iPad mini: Five reasons to buy one

News Stacy Warden 13:34, Oct 24 2012

Thinking of buying Apple's 7.9-inch tablet? Check out this list of things we like about it

Pre-orders for the iPad mini start this Friday, Oct. 26. Here are five benefits to buying one. 

1. Cost

While it sports a higher tag than its Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HD rivals, it's still cheaper than Apple's full-sized tablets. Here's a quick price breakdown of the mini's six different configurations:

  • iPad mini, Wi-Fi only, 16 gigabytes of storage, $329
  • iPad mini, Wi-Fi only, 32 GB, $429 
  • iPad mini, Wi-Fi only, 64 GB, $529
  • iPad mini, Wi-Fi + Cellular, 16 GB, $459
  • iPad mini, Wi-Fi + Cellular, 32 GB, $559
  • iPad mini, Wi-Fi + Cellular, 64 GB, $659

2. Size 

It's portable, but at 7.9-inches it is still larger than its rivals. The extra real estate is a plus on several counts, and the additional screen space doesn't exactly make for a bulky product. iPad mini still weighs significantly less than competing 7-inch tablets, and it's practically paper thin. As a bonus, the smaller size makes it girlfriend- and kid-friendly, so you can finally get your full-size iPad back. 

3. Lightning 

If you already own an iPhone 5, you'll be thrilled to know that iPad mini is equipped with the new port as well. Apple's fourth-generation full-size iPad will sport the Lightning port too, and will also come with a faster A6X chip. That said, if you're a first-time tablet buyer and you're already sold on Apple, you'll want to stick with one of these newer versions to ensure that your device is compatible with the latest accessories. 

4. iOS

If you're debating between the mini and an Android-based tablet, this is your take-it-or-leave-it factor. While our staff splits its time pretty evenly between these two operating systems, iOS always ends up with the most love. Why? Because it's consistent, efficient and generally more secure. Developers typically favor it, which means you get a better selection of apps and games (currently the iTunes Store offers roughly 700,000 combined for iPhone and iPad). 

5. Gifting 

If your loved ones have a tablet marked at the top of their holiday lists, iPad mini is your safest bet. While you'll be spending slightly more than you would on an Android-based tablet of similar size, you'll get some serious props for choosing the more popular brand. And you're still getting off cheaper than you would with Apple's full-size iPad.    

 

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