or an a bright room. For reading and viewing material, I can see why the Mini is preferable.

  • http://tonychung.ca/ Tony Chung

    I also downloaded the Moleskine notebook app. I  now have 5 different note taking apps, each with its own strength. I’m curious why you jumped from Noteshelf to Moleskine and not Penultimate, which Evernote now owns?

    Also, regarding the Retina™ display–just wait until “The New iPad Mini” LOL.

  • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

    I’m sure I’ll probably get one on the next upgrade cycle, which will probably add a retina display model. Love our current iPads. After test driving at the Apple store, the mini seems like the perfect size for reading, especially at night.

  • Chadkee

    You need to try the Jot pen by adonit. It puts all others to shame. It is the first to really feel like a writing pen. Then you need to try noteshelf. The key is finding an app that allows you to rest your palm on the glass. I use the zoom mode but they have a grat feature without zoom. It is way better than the pen you are using and will greatly increase your writing experience.

    • Jim Martin

      Thanks very much for these suggestions, Chadkee.  Very helpful.  I am in the market for a new pen.

  • http://www.timpeters.org/ Tim Peters

    Thanks Michael.  I think I have bought every Apple product available to date and now I will be buying the iPad mini.  Apple Junkie I am. 

  • http://candelierious.blogspot.com Lis

    My brother-in-law surprised me with one for Christmas, and I have to say I really love it.  I was reliant on my iPod Touch, but reading books on the mini (which is really what I wanted the Touch for, plus Bible apps etc.) is SO much better.

  • http://candelierious.blogspot.com Lis

    Also, I never thought about taking notes on my iPad.  My mind is blown!  I love to write, but I also love having everything I need in “one” place.  Perfect!

  • http://www.thadthoughts.com/ Thad Puckett

    I think you probably bought it a little early.  I fully expect the iPad Mini to have Retina Display before the end of the year.

  • LisaP

    I actually bought an iPad mini this morning based on your review. I already have an iPad 2 and love it, but it’s a little to clunky to carry around in my bag every day and it doesn’t have cell service so I can’t use it everywhere I want to. What really got me, tho, was the mention of the Moleskine app and Bamboo pen — I write in a Moleskine notebook every day (and cart that around in my bag, too) and I wasn’t aware that the app & pen existed! So I bought the Bamboo pen today, too. Hope you’re getting some affiliate credit somewhere. I did click on your links. :) Thanks for the review! Miss your podcast, hope you’ve got a new one coming up soon.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for your kind words. I have a new podcast coming in the morning. Thanks!

  • Thomas

    Great review Michael. I received my iPad mini and while I loved the form factor, the non-retina screen was the killer for me. I returned mine within a week. I noticed the eye strain of reading that I had experienced on the first gen iPad, and since I read a lot (websites, .pdfs, ebooks) it just wasn’t worth it going back to that when I’m pretty confident a retina mini will be in our hands in 2013 making it my go-to device for both consumption and creation.

  • Jeff B

    Michael – since I’m sure you tried a few of these too, what case did you settle on for the Mini?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I use the BookBook from Twelve South.

  • http://juliesunne.com/ Julie Sunne

    This review is perfect timing for me, Michael! I’m looking to purchase either a iPad mini or the Microsoft Surface this week. I appreciate your insight. This will be my first foray into the world of tablets.

  • http://twitter.com/LukasTargosz Lukas Targosz

    Michael,

    Great review. When I read a Kindle, I highlight quite a lot and use the quotes from MyClippings file. Can you do this with Kindle app on iPad? I know you can highlight, but are the quotes saved anywhere to be loaded from? Thanks a lot.

    Lukas

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Yes, your highlights are saved in the cloud. Check this post.

  • http://www.whiteboardbusiness.com/ Dallon Christensen

    Very fair and solid review. I have also integrated my iPad Mini into my workflow much more effectively than the first-gen iPad I have (which is now the tool my young boys are using to learn about computing, so it’s not totally useless!). 

    Do you ever have issues with your fingers or wrist making inadvertent marks on the Moleskine journal app when you write notes on the Mini? I tried using Penultimate (now an Evernote product) a few times with my original iPad, but I had too many times where I had these marks on my screen. I just tired of it. I was using a pretty basic Targus stylus I bought at Best Buy, so I’ll have to try the Bamboo stylus.

