Technology Review: iPad Mini
For the tech savvy food truck owner that may not have invested in an electronic tablet for their food truck business yet, we wanted to review the newest solution available to you.
While the 10-inch iPad dominates tablet sales within the mobile food industry (most who own it use it for their PoS system such as Square), the iPad Mini is the new kid on the mid-sized tablet block. While you have a whole crop of 7-inch tablets on store shelves that start at $199, including Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD, Google’s Nexus 7 tablet and Barnes & Noble’s Nook HD.
The iPad Mini is different from these devices in a few key ways: It has a slighter larger and wider 7.8-inch screen, better hardware specs in most categories, access to the simple and refined iOS operating system and Apple’s vast selection of quality apps and content.
That being said, it also has a much higher price tag. The iPad Mini starts at $329 for the 16GB Wi-Fi only version. The top of the line iPad Mini is 64GB, can connect over Wi-Fi and cellular connections, and costs $659.
The choice between Apple products largely depends on what you’re going to use the device for. If it is a laptop replacement, sticking with the faster, larger, higher-resolution 10-inch iPad with Retina is still your best bet. The exception might be situations where the smaller size is a must-have feature, such as working in the field.
The price difference between the iPad 2 and the iPad Mini is negligible – the iPad 2 is only $70 more – so that decision comes down to size preference and specs like camera resolution. The iPad Mini has better cameras – the same ones found on the newest 10-inch iPad.
Pros: The iPad Mini’s ultra thin and light design is far more intimate and book like than the larger iPad, and its cameras, storage capacities, optional LTE antenna, and general functionality offer a full iPad experience. The screen’s dimensions elegantly display larger-format magazines and apps.
Cons: The iPad Mini costs a lot, especially considering the lower resolution of its 7.9-inch non-Retina Display. The A5 processor isn’t as robust as the one in the fourth-gen iPad and iPhone 5. Typing on the smaller screen is not quite as comfy.
The Final Word: The iPad Mini is the best iPad Apple has created to date. Not because of its feature set, power, hardware or design but, because at this size, a greater number of food truck owners will be able to see an actual purpose for it; reading books, mobile point of sales, browsing the web on the move, all without feeling like they’re using a laptop or their smartphone.