iPad Mini: Small Size, Big Productivity

iPad Mini with its big brother.

There have been many reviews of the iPad Mini lately.

I wanted to use the device for a week to see how the Mini fit into my daily workflow.

The traditional iPad has been a part of my work tools since it was released.

(See here, here and even here.)

So, how does the iPad Mini measure up?

iPad Mini Is Mini.

The iPad Mini is small.

The picture above doesn’t really give you a sense of the difference between the Mini and the regular iPad.

It is half the weight. It is thinner. And it just feels great in your hand.

There has been some great analysis on whether or not this is the size that the iPad should have always been.

In many ways, Apple is repeating the same path they took with the iPod, where the iPod Mini eventually took over the product line.

I could see this happening with the iPad, as well.

What I love:

  • The size just screams to be held. It is crazy light. You just want to pick it up and use it. You can hold it easily in one hand.
  • It goes places the iPad doesn’t go. The Mini fits in large pockets, jackets, purses, and many places that its bigger brother doesn’t go.
  • The speed is great. The iPad Mini does not have the latest processor that the iPhone 5 or iPad 4 has. However, you won’t notice. I didn’t experience any lag doing work or playing.
  • I like to use it in portrait. I tend to use the full-sized iPad in landscape orientation. However, with the Mini, I tend to hold in portrait, which also makes it easier to type on for me.
  • The construction is amazing. – The build quality of the iPad Mini has to beheld to be appreciated. It is to iPads, what the iPhone 5 is to iPhones.
  • This is not a big iPhone. People used to joke that the iPad was just a big iPhone. However, once the apps caught up with the larger screen real estate, the iPad really separated itself in capability. The Mini runs the same iPad apps that its big brother does.
  • Lightning connector – I have been very happy with the new lightning connector that Apple rolled out recently. While there has been some transition, the new connector is much better than the old one.
  • Battery life – The battery life of the Mini exceeded my expectations. I used it all day without getting anywhere near needing a charge. A few days, I skipped charging all together.


  • Screen – You probably want me to complain about the screen. I am not sure I can. It is a good screen for a small device. It works well for the form factor. I have no doubts that it will be upgraded in future models to the magical Retina screen. (If you are not familiar with this term, then you won’t even miss it.)

Small in Size, Big on Productivity.

iPad Mini just begs to go places that the traditional iPad doesn’t go.

I think it will find uses in business, academic, and medical environments very soon.

I found myself using the iPad Mini in situations where I would have been hesitant to pull the full size iPad out of my bag.

It has all of the productivity of the iPad in a smaller package.

This device will replace many people’s day-planner, laptop… and of course, full-sized iPad.

iPad Mini is Going to be Big.

If you are looking for an iPad to carry with you on the go, the Mini is perfect.

My 9-year old instantly picked it over the larger iPad. (Kids love the smaller size.)

I love my iPad with LTE service. However, if I had to choose between the two…

I think I am going with the iPad Mini.

Question: Will you be choosing the iPad Mini for your productivity device?

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16 thoughts on “iPad Mini: Small Size, Big Productivity

  1. Yes I will! My 32 gig w/4g is allegedly going to be shipped “in the next 5 business days” and I am chomping at the bit for it to arrive…now even more after reading your review! I agree that the size and form factor will make it the perfect productivity tool. Though I do currently bring my full-sized iPad everywhere with me, there are occasions where it is just too large to haul of out my bag. I predict the Mini will become my constant companion.

    Though, it will never totally replace my day planner ; )

  2. I think it’s great. That said, I do a ton of reading on my iPad 3, so the retina is key for me. I’ve read for hours on the iPad 1/2 and it’s just not the same. We’ll be getting one this year, but it’s not for me.

  3. iPad mini will be my first iPad 🙂 I found that bigger brothers are too big. I will retire my FranklinCovey planner and probably try Opus Domini app, unless you suggest me some better solution. Your insight would be greatly appreciated!

  4. The weight is an underrated feature, the retina fanboys will be charging more. 12 + hours of heavy use and still at 33%. Ported to Google Voice, cancelled my minutes. LTE is cost effective with wifi. Still will use large iPad, but one seems more reasonable in public.

  5. I’ve held off buying the iPad since it was released in 2010 since there was something missing about it. I felt like it’s just an additional gadget (less is more applies for me). But, when the iPad mini came out, I just felt like Apple made it for me. It was the perfect tablet. Just what I was waiting for. The screen complains seem overrated too. Anyway, I’m getting one for Christmas!

  6. I just received mine in the mail yesterday, assuming I would think it was too small, and more like an “iPhone Plus.” Instead, I fell in love with the construction, feel and size! My iPad now seems “big and bulky” by comparison. I was easily able to type, take notes, and do everything I can do on my full-size iPad, but now with less weight and more speed. It will be my go-to device for note taking, meetings, second screen experiences, and everything in between.

    Looks like my wife will be inheriting my iPad after all…

    • Lou, agreed! The size and form factor really make it a winner. It just feels good to hold and use. My iPad 3 now feels very heavy by comparison.
      BTW, great to see you here and look forward to seeing you again at NMX! 🙂