The iPad mini has been out for a while now, and I have to say I’m surprised that the screen whining is still going on. Like I mentioned in my review, the decision to not put a 2048 x 1536 screen in the iPad mini isn’t just Apple being silly, it’s a necessary evil to reach the size and weight. Compared to the Nexus 7- which is considered to be “the other” ~7-inch device right now, the iPad mini is thinner, lighter, has a bigger physical screen, and has better battery life. It’s not a huge leap to conclude that Apple already accomplished something by making the mini this small and light, and that there’s simply no way you can cram a screen with four times the resolution into the same package without sacrificing something, namely battery life.
Still, a lot of people say they don’t like the iPad mini’s screen because it’s inferior to the iPad 3/4 screen. I get that. While I find it’s outright pointless to blame a company for not doing something that’s not possible, I also think that anyone is entitled to simply ignore a product that they don’t find is adequate. It doesn’t matter what the reason for the lack of a better screen in the iPad mini is if it ends up making you not want to use it. If that’s the case, simply don’t buy it. I have a list of products and companies whose perfectly reasonable excuses still don’t change the fact that I’m not interested in the end product.
What I find more interesting about the situation is how people got to the point where they find the iPad mini’s screen inadequate. Go back to January, and the iPad mini would have been praised for its screen, because it’s a significant upgrade in PPI over the iPad 2, which was then the latest iPad. I came from the iPad 2 to the mini, so it’s a significant upgrade for me too. I’ve shown it to other people who use the iPad 2, and they too liked the screen. The iPad 2’s resolution has never bothered me when reading on it, and so the iPad mini certainly doesn’t bother me. The only times I’ve noticed the resolution to be an issue is with direct comparisons to an iPad 3, in which case you become aware of something that otherwise wouldn’t have bothered you.
The mini’s size and weight are game changers for a lot of what I do with it, and it seems like I’m this poor, naive person who is only capable of liking the mini’s screen because I never had the “pleasure” of owning an iPad 3/4 and using it every day. Unlike a lot of advances in technology, upgrading to an iPad 3 wouldn’t have changed how I used my iPad. Everything I already do would look better, sure, but I wouldn’t suddenly find whole new uses for it. That is why I never upgraded, and that is, it appears, why I can now enjoy the iPad mini without crying myself to sleep over the screen resolution.
At the end of the day, I’m glad I never upgraded my iPad 2. I have a friend who sold his iPad 3 to get a mini, and while he had some comments about the screen difference, the form factor eventually won out. That seems to be the logic of many iPad 3 users out there right now, while iPad 2 users actually get more enjoyment out of the upgrade. I guess that proves once and for all that ignorance is bliss, and it’s all relative.