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iPad Mini: Is it worth it?

Kat Robinson is a regular contributor for SheKnows and loves to connect women to all the latest entertainment news. She currently lives in Scottsdale, Ariz. and is a 2010 Jack Kent Cooke Scholar. Follow her on Twitter @katrobinson1 and f...

Skeptical over Apple's pricey new gadget

Apple seems a bit conceited with its iPad Mini release. Will Apple fans just buy any device it makes — even poorly conceptualized ones like the iPad Mini?
iPad mini
Skeptical over Apple's
pricey new gadget

introducing the iPad mini

Apple seems a bit conceited with its iPad Mini release. Will Apple fans just buy any device it makes — even poorly conceptualized ones like the iPad Mini?

The iPad Mini was available for preorders this morning at midnight Pacific time. Fans will be just shocked to learn that in just a few hours the iPad Mini is now back-ordered at least two weeks. We at SheKnows eyed this latest Apple creation with some serious skepticism: Are consumers simply desperate for any product new from Apple?

This pricey device is annoyingly expensive: $330 to $660

The iPad Mini is noticeably less expensive than the iPad 2 and iPad 3 — more so when comparing it to larger capacities — but all iPad Mini models lack the beautiful retina display of Apple's iPad 3. Moreover, the iPad Mini is still pricey; prepare to shell out at least $330 for the device.

Let's be honest: The iPad really shines when it's used for entertainment (games, music, movies, television shows, etc.) so forking over $330 for 16GB of space — Wi-Fi only mind you — is a bit ridiculous. Yes, the iPad Mini at this capacity is $70 cheaper than the iPad 2 and a painful $170 cheaper than the iPad 3. However, at this 16GB capacity, the iPad Mini is also a glorified iPad Touch. The features are almost exactly the same except for the iPad Mini's dimensions. Except now you're paying $330 instead of $200, and you still don't get to enjoy the amazing experience of the retina display – which is included in the latest iPod Touch.

As you start to move up the capacity ladder, you will pay an additional $100 each time you double your space: 16GB is $330, 32GB is $430, and 64GB is $530. Of course, if you want to be able to use your iPad Mini with your cellphone network, brace yourself for sticker shock: 16GB is $460, 32GB is $560, and 64GB is $660!

Did someone have a problem with the "big" iPad?

The iPad Mini is about 4 inches smaller (2 inches shorter and 2 inches narrower), and it weighs about three-quarters of a pound less than the iPad 2 and iPad 3. This is great. Except, and maybe I missed some fodder over the iPad 2 and iPad 3, was anyone actually complaining about their size? The standard iPad 2 and iPad 3 are already compact for traveling and still allow you to enjoy entertainment and internet surfing. Won't the iPad Mini take away from the entertainment experience?

And if you're justifying the smaller screen with the smaller price as I originally did, well, keep reading...

Gasp! Is the iPad Mini just a cool Amazon Kindle Fire HD?

The iPad Mini is about the same size as Amazon's Kindle Fire HD and the Kindle Fire HD has extremely comparable features to Apple's iPad Mini. Uh oh. So now consumers can get the same features as the Apple iPad Mini for $130 less? You can even double your space with Amazon Kindle Fire HD for an additional $50, making a true price comparison of $430 for the 32GB iPad Mini and only $250 for the Kindle Fire HD!

As a true disclaimer, I am a committed Apple fan. I love the design of the iPad, and I do think the Apple iPad Mini looks nicer than the Amazon Kindle Fire HD. However, we are talking about a very significant price difference for no real iPad Mini advantage in features.

Final thoughts

The iPad Mini is likely for users who have yet to buy an iPad 2 or iPad 3. The cheaper price seems alluring at first until it becomes clear what features users are giving up — a beautiful retina display — and how the iPad Mini compares not only to Apple's other products but competitors as well.

Most users will be fine with 32GB of space. That being said, the issue then becomes if consumers want Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi and cellular network capabilities. (The Amazon Kindle Fire HD does not have a cellular network option). I bet most people can't afford the nearly $600 price tag for the 32GB iPad Mini with the cellular network option, and let's not forget the charges from your cellphone provider for the added device (usually about $30 a month).

So, at the end of the day the Amazon Kindle Fire HD is $250 or the iPad Mini is $430. Do you want to pay an addtional $180 for "aesthetics"?

Tell us

Is Apple's iPad Mini worth purchasing? Share in the comments below!

Read more on the iPad

Favorite ways to use iPads in classrooms
Ditch the pen and grab the iPad
When your iPad becomes a babysitter

Photo credit: Apple
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