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10:36 AM
Jim Rapoza
Jim Rapoza
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Saying Yes To An iPad Mini

When I first had a chance to try out Apple's iPad, I liked almost everything about it except for its size. And that's why rumors of an iPad Mini are very interesting to me.

When I first had a chance to try out Apple's iPad, I liked almost everything about it except for its size. And that's why rumors of an iPad Mini are very interesting to me.If you've seen or used (or own) an iPad, you can instantly see its strengths. Instant on, easy application management, the simple classic iPhone user interface and the ability to be an excellent tool for watching movies, reading a book or surfing the Web.

But the one thing I couldn't get over was the size of the iPad. For something that is essentially a portable entertainment device, it's just too big. Holding it in one hand for any length of time (say when riding a train and trying to read an eBook) will make you feel like you're trying to read a coffee table book on the train.

Also, the size limits when and where I would use an iPad. Sure, it has an onscreen keyboard that is fine for texting or short emails but trying to write anything longer than 140 characters is an exercise in frustration.

This means that if I travel with an iPad I also have to carry around a laptop, or bring along a keyboard extension, and at that point I might as well have just brought a laptop. And traveling with both an iPad and a laptop is too much for me to carry (and I'll also be carrying a smartphone).

So the whole time I was trying out the iPad, I kept thinking, "this would be perfect, if it was smaller, say somewhere just between the size of an iPhone and the current iPad." Which just happens to be pretty much the exact size of the rumored 7-inch screen iPad Mini.

To me this is a perfect size. Still plenty of screen size for watching movies, reading books, playing games and surfing the web. But the device now becomes small enough that I can justify carrying it along with a larger laptop or netbook but still useful enough that I could use it as the sole digital device on a pleasure trip where I didn't have to do lots of typing.

So put me down as someone who hopes that the rumors of the iPad Mini turn out to be true. Because if they are, I already know what will be at the top of my holiday gift list.

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