iPad mini, best iPad ever

Two critically acclaimed tablets seriously disappoint me (or 3), the Nexus 7 for lack of storage, A/V out and expandability; and the Retina iPads for terrible efficiency. The Mini is different, it’s efficient and sleek, to compare battery size and life go to the table below. Yes many Apple/mainstream products but they’re solid reference points and specs are easier to come by. Food for thought 2.5 Whr ≈ 2150 kcal ≈ adult daily intake ≈ smartphone daily intake!

Picking the right combination of dedicated and multipurpose devices is something to ponder, financially and environmentally. My father being a bad example; a nice iPhone 4, iPad 3 and Macbook Air within a short time of each other, the Macbook air has been practically untouched for a whole year now, he just didn’t perceive the redundancy, the iPad ends up being the logical choice (an iPad 2 even better).

 
So whats wrong with big batteries? Batteries are an environmental disaster (like most technology), manufacture and disposal poses problems, it’s a clear target for conscientious users. Energy use and actual manufactured parts have an impact. For laptop replacement you might argue a Retina iPad, but the R-iPad is a beast, a laptop battery but not a complete PC, maybe prefer iPad 2 or Mini if you find the spec you need? Devices like the Thrive also go through almost twice as many cycles as comparable tablets if used the same, so batteries have shorter lifespans, even reputable manufacturers have issues, Ainol shows going cheap involves compromise.

 
I NEED HD/Retina magic display, THEY LOOK GOOD I’m skeptical, some people mistake similar models for their lo res counterparts (iPad 2 and Retina!) or run computer displays at non native resolutions because SHOCK everything is too small past a certain point, and driving such a display has performance penalties.

 
Ppi is enough at ≈200 on handhelds, ≈150 on tablets and ≈130 on sub 14″ laptops, display quality isn’t strictly bound to resolution, past that threshold (+10%) benefits diminish. My Mbpro’s has ≈115ppi, (beautiful) Thunderbolt display ≈109ppi, 40″ TV ≈39ppi (“720p”) and projector a sad ≈25ppi (many inches), the farther you get the less it matters, if it’s higher YAY, but don’t over consider irrelevant specs (professional use is different, expensive gear, cameras, a pirated copy of Photoshop and stylus don’t automagically make a “Pro”, improve eyesight, creativity, taste or colour coordination contrary to popular belief).

 
But these new tablet displays look so good !? “Flagship” products are invariably well calibrated with good subsystems delivering good contrast, colour gamut and processing (maybe accuracy). These aren’t the ONLY good displays out there, other models maybe similar, people can’t always perceive benchmarked and observed differences in reviews, in practice people tend to compare them to poor abused screens used at full brightness for too long (consequently “bleached” + dimmed = suck) making unfair comparisons, inevitably some “must have” specs are irrelevant, unused or even in another hardware revision! (upgrading in 6-12 months for more irrelevant specs 😛 ). I read non English script (Arabic, Urdu), low ppi rendering is BAD, but don’t be obsessive. Get good display with reasonable ppi and HD playback even if the screen isn’t “HD”, means the device may output HD and save you some video encoding. Considerate purchases last, paying more doesn’t guarantee longevity, 2010 iPad is almost 3 years old, getting left behind (no iOS 6), but should be good for at least a year longer unless you need a camera (backup apps, careful with updates), good Android devices by nature have amazing potential, unless underpowered, but official future support doubtful (btw MINIMUM 800mhz single core for android & 16GB if no expansion, dual core is better).

 
What’s awesome about the iPad mini? The iPMini strikes a good balance, excellent efficiency, good ppi (≈163) and size (almost price), first time I’m tempted to specifically buy an iPad, I have an iPhone 4 and Kindle keyboard, trying to resist unnecessary purchases.

 
What about NFC? Is that even safe? Like RFID it lacks encryption, argument being range is too limited for security concerns, something disproven and demonstrated with RFIDs but largely ignored, discretion is advised, I would disable it anyway so it has no weight on my decision. Unfortunately the devices are USB 2 only for now, sad.

 
Yet I want a tablet. Ultimately you decide priorities and must haves, price, moral compass, expandability, features and practical use are all factors. Accounting for work my ordered shortlist; iPMini/iPad 2, Kyros 7048, Tab 2 7″, Nook HD+ (if Moddable).

