Every year around this time, Apple launches a few new products. Last week the company announced two new iPads -- the iPad Air and a brand new iPad Mini with Retina screen. These two devices are pure sexiness (and this is coming from a guy who isn't impressed easily).
But which one should you get? And, more important, should you upgrade?
It's hard to complain about the iPad and it's hard to imagine how the company could improve on their flagship product. Luckily, they did. The new iPad Air is a thin and light tablet that weighs about a pound and has a large, 9-inch LCD screen with very thin bezels so it looks like the screen goes from edge to edge.
The new Air is far thinner than its predecessor and runs a much faster processor, the so-called A7, that runs far faster than the previous iPad as well as the M7 chip, which gathers accelerometer and other data, allowing for active measurement of your activity and location (something very useful for health and exercise apps).
The new iPad Mini is very similar -- if smaller -- than the iPad Air. This tiny tablet measures 7.9 inches and has a Retina display, something that was sorely missing in the previous Mini. It also runs the A7 chip.
So which one to get? Well, I've primarily used the Mini for the past year (I've also gotten into the Kindle Fire HDX, Amazon's latest tablet). I like the Mini for reading and casual web browsing and have all but abandoned the bigger screen tablets.
The Air is interesting, however, because it offers more screen real estate and is, quite literally, as powerful as a computer when it comes to productivity, gaming, and casual use. The products will be available in November so we've only gotten brief hands-on experience so far but rest assured that this new tablet is quite different than the previous incarnations of the "big" iPad.
Should you upgrade? Well, if you're stuck in iPad 1 territory, it might be time for a change. Those older tablets are starting to show their age and you'll be amazed how much smaller and lighter this new gear is. Happy with your iPad Mini? You can probably stay put for now simply because the current Mini works just fine without a Retina screen.
Are you an Apple fanboy like me? Pick them both up. Why not? Your wallet will thank you.
Image via Apple.com