    I agree that the mini is the perfect size for portability. Taking my medium-sized Ecosystem notebook, my iPad Mini, and my MacBook Air when traveling is a really versatile and lightweight solution. I also agree that the LTE connection is definitely worth it on this machine.

  • Dave Bunch

    Thanks, Michael. I’ve been weighing whether to transition from my iPad 2 to the iPad mini, and I found this post very helpful in my information gathering process. Also, thank you for your podcast episode on the leader’s heart. Very insightful and inspiring.

  • http://somewiseguy.com/ ThatGuyKC

    Great review, Michael! I admit that I was a little disappointed not to see your usual unboxing video. :)

    I’m a big fan of the iPad mini for the same reasons. It’s light, fast and portable. I find that I use it a lot more than I ever used the iPad 2 (which I sold to purchase the iPad mini).

    I’m a little curious what influenced your decision to go with the Moleskine Journal app over other options?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I downloaded and played with about ten different notebook apps. Moleskine had the right balance of the tools I need. I also liked the Evernote export option. I’m sure a decision is highly subjective. Thanks.

      • http://somewiseguy.com/ ThatGuyKC

        Thank you for taking the time to respond. I’ve tried a number of note-taking apps as well and currently use Noteshelf. Might give Moleskine a test drive though. Happy Friday!

  • http://www.leclinic.com/ Charles Sefcik

    Great review of the iPad mini.  I have not used the mini, but do use an iPad for personal use and in my clinic.  You mentioned the Moleskine app and I have been a long time user of the Moleskine notebooks.  I was wondering if you have compared the Moleskine app to the Notability app and if you had any thoughts or opinions.  Great post, great site, great podcasts … appreciate all the beneficial information you consistently put out!

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  • http://www.timemanagementninja.com/ Craig Jarrow

    I love my iPad Mini. It has become my goto device. Even sold my iPad 3. 

    Love that it is the size of a Moleskine. It goes with me everywhere. :)

  • http://yuselajiminmuhip.com/ Ristlin

    You say “for now” regarding the stylus and note program. Have you shopped around and tried others? How do they compare? 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Yes, I tried the top five. It’s largely a matter of personal taste, but Bamboo is the one I like best now.

  • http://www.SamJolman.com/ Sam Jolman

    Totally agree with your thoughts on it being an amazing e-reader. It’s tripled my reading frequency (it’s my first e-reader).

    Do you have a case for it that you’d recommend?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I really like the BookBook from Twelve South. That’s the one I am using.

  • papermovement

    Thanks for the review. I’m being torn between getting a tablet vs an eink reader.

  • Nancy

    Michael,
    I have read all the great reviews on the iMini…but do you have any thoughts about the NEW Kindle Fire HD 4G.  It sounds like it has a few more things than the Mini and I am not sure what to go with.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I’m sorry, Nancy. I haven’t tried that one. Thanks.

      • http://www.DavidASpecht.com/ David A Specht

         Nancy,
        My Mom, who owns a Macbook Pro, bought a Kindle Fire right after Christmas. It was so slow she sent it back and ordered a iPad Mini. She got it a few days ago and loves it. Not sure if she got the model you are referring too though.

  • Viktor

    I love using my Ipad mini. I found it as a great tool which I missed since I went paperless. I am still learning when(circumstences) to use which device (MB air, Ipad mini, iphone) . Also syncing and updating all my apps take more time then I would like to give it to. Also trying to find a time saving easy way to charge all three.How do you that?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I’m not sure I have anything to offer here. It does take time.

  • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

    I didn’t think about that. You might be right.

  • http://ernestdempsey.net/ Ernest Dempsey

    Thanks for this review, Michael.  You touched on some additional thoughts I hadn’t considered when I tried out a friend’s mini.  I was so concerned with whether or not the keyboard would be easier to use that I didn’t think about some of the other things.  
    I appreciate it.  

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  • http://www.todosmisdias.com/ Johan M

    Michael, 

    Thanks for this useful review. 

    I use an iPad3 for preaching /speaking notes. Wondering if I would have problems using an iPad mini. I would appreciate your input on this.

