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iPad Mini: First Impressions

I’ve had an iPad mini for all of twelve hours. This post is a collection of my initial impressions.

It’s worth noting that I’m not an Apple enthusiast. My only other Apple device is an iPhone 8, and I do most of my computing on Linux.

My mini is the entry level Gen 6 model: wifi only with 64 gigs of storage. I also bought the cutest iPad mini case on earth.

Why I Bought an iPad Mini

Initial Impressions

1) Apparently there are a few ad-supported apps that don’t re-scale their images for the iPad, so imagine my surprise when I opened Radio Garden and a massive, Godzilla-sized icon that said AMAZON MUSIC slid over my screen.

I almost screamed! AAAAAAAA! Giant Icons, ATTACK!

2) The mini’s size is perfect for reading. It’s like a paperback book, and excellent for reading the morning paper, browsing articles, and reading blogs. 10/10

3) The Apple Pencil is fabulous for detail work in Affinity Photo. It’s a pleasure to zoom in and make color corrections, clean up stray pixels from cut-and-paste, and so on. 10/10

4) Typing on the iPad mini screen feels like a chore. Much harder than on a small phone. I’m unlikely to do any real writing on it without a bluetooth keyboard, and so long as I’m sitting in keyboard position, upright with a flat surface, why not use my computer? 4/10

5) Handwriting recognition is so-so. I began writing this post by hand, but the resulting text needed so much cleanup that it wasn’t worth it. 4/10

6) I didn’t realize the power charger and cable were included (because Apple had announced not including them in other products) so I grudgingly paid an extra $40 up front to buy them. When I got my mini, they were in the box, so now I have two sets.

7) The power is USB C. Fabulous!

8) There’s still no headphone jack. BOOOOO…

Hopes for the Future

Well, I’m still hoping for a quality Linux tablet, someday. Apple occasionally pops up with reminders that they’re monitoring my app use for “recommendations” and they’re tallying my “device trust” score and whatnot. I find that stuff as creepy AF.

But hey, that’s why I’m a Linux enthusiast!

Summary of First Impressions

Overall, I’m very satisfied. Buying the Mini is part of my larger trend toward moving to single-use devices:

So far, so good! Thanks for listening to me blather. 😋