iPad mini not worth the buzz

By Troy Doetch

Please do me a solid and stop talking about greatness of the iPad mini, which almost sold out in preorder this weekend.

It’s sick. And not in a good way, like, “Shoot, bro, your slacklining skills are sick.” No, the iPad mini and its buzz is making me want to hurl. Why? I’ll tell you why, but you’ve got to promise keep the words iPad and mini separated from now on, lest I blow chunks.

Note: I’m not a member of that strange anti-Apple sect that thinks PCs and Blackberries are more professional because they’re more aesthetically unappealing. I’ve been using an iMac since 2005, when iTunes offered a glimmer of hope in a post-Napster, pre-Spotify wasteland. I had an iPhone before a snowstorm and a hole in the pocket of my peacoat tragically took its life. I’m even writing this on an iPad with a God-intended 7.31-by-9.5 inch screen. So it is with a heavy heart that I renounce my unconditional brand loyalty. Although I have no plans for the future, I’m feeling pretty pessimistic. Is Dell still a thing?

First, the idea of the tablet itself is a guilt-inducing luxury. Even without playwright Mike Daisy opening and closing the national dialogue about the working conditions of Apple’s Chinese factories, it’s hard to explain why you need an iPad without feeling gluttonous. It’s like an iPhone, but better for large tasks because it’s easier on my delicate wittle eyes. Sure, it’s not as good for large tasks as a Macbook, but it’s gentler on my limp wittle wrist. At 1.44 pounds, it’s so portable you can take it anywhere; and at $499, I can take it anywhere imaginable (any place in the world where it won’t get wet, hot, cold, dropped or stolen). If the iPad is the device that meets the incredibly, weirdly specific needs of my affluent lifestyle, then what does that say about the iPad Mini?

“But it’s cheaper!” shouts an anonymous proponent. So it’s not nearly as decadent as the iPad because it’s an economical option to a completely unnecessary device! Not really. It’s going for $329-$659, so at its cheapest, with 16GB of memory and Wi-Fi only, it’s only $70 cheaper than the now-king-sized iPad 2. But you know, it’s lighter, which is perfect for reading because the Fifty Shades trilogy is really giving my wrist a workout—wait, that came out wrong. The problem with Apple pretending the product is akin to an e-reader is that the Kindle Fire HD, which has similar specs to the mini, is going for $199. So in reality, the only appeal of the iPad Mini: ERMERGERD IT’S SO CUTE!

The iPad Mini is so perfectly satirical of the recent trend in Apple products. In September, with major news outlets covering the fanaticism, Apple released the iPhone 5, which, innovatively, changed its screen size from 3.5 to 4.87 inches. People went nuts. The iPhone 5 outsold the iPhone 4S by around a million units. And this weekend, we’re clamoring over the miniature version of a big iPhone.