    Peace,

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Honestly, I have never used an iPad like this, so I don’t have an opinion. Sorry.

      • Dave Bunch

        Johan, I use my iPad for preaching/speaking as well, and this is also my primary concern in transitioning to the mini. I will share that I have a good friend who speaks to large audiences all over the US and I watched him speak to about 600 students from his iPad mini. I asked him about it and he said that it works great. He stated that he uses a 20 font so I’m not quite sure if he meant that he types his notes in 20 font and then puts them on the iPad mini, or if there is a setting to increase the font on the iPad mini. Either way, it didn’t seem to be a problem for him.

        • http://www.todosmisdias.com/ Johan M

          Dave, thank you so much for sharing this.

          Actually, today I went to a store to feel a mini in my hands and had the sensation that using it in landscape would be ok for preaching/speaking.

          Now my doubts are regarding the retina display and how the screen size would affect the usage of Paper and Adobe ideas apps.

          • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

            One thing to consider … you have up to 30 days to return any Apple device you buy. You could give it a whirl and make sure it works for you.

          • http://www.todosmisdias.com/ Johan M

            Thanks Michael. Will check if it applies at Apple resellers in Costa Rica.

      • http://www.todosmisdias.com/ Johan M

        It’s ok. Thank you!

  • Logan Young

    Is there any specific case that anyone has found as the best?

  • http://davidchristian.co/ David Christian

    I use the iPad 2 and love it. My wife wanted an iPad so I got her the 4 for Christmas. It has about 2 hours use because she says it is too big and heavy. Now she wants the mini. My dilemma is do I sell my 2 and take her 4 or sell her 4 and keep my 2 (which she bought for my birthday 2 years ago. I could then put that cash towards a mini for her…

  • http://dreamjobprogram.com/ Drew Tewell

    I want to get a MacBook Air soon and after I get that, I may eventually ditch my iPad 2 and get the Mini. I like how light and portable it is compared to my iPad 2. Thanks for sharing your experience, Michael!

  • Apple-fan all the way

    I love my iPad mini.. I own an iPhone, iPod and Macbook pro…the only thing is this…I just bought my iPad mini last friday 1/4/13…my bamboo stylus arrived yesterday  1/10/13  so I didn’t have the iPad for a week…the stylus’ performance is inconsistant…My son has the iPad 2 and his works beautifully…what do I do?  I do have a screen protector on it (that I paid to have put on)….It is not logical to me that it doesn’t work….if there is someone out there to advise, I am gratefully appreciative, in advance.. 

  • brentmkelly

    Michael, thanks for the solid review.  I have an IPad 2 and basic Kindle.  I have been interested in getting the Kindle Paperwhite since I love to read in bed and not disrupt my wife.  You know have me thinking that a mini may be a better option.  Obviously, there is about a $200 price difference, but you get so much more.  Looks like more research on this one for me:)  

  • Erick Rheam

    Hi Michael, what are some of your favorite and most use apps on your mini?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I’m actually planning to do a post on this. Stay tuned.

  • Nick Coward

    You should have bought a Motion J3500 instead of the Apple products as it can do everything and iPad can do and more

  • Darlene

    Hi Michael,
    Just got my new mini iPad this week and I’m loving it! One of the reasons I hesitated on getting the regular iPad was the size. I was delighted when they came out with this one! Still exploring it but so far I’m glad I bought it.

    I’m heading to the Writing for the Soul conference in Colorado Springs in February so I plan on taking it with me. It has great options on it.

    Very cool!

    Darlene L. Turner

  • Otis Woodard

    Michael, thanks so much for this. I’ve just bought a Kindle Fire and like the fact I can make highlights and then download them. I think I remember you saying you are a big highlighter and have posted about how to do that. Does the iPad Mini with the Kindle app allow you to do this? If so, I think I’ll ditch my Kindle, too, as I have been waiting for a good solution for notetaking with clients when a notebook is too intrusive.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Yep, it does everything you can do with the physical Kindle hardware.

  • Fiona C

    My only problem with the iPad Mini is that I don’t have one. This wasn’t a problem until I read your review. :)

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Ha! Sorry about that.

