Gift Guide: The iPad Mini

Short Version

This is the iPad mini you’ve no doubt heard about. The one Apple introduced in October, the one that reviewers have mostly loved, and the one that’s been my constant companion since I got one on launch day. You may know it as the iPad mini, but for all intents and purposes, this is the new iPad.

Long Version


  • Thin and light design
  • Same huge library of 250,000+ iPad apps
  • Battery life that easily stretches into the 12 hour range


The iPad mini is…

… the best iPad. And maybe the best Apple product in recent memory. That may sound hyperbolic, and you can retort with complaints about screen resolution all you like, but as someone very well-versed in buying and using Apple products over the past 10 years, I can safely say at this point that the iPad mini is the one I’d be least inclined to give up.

Buy the iPad mini for…

… anyone who loves their existing iPad but wishes it were more portable, people new to tablets who want an easy and pleasant first experience, those who’ve tablets from other manufacturers but were disappointed and subsequently discarded them. The LTE version is likely best for frequent travelers, but the Wi-Fi model will be ideal for homebodies and people who generally split their time between two, Wi-Fi equipped locations, like home and school.


… there’s nothing quite like the full iPad experience in a package that you can hold with one hand. Critics will say this isn’t a wise purchase because Apple will inevitably introduce a Retina display to the iPad mini line. That’s likely true, but all the use you or your loved one will get out of this generation of iPad mini make it more than worthwhile to pull the trigger now, and the difference between this screen and that of the 4th generation iPad is a non-issue after just a few minutes of use. This is a gadget gift that won’t end up resting in anyone’s closet, or living exclusively on the nightstand, and it’s rare you can say that about any device.