 
Anyway be a thoughtful consumer.


 

. Device Battery (Whr) Battery Life Base ≈ $ (Nov’12)≤200 ≤500 ≤999 ≤Lots Avg. Efficiency
 GOOD          EVIL 
iPod Shuffle (0″) 0.19 2 to 4 day $49 Cheap thrills, Just music.
iPod Nano 6 gen (1.5″) 0.39 4 to 6 day ?≤$130 Good at what I do, music & radio.
iPod Nano 7 gen (2.5″) 0.8 3 to 6 day $149 Music, video (meh), radio.
iPod Classic 6 gen (2.5″) 2.15 3 to 6 day $249 Capacity is king, I AM KING.
Basic phone (≈2″) ≈3 3 to 7 day $49+ Sometimes good music and snaps.
iPod Touch 4 (3.5″ A4): 3.44 2 to 4 day $199 A bit dim, but good value.
Feature phone (2.4″ to 3.2″) ≈3 to 5 2 to 4 day $100-200 Music & Videos & Playlists OH MY.
iPod Touch 5 (4″ A5): 3.8 2 to 4 day $299 Don’t you have Wifi? I have power!
Kindle Touch (6″ e-ink): 5.25 ≈3 weeks ≈$99 UNTOUCHABLE, efficiency 😛
iPhone 4 (3.5″ A4): 5.3 1.5 to 3 day $450 Almost affordable
iPhone 4S (3.5″ A5): 5.3 1.5 to 3 day $549 How can people afford me?
iPhone 5 (4″ A6): 5.45 1.5 to 3 day $699 (Canada) STOP, end world hunger instead.
Avg smartphone (3″ to 4″) 5 to 8 ≈2 day $150-$350 Varies
Galaxy s3 (4.8″) 7.98 1.5 to 3 day $550 Easy on the eyes but dim.
Galaxy Note II (5.5″) 9.25 1.5 to 3 day $699 Jelly bean, can choke a donkey.
Tablets
Coby Kyros 7048 (7″) ≈10.36 ≈5 hrs? $99 $100 Single core budget tablet.
Nook Tablet (7″) 14.8 8 hrs $179 Born to be modded.
Galaxy Tab 2 (7″) 14.8 7 hrs $199 Soon to be a jelly bean?
Nook HD (7″) ≈15.0 ≈8 hrs $199 Moddability unknown
Toshiba Thrive (7″ Teg2) 15.0 4 hrs $230 I HATE the Earth
Nexus 7 (7″ Teg3) 16.0 9 hrs $199 Even more aloof than an iPad
iPad mini (7.9″ A5x): 16.5 12 hrs $329 Gotta love me prelim reviews good.
Kindle fire HD (7″) 16.42 7 hrs $199 I am family friendly
Ainol Novo 7 Fire (7″) 18.5 ≈5 hrs $149 I love heavy metals
Nook HD+ (9″) ≈22.5 ≈8 hrs $269 Moddability unknown
iPad 1/2 (9.7″ A4/A5x): 25.0 10 hrs $399 Hanging on for dear life
Toshiba Thrive (10.1″ Teg2) 25.0 6 hrs $380 I love heavy metals
Toshiba Excite (10.1″ Teg3) 25.0 9 hrs $350 Excited?
Laptops <– Mostly
Nexus 10 (10.1″) ≈33.3 7 hrs $399 Google vs Earth
Macbook air 11″ 35.0 7 hrs $999 I deserve an SD card slot 😥
iPad 3/4 (9.7″) 42.5 10 hrs $499 iHate the Earth
Avg.6 cell ≤$1000 laptop ≈ 48 ≈2.5 to 5hr ≈$900 Varies, why no open standard?
Macbook air 13″ 50.0 7 hrs $1199 Stuck in an envelope
Powerbook G4 12″ 50.0 ≈3 hrs $NA Best  EVER, discrete Gfx 
Macbook pro 13″ 63.5 7 hrs $1199 Aftermarket upgrades only.
Avg.9 cell ≥$1200 laptop ≈72 ≈8 hrs ≈$1300 MORE POWER (varies)

(sources include GSMArena, manufacturer, Everymac, Mactracker, iFixit, Techrepublic, Tomshardware, engadget and some phones, converting between mAh/1000 x voltage = Whr)

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