  • Bethany

    Thank you for the great review.  I have been contemplating purchasing the mini after having the regular sized iPad.  Your review was the tipping point — I purchased the mini this past week and I have fallen in love with it.  In fact, I love it more than the regular sized iPad. 

    As you note, the size is awesome for portability.  It goes everywhere with me.  I love the Kindle app on the mini much better than the Kindle app on the iPhone.  Like you, I have begun reading my books on the mini instead of my new Kindle touch. 

    Thank you again for the great review!  This post is another example of why I continue to return eagerly to your blog – immediately useful information in a myriad of areas including personal development, professional development, technology, leadership, fitness, etc. 

  • http://twitter.com/PoplarHillRealT Poplar Hill Realty

    Like you, Michael, I’ve been trying to establish a workflow that utilizes the power of the iPad, especially when it comes to taking notes. But paper notebooks (Piccadilly is my favorite) always seem to be better. Coincidentally, within an hour of reading your blog I was in BestBuy and bought the new release of the Bamboo pen and tested it on several different note-taking apps. After nearly giving up on finding one that was as easy to write on as paper, I stumbled on NoteTake HD. The combination of the Bamboo stylus and the app’s use of the zoom window make note taking fabulous. Now, along with Evernote, everything truly is in one place, yet searchable from anywhere and any device. Life is good.

    Thanks for your great posts, particularly about building a platform. You have wisely identified a need before a majority of people identify they’ll need it. You’re in for a great ride.

  • David M. Brown

    You state that installing a retina display on the iPad mini would obviously not have been a technological challenge. The question is what the tradeoffs would have been, given the larger battery that would have been required. Minimizing those tradeoffs is certainly a technological challenge. I’m sure that with current-day materials and technologies, Apple could have created an iPad Mini (Fatty?) with a retina display but heavier battery.

  • Michael Guthrie

    Thanks for the review Michael… I’m loving the mini and have barely put it down since getting it.
    I’ve tried the Moleskin app myself and although it does have some nice features I’ve found the Penultimate app to be much more wrist friendly. The app will also allow you to send to Evernote and Dropbox.

  • Tony Whitmarsh

    Thank you Michael – I think your assessment of the mini is spot on. I recently got one for fast/convenient web browsing and email, as an ebook reader (like you I have ditched my kindle but use the excellent kindle app) but also as a backup / review for photos when on holiday. Your review highlighted the exciting prospect of note taking in meetings. My main requirement would be to convert my handwritten scrawl into digital text, which is not quite what you are doing I don’t think. (As I understand it Moleskin doesn’t offer handwriting recognition but exports as an image. Evernote likewise does not convert but offers a search.) My initial analysis of apps has revealed three – Myscript mobile notes, 7notes and notesplus but they all use the myscript technology and i wondered if anyone has had success with recognition / conversion using one or more of these apps, or similar.

  • Danielbolton

    After your review I ordered one today – Thanks Michael! Have you been to New Zealand? Maybe you should think about it :)

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I have not been to New Zealand. It is on my “bucket list.” I would love to come.

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  • Nancy Ingram

    this challenging and yet somewhat off the chain

  • http://twitter.com/makuw Matt Kerr

    I’ve only taken a spin on the mini at the local store but it’s a nice fit in the hand.  I’m still driving an original iPad so obviously the speed is a boost.  I agree on the retina display.  It would have been a nice inclusion and will likely be a feature added in the next version.  Apple doesn’t like it’s product lines stepping on each others toes too much.   If I was in the market (ie if I had the free cash right now) for a new tablet device, this would be at the top of my list.

  • DavidThomsan

    iPad is the best friend I’ve ever got just Hold it in your hand and you are hooked by its size, feather weight and sheer quality. Apple was late with the iPad mini but in my view they really have hit the spot.
    Android Laptop Dock
     

  • Louise

    This was a great review! I was considering getting an iPad mini for school and I eventually hope to integrate it into my classroom. The moleskin journal app was exactly what I was looking for! It’s beautiful. Thank you!

