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Why Buying An iPad Mini Is An Incredibly Dumb Idea

11/12/2012 06:47 pm ET | Updated Dec 23, 2012

You! Yes, you. You're thinking about buying an iPad mini. And I'm about to ask you -- for God's sake, why?

I suppose you could say I'm a technological curmudgeon, because I was never all that excited about tablet computers. When the original iPad first came out, I was one of those kids who made iTampon jokes and wondered snarkily how it would be different from a computer without a keyboard. Turns out, it's worse then a computer without a keyboard because you can't multitask.

What's worse, all the things that might have once been "websites" or "flash games" or "add-ons to your browser" are now little screen-clogging squares called "apps." Apps, as far as I can tell, were invented for smartphones because browsing websites on a smartphone screen was infinitely irritating. Given the choice of "website" or "square thing built originally for a smartphone," I'd pick "website" every time. But iPads work under the assumption that what I really need in my life is several screens of "apps" to scroll through.

Guys, apps are worse than websites! I'm not jazzed here!

For the marginal effort of "sitting up in bed" you could stick a laptop on your lap and play FLASH GAMES on WEBSITES for FREE instead of playing the same games as APPS that you PAY FOR and are WORSE.

Also, all this hoopla about the iPad being more portable? Rubbish. An iPad is about as portable as a MacBook Air, but with a MacBook Air you get an actual keyboard and the ability to, you know, have different windows open at the same time so you can engage in the revolutionary activity of, say, taking notes while watching a video.

So there you have it. The secret is out: Laptops are like iPads, only better.

Moreover, are we sure that an iPad mini isn't just a largish iPod Touch being sold for an iPad price? The only possible advantage I could see to the original iPad was that it was like an iPhone, kinda, but with a much bigger screen so you could, for example, watch movies on it without squinting. (Although, unlike a phone, the iPad doesn't come with calling and texting features baked in, so that's a big disadvantage.) But an iPad Mini doesn't even make movie-watching easier -- now you have to squint to watch the movies on its 7-inch screen! And it still doesn't have calling or texting.

Silicon Angle has already speculated that the iPad mini is little more than an iPod Touch that connects to cellular WiFi. What's different? You get "native iPad apps," and you have to pay an extra $130 to get the cellular WiFi at all. As far as I can tell, the base-model iPad mini (for $329) really is just an iPod Touch.

So it doesn't take much verbiage to make the argument that the iPad mini is strictly worse than your average smartphone. Remember how smartphones can call and text? Yeah, I remember that too. Also, smartphones can fit in your hand, and my smartphone even comes with a physical keyboard, although I know that's super special and not something every smartphone comes with.

At the end of the day, everything I could do with an iPad -- miniature or no -- I can do with a smartphone. Except that I can put my smartphone in my pocket. Like laptops, smartphones are also better than iPads.

But what if you just happen to have an extra $459 on hand and can't think of anything better to do with it than buy a tablet computer to "supplement" the functionality of your smartphone and laptop? Well, first of all, if you actually can't think of anything, you're incredibly unimaginative. I mean, for God's sake, amusement parks exist. If you still can't think of anything, go donate that $459 to One Laptop Per Child and give a small child her first computer instead of getting a another gadget/toy for yourself.

Seriously. It's much more worth it than a new iPod Touch -- I mean iPad mini.

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