The iPad Mini was something of a surprise when it arrived. I expected a device that would be great at media consumption, the perfect device for reading in bed or watching YouTube videos, but with its smaller screen, I didn't expect it to be as good at surfing the web or playing games more complicated than Angry Birds.
I was wrong.
The iPad Mini not only did these things well, it quickly became my go-to tablet for most tasks. The web browsing experience was the most pleasant surprise. Browsing on my Kindle Fire has always been a little awkward, with the 16:9 ratio delivering pages that were either too skinny or too short. The iPad Mini's screen is slightly larger, and more importantly, most web pages are designed for a 4:3 aspect ratio, which makes them a snug fit for the iPad Mini's display.
In fact, the iPad Mini was so comfortable to use, my iPad 4 began collecting some dust during the holidays. The iPad Mini is an iPad, and its quite capable of matching its bigger brother task-for-task.
In early January, I reached for the iPad 4 to check out a few new apps. I hadn't used it since before the holidays, and there was no specific reason to use the iPad 4 for this task, but it was right next to me and the iPad Mini was in the other room.
Have you ever had a favorite food that you went a while without eating and forgot (just a little bit) how awesome it was? That's how I felt with the iPad 4. Staring at that beautiful display, it struck me at just how big it was. And for the first time in a few months, that was a compliment.
And thus ended my brief love affair with the Mini. It's still a great device, and I often find myself recommending it. Apple definitely nailed the design and created a device that is good for much more than just media consumption. But there's no denying that the iPad 4 is still the best iPad.