I purchased my 1st generation Apple iPad (16GB, WiFi only) one week after it went on sale back in 2010. Almost three years later, I replaced that iPad with a brand new iPad mini (16GB, Verizon). I was tempted by the idea of having data on the go with a larger screen than my work-provided iPhone 4. But what sealed the deal was learning that Verizon allows tethering (mobile Hotspot) with all their prepaid plans. That means I can Internet enable my Samsung ChromeBook and my Asus laptop anywhere, anytime, for only $20 a month (for 1GB).
To be honest, my first-gen iPad had fallen out of favor since work gave me an iPhone 4 last year. But I only realized the reason in retrospect. After seeing how fast the iPad mini is, now I know why I wasn’t using my old iPad! Apparently iOS upgrades over the years have taken their toll on the hardware of the original iPad.
Another reason the old iPad stopped being my go-to device was it’s size and it’s weight. It might seem hard to believe, but holding the original iPad for any length of time is fatiguing. And I’ve grown to find the form factor to be awkward and clumsy at best for typing…unless you rest it on a table. Just one day with the iPad mini and I’ve found using it to be a much improved experience. The iPad mini, name notwithstanding, still has a much larger screen than even the largest smartphones, but it’s size doesn’t feel unwieldy like the original iPad did. It’s noticeably lighter, and typing is such a breeze. It’s the perfect size to tap away with speed. I’ve always preferred portrait orientation when holding the old iPad, and the same is true with the iPad mini. I find typing works so well, I typed this entire blog post on the iPad mini.
So you can consider this a solid endorsement of the iPad mini. If you have an older iPad and you have been thinking about upgrading, maybe a downgrade in size to the iPad mini is the upgrade you could be looking for.