The new iPad Mini: Some things to consider.

It is confirmed that Apple will be releasing the iPad Minii. They have sent out invitations to yet another event on October 23 in San Jose, California. The rumors regarding this device have been swirling for weeks. It looks like we will finally see them come to fruition.

Here are some things to consider if you are thinking about getting the iPad Mini, for teaching or not. Based on the speculation currently at hand:

  • It will come in sizes from 8gb to 64gb;
  • It may or may not come with a camera;
  • It will come in both Wi-fi and cellular (LTE) models;
  • It will directly compete with other 7-inch tablets such as the Kindle Fire HD from Amazon and the Google Nexus 7;
  • It will sell like hotcakes. Teens will want it. Housewives will want it. Business travelers will want it. This will be on a lot of people's Christmas lists!
  • Apple has been working on this tablet for a long time;
  • It will be even thinner than the iPad, possibly as thin as the new iPod touches;
  • It will use the new Lightning connector;
  • It will unfortunatley not have the beautiful Retina display that the newest iPad does; It will have the same screen resolution as the iPad 2. Check out this post for a comprehensive price list of all the models.
  • Speaking of the iPad 2, the iPad Mini will essentially replace it in terms of consumer demand; the low $399USD iPad 2 will likely disappear from the shelves;
  • Hopefully the prices begin at $249USD for the 8gb wi-fi edition and will go up to $649 for the super-charged 64 gb with LTE option.

If, as an educator or a even a student, you plan on using this iPad Mini as a replacement for textbooks, I would strongly encourage you to get the largest hard-drive you can afford. An 8gb will not suffice; it actually only contains about 6.4 gigabytes. iOS 6 (The operating system) itself takes up almost one gb. Each digital textbook you download will run you probably one gb each if not more. Only purchase an 8gb if all you do is surf on Safari and not plan on taking any HD video (if indeed it will come equipped with a camera) If you plan to use any apps like Keynote, Pages, Goodreader, or even just Instagram, you should spring for at least a 32Gb version. Never mind the space that ebooks take up and music and movies. My previous iPhone 4S was only 16gb, and I was constantly having to delete apps and backup my photos for the past few months. It was stressful; having the storage fully used also slowed down the device. I now have the 32gb iPhone 5. If you are planning on purchasing a class set of these, do not just get the 8gb.

The extra storage is a must.

Conclusion

If you currently do not own an iPad, and are interested in having a smaller, more portable device, then this should be a very welcome purchase. As a teaching tool, it can be just as effective as its larger sibling. You will be able to project it onto your projectors almost as easily. I say almost because currently there are no Lightning adaptors for video-out. Those will soon be released by Apple. If you own an AppleTV in the classroom, mirroring the iPad Mini will not be a problem. If, like myself, you own a collection of iDevices, you will be able to share all your purchased apps with the mini. There is no need to purchase them separately. That is one of the many things I appreciate about Apple. Simply set up your new device with your iTunes password and voilà: all the apps you have ever purchased will be available for downloading onto it for no additional cost.

Having an iPad Mini as well as an iPad could not be out of the question. With iCloud syncing, you could easily swap from one device to the other and continue your work. It could used as a travel device, or one to keep your children entertained while the family is out.

Apple will really hit it out of the ballpark if it releases the iPad Mini at a price closer to the $200 mark for the cheapest one. We will find out soon enough!

I can't stress it enough: Get the biggest capacity one that you can afford.

Are you interested in getting an iPad Mini? Let us know in the comments!

 

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