The release of the iPad Mini in October was a success for Apple. It sold out almost everywhere in the world and set a new record for iPad sales. However, the vast majority of buyers were leisure buyers and those buying for education. So it the iPad Mini good for business? The new specs of the Mini is designed to fend off the competition from Google and Amazon rather than set a new niche and develop a market. With the Nexus 7 stealing market share, the Nexus 10 on its way and the Kindle Fire HD recently released, the small tablet market is hotting up nicely. The leaning of the iPad Mini is definitely towards documents and eBooks, which is why schools are buying so many, but that same use could potentially be used by business. However, it can do just about anything it’s larger sibling can without too many compromises.
The new IOS isn’t without its issues, but it’s a solid piece of programming. The pluses for business is that it’s stable, reasonably secure and has hundreds of thousands of productivity apps already available. The downsides of IOS is that it’s locked down, so only Apple-approved apps can be (legitimately) loaded onto an iPad. The Nexus has a solid Android OS that is open source and whose app store is growing comparably to the Apple Store.
The iPad Mini hardware is hardly anything to write home about, but it works. The screen is superb, easily the best on the market and battery life has improved. A 30-minute charge will net you almost 9 hours use. It’s light too, lighter than the competition at only 308g. The Nexus is better specced, but heavier. The Kindle is also heavier and not quite as responsive as the iPad Mini. So, is it any good for business? That depends on what your business is. If your daily tasks involve reading documents, eBooks and carrying tablets, or you use one of the hundreds of thousands of existing apps, then yes. However, it comes at a cost. As usual, there is an element of price-elitism to this newest Apple product. It is more expensive than the competition without any marked advantage over them. If you’re image-conscious or already have a suite of Apple products then the iPad Mini will be ideal. If you prefer open source or need a custom app, cheaper Android options may be more suitable.