iPad Mini Reality Check: 10 Reasons to Not Buy This Tablet

 
 
By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2012-11-15
 
 
 

The Pricing Is High

Apple's iPad Mini is expensive. In fact, it's very expensive. The tablet starts out at $329 and quickly rises to $659 for the high-end model. That is a prohibitively high price for many customers—considering that Apple's tablet is competing against devices that retail for around $199.

The Pricing Is High

The Nexus 7 Is a Winner

Google's Nexus 7 is arguably the iPad Mini's best competitor. After all, that device comes with a 7-inch screen, has a powerful processor and a nice design. Plus, it starts out at $199, making it far more affordable than Apple's iPad. In many ways, the Nexus 7 delivers what the iPad Mini does for a fraction of the price.

The Nexus 7 Is a Winner

The Kindle Fire HD Is Also Solid

Amazon's Kindle Fire HD is a fine option for consumers who want something other than an iPad. The device comes in the customer's choice of 7- or 8.9-inch displays, and starts at $199, making it nicely affordable. Combine that with Amazon's solid operating system and built-in applications, and it's clear why so many people like the company's slates.

The Kindle Fire HD Is Also Solid

What About the Larger iPad?

Customers eyeing Apple's iPad Mini should also consider its high-end, fourth-generation iPad. After all, that device is running the same software, but comes with a Retina display, has a bigger screen, and at only $499 to start, isn't much more expensive than the iPad Mini.

What About the Larger iPad?

Have Issues With iOS? Move Along

There are some customers who just can't stand iOS. Those folks don't like that the software lacks multiple user support and won't allow for data transfers through near-field communication. For those people, the iPad Mini is a nonstarter.

Have Issues With iOS? Move Along

There's No Retina Display

Apple's Retina display is central to the company's mobile success. The Retina display delivers high-quality visuals and inspires awe in those who check it out for the first time. Unfortunately, the iPad Mini doesn't support a Retina display, making it somewhat less appealing.

There's No Retina Display

The A5 Chip Is Unbearably Slow

Apple's iPad Mini comes with the A5 processor—the same chip running in the iPad 2. When the iPad 2 launched last year, the A5 processor was cutting edge. Nowadays, though, it's slow and lacks the graphical power found in newer chips. Too bad it's in the iPad Mini.

The A5 Chip Is Unbearably Slow

Will It Be Replaced Soon?

There was a time when Apple customers could buy the company's products without fear of seeing them replaced within the next 12 months. But as the fourth-generation iPad has proven, that's no longer the case. In that instance, Apple launched an update to the "new iPad" less than eight months after that tablet had launched. Who knows if the iPad Mini won't be replaced with a better processor soon?

Will It Be Replaced Soon?

The Lightning Port

Consumers who have accessories with docks that are compatible with the old 30-pin connector found in Apple's iPhones and iPads might not like what they find in the Mini. That tablet comes with the Lightning connector, a new port that only has nine pins. What that means is customers won't be able to plug the iPad Mini into connector cables and docks that support the 30-pin flavor unless they buy an adapter. That adapter is available for $29 from Apple.

The Lightning Port

Where Are All the Extras?

When examining the iPad Mini's spec sheet, it looks pretty much like a bare-bones tablet. The device doesn't come with near-field communication and lacks a high-definition display. Plus, its rear-facing camera is just 5 megapixels and its front is 1.2 megapixels. There's also no USB port or High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) port. Granted, the iPad Mini is designed to be a cheaper Apple tablet, but couldn't Apple have added some popular (less costly) industry standards?

Where Are All the Extras?

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