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Three reasons why buying a first-generation iPad mini may be foolish

Published Oct 24th, 2012 12:50PM EDT
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The iPad mini has a really impressive design and is probably the most attractive-looking small tablet on the market right now. But as Business Insider’s Jay Yarow points out, it may be wise to hold off buying Apple’s (AAPL) newest tablet until the company comes out with a second-generation version sometime next year. In no particular order, here are three reasons why buying an iPad mini right away might not be the smartest investment.

It costs too much. Yes, Apple products are generally more expensive than its rivals’, but $329 for the iPad mini might be a wee bit high, especially since many consumers are apparently happy with the $200 Amazon (AMZN) Kindle Fire and the $250 Google (GOOG) Nexus 7. It’s unlikely that Apple will drop down its price to match those two companies’ devices but it’s conceivable that competitive pressures might get Apple to drop its price down to $300 or even $250 for the second iPad mini.

Its display resolution isn’t up to par. Apple has often been successful despite not engaging in the “specs war” that has consumed other manufacturers. At the same time, the iPad mini’s resolution of 163 pixels per inch is a disappointment, especially when you consider that both the Nexus 7 and the Kindle Fire HD have pixel densities of 216 pixels per inch.

This also seems like a particularly low resolution for an Apple product, especially since Apple’s third-generation iPad set new standards for tablet displays with its density of 264 pixels per inch. In other words, it’s a pretty sure thing that the second-generation iPad mini will either match or exceed the resolution of Amazon and Google’s flagship tablets.

The fourth-generation iPad is only $170 more. If you’re going to buy someone an iPad for the holidays, you might as well spend an extra $170 for the fourth-generation iPad, especially since Apple has given it several upgrades such as the Apple A6X processor, a 720p front-facing FaceTime camera and a Lightning connector cable. No, the fourth-generation iPad doesn’t fit easily in your hand like the iPad mini or the Nexus 7, but it’s still the top full-size tablet out there.

Brad Reed
Brad Reed Staff Writer

Brad Reed has written about technology for over eight years at and Network World. Prior to that, he wrote freelance stories for political publications such as AlterNet and the American Prospect. He has a Master's Degree in Business and Economics Journalism from Boston University.