Apple’s iPad 2 is still sticking around in Apple’s product lineup despite the launch of a fourth generation device along with the iPad mini.
This puts the iPad 2 in an awkward position, with specifications that are less impressive than mini’s in every possible way but screen dimension. Yet it’ll sell for a higher price — $399 compared to the mini’s $329.
The mini has the same processor, battery life and resolution as the iPad 2, but way better front and back cameras, higher pixel density, lightning connector (why’s the iPad 2 still using 30-pin connector anyway?), Siri and optional LTE.
Most important, the mini is only half as heavy as its regular-sized counterparts, despite having only marginally smaller screen dimensions. For this reason alone, I may abandon my iPad 3 for mini.
Though it’s an excellent tablet and it fits into my workflow very nicely, when I use the iPad 3, I usually rest it against a table, pillow or even my lap. It’s simply too heavy to hold for an extended period, especially in one hand. Since I don’t game much on the iPad, performance is not a huge issue to me. The only thing I have to consider is whether to compromise a larger Retina display for a lighter iPad.
But for first-time customers who are unsure of whether to buy a mini or an iPad 2, the choice is rather obvious. You can either pay more for a heavier device with a bigger but less crisp display, or spend less for a lighter and thinner device. The compromise is pretty reasonable. That’s why I think the iPad mini seriously diminishes the iPad 2’s attractiveness, so I expect demand for the latter will be seriously affected.
Whenever a new device is announced, Apple’s tradition is to move previous generations down to the mid- or low-end and sell them at a discount. So it’s curious that Apple decided to keep the iPad 2 now that the iPad 4’s on the scene, especially since the iPad 3 remains available. May be it’s because the production costs of the iPad 3 aren’t as low as the iPad 2’s. But when the next iPad comes along, it’s likely that second-generation tablet will be phased out, and the regular iPad’s high and mid-end models will be equipped with Retina displays. That will make the display a key factor when people make their iPad purchase decision. At least until the iPad mini sports the Retina display, if it ever does.
Which would you buy — the iPad mini or its larger sibling? Tell us in the comments below.