  • M4ENY

    I own ipad 3 and eventhough I absolutely love the size (form factor) and the weight of the ipad mini, I can’t justify myself of getting one due to two Major Flaws.
    First one is ipad mini uses the A5 soc that Ipad2 had two years ago.
    Second, it lacks the retina display.
    Apple had absolutely no reason not to put A6 in the ipad mini. How would you defend that ? other than the fact that Apple simply wants to make more profit and wants to save the SOC upgrade for the Ipad mini 2 (again for more profits).
    The lack of retina display also seems like Apple’s way of milking for more cash using ipad mini 2.
    Sure one can say that retina display will make the device little heavier and thicker but it won’t be as heavy as ipad 3 and even ipad 2.

    • M4ENY

       I don’t mean to hate on the ipad mini but I am just trying to get my points across. Also, ipad mini already costs 329 dollars in Canada whereas its closest competitor Nexus 7 is 209 dollars. The 120 dollar premium should be more than enough to make up for the cost of adding retina display to the device. <- since one of your last points was saying that ipad mini didn't have retina display due to cost

      • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

        I would get whatever works for you.

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  • ELHRINC

    I have enjoyed the review. Thanks.

    I bought the iPod Touch 4th generation about a year ago. It is my business. I started a small business in 2012 and The iPod Touch is the reason I am still up and running. In August my sister lent me her discarded iPad 2. It is remarkably similar to my iPod Touch! Only BIGGER. Which I loved. After doing so much on the touch it was nice to be able to read the screen without terrible discomfort. But I agree with your assessment that the size is cumbersome. It never fits comfortable in my hands I am constantly tilting back and forth to type and reach on the screen (5’2″ tall and small hands to match). After a month and a half I converted back to using my touch. It’s Lighter and easier to use.

    Anyway I am considering purchasing the Mini but my Touch was only $200.00. I am not a Mac-head (I own a Sony vaio, original kindle, And a blackerry bold 9930). If I sell my iPod touch I can scrape up enough to get a MINI with wifi + 3G but I am not sure if I want to take the jump.

    My question is this: will sacrificing my iPod touch be worth grabbing a Mini?

    Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

  • http://jeffmedders.org/ J.A. Medders

    Great post! I wonder how the Mini would do for preaching / public speaking? 

  • Taneya Tay

    I like the ipad mini because I can place it in my purse. You’re right, the apps load very fast .  I actually received a Kindle and an iPad for Christmas. I felt a little bad because my boyfriend bought the ipad and my dad bought the Kindle. Sorry but I gave the Kindle back. The ipad is far more superior. It just so happened that I asked my dad for the Kindle because it was a little cheaper, but the mini is well worth the extra $150 to $200 bucks. I feel like I have the best of both worlds :) 

  • smith

    You wrote: “This insured I had zero learning curve.”

    I think you meant ensured.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Good catch. Thanks.

  • http://www.mindinventory.com/android_application_development.php android app development

    iPad mini is really very good hardware support than other two. I am recommend to my all friend to must buy.

  • Richhaefeli

    Is the iPad mini perfect? No, but is a lot closer than anything I’ve seen so far; all of the strengths of its competitors, solid battery life and perfect size for those of us that like to read while pacing. Would have liked retina imaging, but it certainly performs as advertised.

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      I imagine retina screen is coming in the next round for the mini, right? I just wish they would make the iphone even bigger.

  • Fluffypig336

    i am waiting for my iPad mini to come I’m a little disappointed by seeing it being 4 days now but, i will wait years knowing how fantastic it will be

  • Fluffypig336

    i don’t know what case i should buy on amazon i have found very suitable cases..
    one just like a smart case apple only makes for iPads 1,2,3, and 4

  • Jrseygrl

    I purchased my ipad3 the week it came out & I absolutely love it!!! The Retina display is Amazing!! Like you mentioned, if you’ve grown accustomed to it well then why use any other device!! My opinion, the ipad mini is great for traveling…Hands on use wherever you go~perfect size:) and I agree that the ipad3 is a little heavy for using while on the run compared to the mini! We purchased the mini for our daughter, perfect for her needs & wants!

