The iPad Mini Retina's speed seals the deal.
A lot has been written about the Mini Retina's display. For good reason, of course. Take a display with 786,432 pixels (iPad Mini original) and put it up against one with over 3 million (iPad Retina) and you notice the difference.
But I have been more impressed with the performance of the Mini Retina. After using it for two weeks, the speed is what has sold me.
The best analogy I can think of is going from a circa 2009 MacBook Air to today's fastest Haswell-based MacBook.
It's that dramatic. Those numbers (below) don't lie.
The reason is pretty easy to understand. The iPad Mini has a very old (in computer years) A5 chip -- that's the same chip that debuted in the iPad 2 in March 2011.
The Mini Retina has Apple's latest chip, the A7, with more RAM.
What does all of this speed add up to? With a tablet as good as the Mini Retina, it's another reason to use a laptop less.
One of the greatest barriers to productivity (you know, doing actual work, not just browsing social media or watching movies) on a tablet is performance., and you're three quarters of the way to a laptop.
Which leads me to a final thought. The A7, or its successor the A8, would work just fine in a newfangled future 64-bit Apple device.
PC makers are already doing this with Intel's new "Bay Trail" chip,.
Take Dell's Venue 11 Pro high-end tablet. It can be converted into a professional productivity platform via its modular design.
I have to think Apple has bigger plans for the A series chips than just the iPhone and conventional iPads.
An iPad Pro, anyone?