I’m no Apple fanboy even if I’ve been called that on numerous occasions, but I have to admit that one of the devices manufactured by the company i.e. the iPad, is most assuredly one of my favourite gizmos to have on me while traveling – be it for work or pleasure. 

Being the Vidiot that I am, a video capable device that makes for comfortable viewing is at the top of my travel checklist. Screen is a facet that I feel quite strongly about when it comes to purchasing new phones, tablets, TVs and even monitors. In fact with the iPads that I’ve tested, I grew quite accustomed to using them even at home for checking my email, social accounts etc when I’m not close enough to my PC. Sure my phone is always by my side but a 4.7-inch display just doesn’t cut it when you have a 9.7-inch Retina display at your disposal. 

Here’s the problem though, when I’m travelling, the iPad tends to be a little too large and heavy, albeit a very slim product, to carry around. The thought of a smaller iPad has always been a pet dream of mine and the fact that it could soon be a reality makes me glad that  I haven’t bought an iPad yet. Naturally one of the bigger reasons for not owning an iPad is its cost factor. 

With the recent buzz around an iPad Mini making the rounds, it looks as if Apple is gearing up to take on the likes of the Nexus 7, Galaxy tab 310 and the Kindle in a big way. Cashing on the recent trend of the smaller tablet structure the iPad Mini will most certainly be a hit. For one thing, should it come to pass, a Retina Display on a 7-inch touchscreen should look quite fantastic. Secondly, it’s to be expected that the pricing of this smaller device should very well be more affordable than its larger predecessor. 

Good things come in small packages

Good things come in small packages

Most importantly though, the smaller form factor of the device will make it much more manageable. It’ll be much easier to carry around. Even the ladies would find a device like this an easier option to deal with if it’s as slim or slimmer than the iPad – it’ll fit squarely into a handbag. Should you also decide that it’s worth investing in an Apple smart cover, then you can be quite sure that the display remains intact. And as for the rest of the body, well how many iPads have you seen that are badly scratched from being carried around in a bag? 

There’s also the refinement in the application base and overall delivery of features that makes an Apple device so enticing, irrespective of size.

Naturally the argument about having a Samsung Galaxy Tab 310 or one like the Micromax Funbook that’s just one fourth the price, would be entirely valid. But an iPad is an iPad is an iPad. The build quality of an Apple device is quite superior to quite a few (not all) products available. According to a Gartner Report, about 40 million units of the Apple iPad were sold in 2011 taking a market share of a whopping 66.6 %. It was projected at 73 million units with a 61.4% share for 2012. Android devices made up for a mere 17.3 million units with a 28.8% share in 2011 and a projected 37.9 million units with a 31.9% share in 2012. 

The price will definitely be higher compared to the rest but that’s never been an issue for Apple’s sales figures. Then there’s also the issue of applications being designed to fit the new display. This will be an all new challenge for developers. However, should Apple decide to go with a 16:9 aspect ratio, then perhaps developers might not find it too hard to upscale apps from the existing iPhone (or the iPhone 5) to a larger display in the same ratio. 

So I’m saving up for an iPad Mini. While I'm quite happy with my ICS running handset and look forward to 4.1 aka Jelly Bean, the prospect of a slightly more affordable and far more portable iPad is just too prime to pass up. I can honestly say, other than the design, I’m not really looking forward to a new iPhone, but an all new, smaller than usual iPad, now that’s somthing to look forward to.

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