I have not one, but two primary computers. The first is your standard Windows laptop that, when connected with a nice ergonomic keyboard and mouse, along with a mid-sized LCD monitor, acts as a proper desktop. I create most of my content – whether it’s writing blogposts, typing long emails, or editing images – with this setup. The second ‘computer’ is my iPhone 4S that I use on the go, mostly for consuming content from Facebook, Reddit, and for reading emails. Whenever I think of buying a tablet, what I have trouble understanding is where does it fit in? My laptop is great for content creation and consumption, and for on-the-go basic computing my iPhone does all I need. With ever-decreasing tablet prices, that question – despite not having a clear, attractive answer – seems easier to dismiss as overanalysis.
The cheapest, but still the best Android tablet – the 2013 Nexus 7 – starts at a mere $229, which is just an excellent price to pay for a capable, portable computer. Apple, too, lowered the entry-level iPad price by introducing the iPad mini last year at $329.
It still didn’t make sense.
Now, however, I feel Apple has changed the equation. The new iPad mini with Retina Display has just blown me away. It’s more expensive than competing Android tablets, but the features it offers on top are, in my humble opinion, absolutely worth the money. A significantly richer variety of apps, impressive hardware (as is usual for Apple devices), and the high-resolution Retina Display are worth paying extra for.
Having played around with 9.7″ iPads before, I feel they are just way too big, heavy and generally just unwieldy. iPad mini with Retina Display has the same specs as its bigger 9.7″ brother, the iPad Air, while being a lot more portable. However, the latter is slightly thinner than the mini.
At this point in time, I have made up my mind. If I do buy a tablet in the future, it is going to be the 2013 iPad mini with Retina Display. There’s simply no competition if you want the best apps and the best hardware in your tablet.
Everything else has some major flaw. Nexus 7? Brilliant hardware and operating system but lacklustre third-party apps. This pretty much applies to all Android tablets out there, including the Nexus 10. Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2? From my impressions, they combine the most unliked features of laptops and tablets, while of course having weak Modern UI third-party apps support. Lumia 2520 faces the same issue.
But that’s just my opinion. What do you think about the current crop of tablets? I know quite a few of our readers – and people from our own team – are against Apple and its “needlessly expensive” products, so I’m interested in hearing why you think the iPad mini or Air is such a “scam” (for lack of a better word).
Before you head down to the poll, check the following device specs comparison: