Is The Original iPad Mini Still Worth Buying?

Kristine Croto - Author
By

Dec. 29 2014, Updated 4:27 p.m. ET

Tablets and Phablets are becoming more and more commonplace. For users who want an all-in-one device that lets them video-chat, watch movies, and listen to music on the go, as well as carry their libraries in their purses or briefcases, devices like the iPad Mini can’t be beat. As Apple has rolled out version after version of their cornerstone iPad, some users are starting to wonder if the original iPad Mini is worth the price that customers pay for it.

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Price

At around $249 retail, the iPad Mini is the least expensive iPad available. For this reason alone, many shoppers start by looking at the features available on the Mini. After all, it carries the iPad name, so it’s still going to be a great tablet right? Not really. And although the price looks great compared to $399 for the iPad Mini 3, with the Samsung Galaxy line starting around $250, and Asus and HP both making some great tablets available for $150-$200, the customer needs to work hard to justify the price of the iPad Mini.

Hardware

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As Craig Lloyd lays out at Gotta Be Mobile, the iPad Mini was out of date by Apple’s standards when it originally released. It contained an A5 chip when everything else that Apple was releasing contained the next gen, A6. It lacks Apple’s iconic Retina display, arguably one of the most interesting iPad features.

Futureproofing

According to Lloyd, futureproofing is where you buy a new product with the hopes that you’ll use it for several years before you need to upgrade again. By buying a first-generation iPad mini, you’re not setting yourself up for futureproofing at all, considering that the tablet is close to being on its way out the door, and Apple could stop delivering software updates to the original iPad mini as soon as next year with the release of iOS 9.

Unless you’re completely committed to the Apple app ecosystem, there’s really no compelling reason to choose an iPad at all. There are alternatives from other companies at every size. Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4 gives better color displays, and if you’re looking for great parental controls because you’re handing the tablet off to a child, you’re better off looking at a Kindle Fire. If you are dedicated to staying within Apple’s product line, Lloyd’s has a recommendation.

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“Spending just $50 more for the iPad mini 2, which comes with much faster hardware and a Retina display. Plus, it’ll most likely be supported by Apple for several years before it becomes incredibly outdated.”

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Do you love your iPad Mini? Sound off in the comments.

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