Four months with the iPad mini

I got my hands on the iPad mini 6 back in September 2021. With a solid four months of daily use under my belt, I thought it was time to share my thoughts.

After spending literally years hankering after a mini version of my iPad Pro, the mini was finally announced and I couldn’t order it fast enough. Finding it worked with the Apple Pencil 2, included touch ID and a hell of a powerful chip, it was love at first sight. But did my love fade with time?

Eminently portable

iPhone Pro aside, this is the most portable Apple device I own. It’s so easy to throw in a backpack or tote, put into the pocket of a big coat, or just hold in one hand while walking about. You basically know you’re carrying an iPad Pro or MacBook Pro about. But the iPad mini is quite stealthy from a weight and size point of view.

Given I basically always have some kind of bag with me, I also basically always have the iPad mini with me, meaning it’s had a lot of use.

A great reading device

It’s the perfect size and weight for reading – either at home or when out and about. I buy, for my sins, most of my books on Amazon and virtually all of them end up on the Kindle app on my iPad mini. Why? The Apple Pencil is perfect for underlining and adding notes. (What happens to these highlights is something I’ll cover in a future post).

But it’s also great for magazines and online news too. You can easily hold it with a single hand, something that can’t be said of my iPad Pro.

Perfect for the gym

Maybe not the first use case that springs to mind, but I enjoy using it while at the gym. I ten to spend quite a lot of time on the elliptical trainer, which is brain-meltingly boring. But the iPhone mini and a pair of AirPods Pro means I can while away the hours while watching something on Netflix.

I couldn’t imagine bringing my iPad Pro to the gym. It’s a bit like those guys who bring desktop computers and plug them in while at Starbucks. Ostentatious technology use in public is not what I’m about. The small screen of the iPad mini doesn’t really jump out to those around me.

Social media central

The mini is also great to wading through the various social media streams. Let’s set aside for a moment the appalling lack of an iPad Instagram app. The mini is perfect for Twitter, Reddit and especially YouTube. I’ll frequently leave it on the kitchen counter while I’m making a meal, keeping up to date with my YouTube subscriptions.

It has its uses

So while the iPad mini is incredibly portable and handy, it has its limitations. Basically, the size that makes it portable is the same thing that makes it less useful when it comes to creating content. I can’t write more than a short note on it before I hanker for a bigger screen. I couldn’t imagine writing long form content on it.

For me, it’s the perfect portable media consumption device, that also has all my appointments, emails, notes, podcasts and photos on it. I’m just not going to be writing any novels on it any time soon.

(Photo by Jeremy Bezanger on Unsplash)

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