I can’t look for a tablet without first going over the most popular tablet, the iPad. Just recently, the iPad mini was released for a more portable version to the classic iPad.
Let’s see how this stacks up with all the features I’m looking for:
The regular iPad is 9.5×7.3 inches which makes it about the size of a piece of paper, more or less, with the iPad mini coming in much smaller at 7.87×5.3 inches which is around the size of Nook and Kindle eReaders. Either iPads makes them portable considering the slim size though the mini tops the portability list.
This one is a toss up for me. On one hand, you have portability but with portability, you loose screen space. I like my big screen when drawing and CGing on Photoshop, so I’m not too sure getting the mini will be that good of a choice.
2. Battery life
Both versions last about 9-10 hours which is comparable to laptop usage; at least for the better laptops out there. It can also be plugged in and unlike regular laptops, you can actually buy replacement chargers directly from the maker and not through a 3rd party. This is a big plus in my book!
3. Availability of drawing apps
People probably get drawn to iPads because of the idea that there are a lot of apps available for it. With a quick search, I found about 17 apps for drawing. Photo editing and other art-related apps not included. Prices of these apps range from free, $0.99 to $9.99 USD. There are a wide variety from vector drawing apps to specialized painting apps. I’ll make a run-down of all of these one day for you guys but for now, all I really need to know is that they’re there. And there’s a lot!
4. Saving and sending or transferring files to another device or memory card
The most obvious and easy way to transfer files is to email it to yourself or directly post online. I hear you can sync the iPad to a PC and seeing it as an external drive, you may then go in and take or copy images out of the unit. I’ve seen some mixed reviews about this so I’ll keep it at the back of my head until I can actually try it out for myself or ask someone first hand.
The iPad mini starts off at $329USD with iPad 2 coming close at base $399 USD. The price goes up from there with increasing disk size. The iPad 64GB with retina display coming in at $699USD sits at top as the most expensive. If you buy refurbished or used, then the price drops quite a bit.
The iPad is very light coming in a less than 1.5 lbs or less in the mini’s case at .69 lbs. With the addition of a case, the weight will increase but not by much. It’ll probably still weigh less than 3 lbs for sure!
7. Overall lifespan (i.e. how long before it dies or is no longer usable)
There are unfortunately no concrete lifespan of an iPad that I’ve found but from what it sounds like, it all boils down to how you treat it and if your internal battery doesn’t need replacing… which it might considering there is a service for it by Apple.
What I find disturbing about replacing the internal battery is that Apple will not service your iPad but instead, replace it out-right. I don’t know about you but I like my stuff which I know how I’ve used and maintained, to come back to me. Though not a deal breaker, this does raise concerns for me. :\
8. Pressure sensitivity
The iPad doesn’t have a built in pressure sensitive capability like drawing tablets. Rather, if you want this feature, you’ll have to purchase a special stylus. There’s a lot in the market such as Jot Touch, Hex3 Jaja, and Pogo Connect to name a few. Pens go for around $79.99 – $89.99 USD retail but you can probably get used for less.
Definitely a possible contender. It’s doesn’t hit everything I want or at least answers them concretely and there are a few things that doesn’t make this an instant buy. Overall though, it’s definitely high up on my list.