Apple held their iPad Mini news conference today, and I had the opportunity to watch some of it streamed live during my prep period.
The iPad mini is pretty much what everyone expected it would be, with a price point of $329, $429, and $529. Take my advice and buy at least the 32GB model. 16GB disappear pretty quickly. Although I could do so deleting on my current iPad, I’ve got all but 10GB used on my 64GB device. I’m debating whether I need to buy an iPad to use in education (or more specifically, to see how it could be used in education). My desire, as a music teacher, is to say that it will be too small…but I need to see one in use before I can make that decision. And there’s the starting point…is it worth $429 just to see if something works?
Apple also announced a new MacBook Pro with Retina Display, and new iMacs. We’ll have to upgrade our computers eventually, but until they are unable to run the software I need them to run (iTunes, Pages, Word, Keynote, Finale), there isn’t a pressing need to update any of our computers.
The real surprise, for me, was the 4th Generation iPad. The new iPad receives the expected lightning power cable (it really is nice compared to the 30pin cable). But it also receives an update with wi-fi, cameras, and processor. It will use the A6X chip, which is twice as fast (processor and graphics processor) as the “old” new iPad (3rd generation), which was about the same speed as the iPad 2 (Some later iPad 2s were faster than older models, but in general, the 3 was never faster than the 2…all the processor power went to that wonderful screen).
I avoided the new iPad because it wasn’t substantially faster than the iPad 2, and although it offered a retina screen, better cameras, and Siri (as of iOS 6, it’s Siri), I still chose to skip it.
Now that the “new” iPad is 2x as fast as my iPad 2, I have something to think about, particularly as presenting about the iPad has become part of my life. Potentially, I may buy a new iPad and an iPad Mini. I didn’t expect that. And it’s hard to consider dropping $699 for a new iPad (I don’t think I should pursue a “primary” device without the 64GB) plus $429 for an iPad Mini.
No LTE iPads for me…I have the ability to tether iPads to my iPhone if I need to access the Internet on the iPad while I’m mobile, without an extra $10 charge per month for the service.