So, my beautiful wife bought me a new iPad mini for Christmas (Black, 32GB, WiFi). This replaces my first generation iPad that had been a trusted companion and writing partner. This also means that she and my daughter now get more regular and exclusive access to my old iPad. Seems like a fair deal to me.
My first impressions are pretty much the same as everyone else’s that I’m sure you’ve read by now — it’s great. It’s thin, light, very comfortable in the hand. If you use your iPad for mainly for “consumption” then this is the one for you.
That said, as someone who regularly bangs out a thousand words on an iPhone in landscape, I find the keyboard and hand-feel nearly identical on the iPad mini in portrait. Therefore, thumb typing, if that is your game, is equally a breeze. I also have found the landscape virtual keyboard as easy to adjust to as the original full-size iPad (for a two-finger-typist like me at least). I’m typing this up doing so right now. So if you are a “creator” who can be flexible then this is the one for you.
As I have preached here before, my out of the box app strategy is this — start it up brand new and install things as needed. Thankfully, iCloud and the ability to selectively load past purchases from the App Store make this easy. I also moved everything from the home screen and the dock right away and have been moving things there based on usage. Above is the shot of what has made it thus far. I’ll save you the reasoning and detail of each, you can look up anything you don’t know about. Suffice to say that, if anything has made it to the home screen or dock in just a few hours of use, I highly recommend it.