Last Saturday morning, a batch of iPad minis arrived at the computer store where I work. My colleagues and I were allowed to open one. At noon, customers started asking for an iPad mini, with three main reasons for purchasing: its size, simplicity and elegance.

As iPads are being simplified, so are their adverts: the iPad mini commercial featured nothing but a piano rendition of Heart and Soul. Elegance sometimes is something all that’s needed to sell. For only £269 (16GB Wi-Fi), cheaper than a Lego Death Star™ play set, the iPad mini offers all the benefits of an iPad 2 and more: it’s equipped with Siri and has the resolution of 1080p for HD video recording.

Whether you’re into Apple products or not, the iPad mini is simply addictive. Its cute size makes it easily portable and it is very durable. Worried about scratches? A nifty ‘Smart Cover’ comes at a small price to keep your iPad mini safe. If you like reading, playing games and watching videos, the iPad mini has an adequate enough display to make these tasks enjoyable, not to mention the joy of listening to music via the latest Apple EarPods (ear-shaped, so they fit in your ears).

Holding the iPad mini, the oleophobic (grease-resistant) coating allows a firm grip. Its thin (7.2mm) and light (308g) frame fits comfortably in hand. This book-sized tablet is user-friendly to the average opposable thumb: typing has never been easier on the iPad series, and it’s possible to reach an app-icon on one end of the screen when holding it from the other. Although the display is not Retina, the colours are visibly more vibrant than on an iPad 2.

Certainly, the iPad mini does not seem intuitively practical, nor have they ‘sold like hotcakes’ if you will. Apple stocks only gradually rose within three days of the iPad mini’s release. Many have joked that the iPad mini is merely a giant iPhone, or that the iPhone is now basically an ‘iPad nano’. Indeed, the iPad mini is no cutting-edge device. Nevertheless, there is a certain appeal that it brings to tablet users, and one thought comes to mind – if this was the first-ever version of the iPad, would we be tempted to buy it?

Jonathan Jones

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