  • http://twitter.com/jpkneifl jpkneifl

    Excellent post Michael, you’re a great writer and I enjoy reading your posts. You make me want to check out the iPad mini being an Apple lover. Right now, I take my Apple Macbook practically where ever I go because it seems to be the most multi-functional device for me to use. My wife and I have two kindles that get used for bedside reading, but not much as I prefer audiobooks. We also have two iPads a 2 and a 3 (which I think is just the iPad)  both with 64gb, 3g, and wifi. I use to use mine a lot at first, but not as much anymore, probably due to the size. My wife loves hers for her real estate work and gets a lot of use out of it. I can see myself going for something a little bit smaller, but I’m going to wait on it as Apple seems to be putting out new products all of the time. Also, I agree with a lot of the points you brought up in your post basically saying it’s more efficient and think it would be easier for me as well. Thanks, Jon Kneifl

  • http://twitter.com/clickhost ClickHOST.com

    Very interesting Michael. Same thing happened to me…bought the iPad 1 and started using it less and less. Eventually bought a MacBook Air (11″) and loves it. See: http://www.beyond438.com/2011/03/11/not-getting-an-ipad2/.

    I’ve played with the iPad Mini a few times and like the form factor. I just got settled into my notes in Journal–>scan into Evernote routine. 

    I think I’ll wait for the next version of the MINI and will try again.

    Thanks for always provided practical interesting information.

    Best, Carel.

  • Melywely

    i like how it is smaller and cheaper than the normal ipad so i can take it any where i want,how ever the retina display is a little bad like u said

  • Melywely

    hello this is me again i had a question, um i am really wanting a ipad mini but i have to tell my mom good reasons why i should get the ipad mini can u tell me some besides the ones that u said in the letter thingy

  • Mynamesaj007

    i think you are a apple fan…..

  • Gary Boyd

    Brilliant article Michael and a parallel to my experiments and where I ended up, The Mini 3G and Air combo is clear winner. I used to carry a Mifi in my bag and now use the Mini for this using personal hotspot feature to tether with.
    The Kindle is still in my bag and will have to make a call if it stays or not, I try to limit what I carry each day in my Tumi backpack as I’m a “Air Warrior”. The new connector is a PITA, all the docks at the house and most offices are 30 pin. A quick search of eBay and I have a handfull of “charging” adapters for 2.50 each. An SD card port would be a nice touch fro memory expansion and quicker means of turning the 3G on and off.

  • Silvana Cabrera

    Michael, I loved your review, I’ve heard many good things about the Ipad mini, but I’m still debating whether I should get the Ipad mini or the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1… I’m not much of a techy person but I do need to get something that it’s comfortable because I’m starting Med School in the following days and I’d rather have all the eBooks than carry those huge texts around. I would really appreciate your take on this issue, thanks!

  • MEnonymous

    Your comments about the size and weight being just the right are spot on.

  • VJ

    Just exchge my mini to ipad4

  • Linda Fawkes

    I bought an i pad 2 which I loved but then decided to get an i pad mini! It was so light! It was hard getting used to the smaller screen but I take it everywhere with me now! My i pad 2 I gave to my son! I think it is great butI only wifi so I am thinking of getting another one! Would not be without it!

  • http://www.todosmisdias.com/ Johan M

    Michael,

    Finally I sold out my iPad 3 and got my iPad mini. I’m so happy. You were right when you said this is what the iPad should have always been.

    Right now I’m looking for a really good stylus. I got problems with Bamboo’s tips and I’m not 100% satisfied with the Cosmonaut stylus after using it a couple of days ago.

    If you have any other stylus suggestion I would appreciate it. Maybe a theme for a new post =)

    Thank you again, since this review helped me a lot to make a wise decision.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I’m now using the JotPro and love it.

  • http://twitter.com/Ianthetechman ian walker

    I picked up my mini a couple of weeks ago and i also think it is the perfect ipad. The battery and overall look and feel of the machine are verging on perfect for a tablet.
    I also had the first 3 generations of the ipad and although i really enjoyed using them i did find because they are pretty large when faced with taking a device to work etc the Macbook always got the nod, So the fact that that the mini is being used so much at the minute is really nice.

  • Faysal Sulatch SPHR PHR

    Nope. They forgo the retina display for the mini so they can impress us the next year with the retina display. We are consumers after all, so we consume like cows mindlessly.

