Where Does The iPad Mini Fit?

Where Does The iPad Mini Fit?
Baronfig Notebook, iPad Mini, and Kindle.

Struggling with the iPad Mini's place in my setup.

I recently purchased a BaronFig notebook to use as a new journal after multiple months of attempting to make the iPad Mini my journaling device. It isn't that the iPad Mini is bad for handwriting; I just realized how much I prefer to use pen and paper when I want to write down my thoughts.

iPad mini sidekick for my MacBook Pro.

This realization made me think about the iPad Mini and how I have actually been using it over the past few months. The iPad Mini, most of all, is a consumption device for me. It has TikTok installed, which I don't have on my iPhone, but I have mostly been watching Netflix and AppleTV+ on it.

I just finished Ripley and am halfway through Silo, and though I would prefer to watch these shows on my OLED TV (or now my MacBook Pro), I tend to end up using my iPad Mini in bed or on the couch. My son has taken over our TV, and by the time I am able to watch something myself, I like to curl up in bed and watch a show instead of being out in the living room.

Watching Silo on iPad Mini

The iPad Mini is a fantastic device for consuming content, but is it really the best? As I continue to use the iPad Mini, I have been wondering if another iPad or my iPhone could do what it is doing. I think many people who have iPads go through this same dilemma. I think the iPad Pros are great as a laptop replacement and modular computer, but using any iPad as just a tablet can be challenging sometimes.

It is such an in-between device that it sometimes can feel unnecessary, especially when you find yourself using it for one specific thing. I thought the iPad Mini would become my main device when I am home, putting my iPhone away somewhere, but it has instead become a reading or streaming device that I use occasionally.

Having a device that I use occasionally isn't a bad thing per se, but I am starting to wonder if another device could do the same thing and maybe better. Since I am not using the iPad Mini for all of the things that I thought I would—reading emails, checking bills, reading long news articles, and journaling—I wonder if just a standard iPad would suffice for me.

Baronfig and Goodnotes on iPad Mini.

The cost of a Touch ID version iPad is so low that I sometimes wonder if that would do what I need and maybe a little better. It turns out, the iPad is a great device for watching shows for me, and having a 10.2-inch screen may be better. I could still do those other things that I wanted to do on the iPad Mini before, but on a slightly larger device, and save a little money.

I go back and forth though. The portability of the iPad Mini is really great, and the 2nd Generation Pencil, even if I don't use it that much, is really nice. I also prefer the Touch ID on the power button, making it much easier to press in hand. Plus, the size is just nicer to hold for long periods, especially for reading.

But the size for watching shows is just not that great. It isn't bad, but it isn't ideal. And though reading on the iPad Mini is way more comfortable than reading on a 10-inch tablet or larger, I have started using the Kindle for reading more, so that is something I just don't need the smaller iPad for.

Kindle app on iPad Mini and Kindle.

I haven't decided on what I am going to do yet, and I am continuing to bring the iPad Mini with me each day when I leave the house. I don't have a huge rush of getting rid of it, but after three months, I am struggling to find its true place in my setup. Maybe I will try using it with the MacBook with Sidecar and see if that is the spark to lead me to keep it.

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Jamie Larson