I picked up the original iPad nearly 3 years ago and until recently, it's been my go-to device for all things professional and personal. There were certainly some hiccups and adjustments in switching from a laptop to a tablet - both positive and challenging - but the transition, in the end, has been well worth it. As iOS 5 was nearing it's support life, I started looking at my next mobile do-everything device. When the iPad Mini was announced, I was intrigued.
I picked one up and over the past few months I can confidently say: It's the best mobile computer I've ever owned. Since I still take into account that I want to be able to accomplish 90% of my work (personal or professional) 100% of the time, the iPad mini allows me to continue this goal. (I do still use my Mac Mini for heavy-duty design work where I'm comfortable sitting in front of a larger screen and have a chunk of time available to spend on the design process.)
I'm borrowing a chunk of the content below from a comment I posed in the Digital Nomads Abroad community in Google Plus.
If you're used to the iPad, not much will change. Yes, the screen size is smaller and the weight is lighter and the footprint has shrunk. The overall use is still the same, except that you can use it in more places with less restrictions (ie, crowded subway, cramped airplane, etc.).
Here's how I use the iPad Mini (and a few gadgets I picked up along the way):
- iPad Mini: My travel computer - I use this for writing, reading, communicating, presentations, admin, etc. I'm able to build a business around a handful of apps and websites that are all easily accessible through the Mini. The battery life is tremendous, the size is perfect for travel, and the convenience is top notch.
- Bluetooth keyboard: I use this when I'm in front of the big screen and take it with me on the road when I need to do some serious writing / communicating / coding. With the WINGStands, it turns the mini into more of a laptop, without all the bulk.
- Bluetooth headphones: Perfect for communicating via Skype, listening to music / news, recording voice memos. I'm used to the bluetooth headphones that hang over your ears, making their comfortability an issue. These headphones are amazingly light, and all (any) weight is distributed away from your ears. Nice.
- Stylus: I use this, along with the Penultiimate and Paper apps, for note taking and wire framing. It's simple to share notes / sketches and keeping notes in a single device instead of shreds of paper has made reviewing / sharing / referencing a breeze. (And yes, sorry Steve).
- BookBook: My cover / case when carrying the iPad Mini around. I do have the Smart Cover, which I really like, but I've been more comfortable carrying it around in the BookBook.
The trick, no matter the device, is to focus on the task at hand so you can get some work accomplished regardless of your location. Easier said than done, but a blessing of being a digital nomad is to not only say you can work anywhere but that you actually do work anywhere!