  • Ipad 1 is fine

    I don’t really see why so many people need to zoom on the ipad mini. Is book text small than that of the Internet? If so I can understand but if not why zoom to just see the pixels? Retina display will make the mini thicker and Apple will want more for the retina display I think everyone will get Retina but you will have to pay up to $100.00 dollars more for the first year until other pads catch up with Retina. So, are you really willing to pay $429 for a Retina. Of course some are but maybe apple was trying to get there products in everyone’s hands for a change! Wow! That would be a change for apple…….I know people are going to bash this but it is true apple is usually for people who do not care what things cost as long as they are ahead of everyone else.

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  • brandi

    I love everything about my mini except for the lack of a back button. I think life would be much easier.

  • Rowan

    “The mini is what the iPad should have always been” – I totally agree with that! My mini is my first iPad, and I can imagine myself struggling to hold a “big” iPad. This is not the first product line where the “normal” version is too big and heavy, I’m also a PC user and my 10″ netbook feels just right (iPad mini) whereas a 15″ laptop is just unecessarily big and heavy (“big” iPad)

  • McKenna

    I have been wrestling with the idea of an ipad for school, my one problem though was that i liked taking my notes by hand. This was very helpful that you suggested some of those sort of apps that you have found to work well. My only other problem is flash drives. Does anyone know if you can type on an ipad, put your document directly on a memory stick from the ipad, and then open that file on a non-mac computer? I cant find very much information on anything like that, but it doesn’t seem too unreasonable.

  • Robert Blake

    I have a MacBook Pro, and an iPad 2 so I’m not yet obsessed with retina display, the portability sounds appealing to me. I’ve been shopping around and with your article I kind of made the final decision, thanks! The plans are good http://www.bell.ca/Mobility/Products/Apple-iPad-mini and you can always use wifi. I’m sure it’s better than trying to work on the run on my iPhone.

  • Robin Krieger

    Thanks! Only difference for me is I almost need glasses with mini display and don’t with ipad 2….but the weight and size MORE than make up for this.

  • http://tikesbestfriend.com/ Tim Dahl

    I noticed in the comments that you use the BookBook case for your mini from TwelveSouth. They look great!

    My question is, and maybe the community can answer; are there any recommendations for cases for an iPad2? In particular, I’m looking for something that looks good/professional that I can hold while I officiate weddings and funerals (and other speaking events).

    Again, I physically hold my iPad 2 when I speak/officiate things.

    Thanks!

    Tim

  • sylvain V bolduc

    Fonts are tooooo small
    Into calendar apps: impossible to increase the side in the setting!!
    So bad !

  • Nelly Ramos

    I used an Ipad 2 for eleven months and finally switched to the Ipad mini. It has been rewarding: less weight in my backpack, more manageable , great resolution and large capacity… Thumbs up!

  • http://teachingstewardship.com/ Brian Horvath

    Michael, as in most times, before I buy, I go to MichaelHyatt.com. I am “this-close” to getting the iPad mini retina. Do you have this one? If so, what are your thought on it? Also, what are your thoughts on a keyboard/cover protection (all-in-one)?

    Thanks for everything.

    Brian Horvath
    Teaching Stewardship.com (in the beginning!)

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      It’s a great machine. However, I don’t use it as much as I should. I have the all-in-one keyboard, but it just doesn’t feel natural to me. It is almost just as easy to take my Macbook Pro to a meeting as the iPad. I think it comes down to personal preference.

      • http://teachingstewardship.com/ Brian Horvath

        Thanks so much. I am eager to get it in my hands (upgrading from an iPad 2) and just recently purchased the JotPro 2 from Adonit with the bluetooth pen tip for use on the mini.

  • http://ipadrepaironly.com Brian Jones

    Hi Michael

    I really enjoyed your article (although I read it a bit late) as I feel exactly the same way the iPad Mini is perfect for everything I need and if I need more power or want a keyboard I can use the MacBook Pro. I do disagree on one point I’m glad they didn’t use the retina display, just look at the new iPad Mini and imagine how much bigger it would have been a couple of years ago. I think it would have ruined the iPad Mini as it would no longer have been Mini. This is the only reason I hold off buying the new Mini due to the weight and the inability to open it and repair area myself. I occasionally write for iPad Repair so this is kind of important. Otherwise I really enjoyed your article, how do you feel about the iPad Mini retina?

    Best wishes
    Brian

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