iPad Air and Updated iPad mini
October 22, 2013 | 4:23 pm
By Juli Monroe
“I think we can definitely state that we will see a new iPad sometime later this year, probably before the Christmas shopping season.”
I also predicted that it would be slimmer, lighter, have the iPad Mini style bezel and a faster processor.
Score all for me. The new iPad Air certainly covers all of those. It’s got a pretty nice feature set, including a thinner, slimmer design that reduces the weight from 1.4 pounds to 1 pound. That’s a significant difference, and from someone who holds one for several hours a day, I’m going to say that’s tempting. However, I want to see and hold one. They reduced the size by slimming down the bezel. I’m not sure I’d like it. Where to put my thumb? Perhaps current iPad Mini owners can chime in since the new design is similar to the Mini.
Hardware-wise, it’s sporting the new A7 processing chip that’s in the iPhone 5S. You might not notice an immediate speed difference, however, until apps are written to take advantage of the new hardware. The new iPad starts at $499 for the 16GB, WiFi only version, and it will be available starting on November 1. And the iPad 2 is still around, starting at $399. Some things just never go out of style, I guess.
iPad Mini Predictions
“I’m going to go out on a limb here and predict that there will be a second-gen iPad mini on sale before Black Friday.”
I also predicted that it would have a Retina display, which was contrary to many of the rumors flying around all year.
Again, I probably scored on all counts. I was right on the screen. The new Mini has a Retina display, and the same A7 processor as its bigger brother. It has the same form factor as the current Mini, and a bit higher price tag, starting at $399. The old Mini will remain on sale for $299.
I say I “probably” scored on all counts because I predicted the new Mini would be on sale by Black Friday. The announcement said it would be on sale “later in November.” Since Thanksgiving is late this year, that should give enough time to have it on sale in time for the holiday shopping season.
I’d like to say I’m terribly impressed by my prognostication, but, really, it was pretty obvious, based on what Apple’s done in the past. One disappointment. No fingerprint recognition on either model.
Of course the question you are probably asking is “should I upgrade?” If you have an iPad 4, I’d say “no.” The smaller size is nice, but probably not essential. I have an iPad 4, and I haven’t noticed any speed issues. It’s plenty fast enough for me, and while lighter would be nicer, I don’t think it’s nice enough to justify an upgrade so soon.
Have an iPad 3? I’d probably advise the same. However, if you own an iPad 2, I’d recommend an upgrade. I know that Joanna didn’t see a difference in the Retina screen, but I certainly did when I went from a 2 to a 4. Current owners of the iPad 2 will see both a difference in the screen and in additional features from iOS 7 (like Siri, fly-over maps, Air Drop and other cool things.)
What about Mini owners? If you use your Mini for heavy reading, I think the Retina screen makes the upgrade worthwhile. Reading on my iPad 4 is much more pleasant than on my 2. If I didn’t already have a Nook HD, I’d seriously consider getting a new Mini as my primary reading device. The iPad 4 is just a tad too big. When my Nook dies, it will almost certainly be replaced with a Mini. Retina Mini + Marvin = Just about perfect reading experience, in my opinion.
Anyone else want to chime in with thoughts? Plans to buy?