On those new iPads

Remember in Raiders of the Lost Ark when Indy barely made it under the slowly sliding door before it shut, then reached back and snatched his whip just in time? That’s the retina iPad Mini making the lineup in time for Christmas. - John Gruber

John Gruber does what he does best.

If you would have asked me a month ago what my favorite iPad was, my answer would definitely have been the iPad mini. It’s size and form factor fit me more than its bigger sibling. If you would have asked my what bothered me when using the mini I’d probably given you three answers: no- retina, slow and why did I buy a 16Gb model.

The latter is my own fault. When the iPad mini first came out ,I wasn’t convinced, and I bought the cheapest option available to test it. If it didn’t work out, I would only loose 300euro. Two weeks later and I was angry for not choosing a 32Gb model. With Tuesdays Keynote Apple solved my two other issues. They gave the mini a retina display, one that’s better than the retina display on the iPad, and comparable to an iPhone 5 screen. And they gave it an up to date processor to run this gorgeous display. So a 32Gb slate retina iPad mini is going to be a sure thing in the near future.

Although I have to admit, I’m curious on how the iPad Air will handle. It’s clearly the iPad Apple wants us to buy. I still think the only reason the mini’s here, is to meet customer demand. Apple’s iPad has a big screen. And the iPad Air is the latest incarnation of Apple’s vision of a post-pc device. A gorgeous display, ultra light, good battery life and a speedy processor.

So although I’ll be buying a mini, I’m more interested in the iPad Air from a technical point of view. The new mini is a device designed by committee. The iPad Air is derived from a vision. The mini is what customers want. Compact, retina, fast. The Air is what Apple envisions, a touch device bordering on the edge of what’s technically possible. A screen that makes the hardware disappear.