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iPad Air diary, day 0: The surprised iPad mini user

Jason Snell | Nov. 4, 2013
Jason Snell prepares for the arrival of the iPad Air with a description of how he left the full-sized iPad fold for the tiny clutches for the iPad mini.

Now, everyone's working style is different. Some people love typing on the iPad mini, because they can hold the device in portrait orientation and use their thumbs to peck on the keyboard. That sort of typing drives me batty. Others can be remarkably productive and creative, using the iPad mini with an external Bluetooth keyboard to get serious work done.

The problem is that I'm completely unable to type on anything but a full-sized keyboard. And while the full-sized iPad is only slightly narrower in portrait mode than Apple's Bluetooth keyboard, the iPad mini is much smaller. (If I lay my iPad mini lengthwise, so its left side is flush with the left edge of that Apple keyboard, the mini doesn't even extend to the P in QWERTYUIOP.) And most of the time I don't tote around a Bluetooth keyboard; I just use the screen. Which is why I'm less productive on the iPad mini than I was on the iPad: the keyboard is just too cramped.

So, who wins?
So when I pick up my iPad Air for review, one of the things I'll be looking at is whether it's smaller enough and lighter enough to pull me away from the iPad mini. Will that extra screen size and larger on-screen keyboard seduce me back into the full-sized iPad fold? Will I decide that it's better to have an ultralight iPad mini that isn't so easy to type on, or a slightly unwieldy iPad Air that's better for typing and reading comics?

I honestly don't know whether the iPad Air will cross that threshold for me. Using one for ten minutes the day of Apple's media event made me suspect that it could be light enough and small enough. But I have to really use the thing to really find out.

In any event, I'm excited to give it a try, at home and on an upcoming business trip. I'll keep you updated on my progress, and I look forward to your questions and comments.

Onward to iPad Air day!


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