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iPad Mini: A Powerful Tool for Road Shows?

The new iPad Mini is being scrutinized by many investment advisors as to whether it can be a powerful and portable computer with attractive features for making presentations when on the road.

It has received encouraging write-ups by reviewers who say the tablet offers the punch of the full size iPad in a compact and easy to carry machine with a 7.9 inch display. For some advisors, the compact size of the machine may make it an attractive option when venturing out of the office to meet with clients and presenting seminars.

Mini vs. Regular

With a dual-core A5 chip and 512 MB of RAM, the basic version of the mini has the same specs as the iPad 2, which is a full-size tablet. It also features an attractive price of only $330. In comparison, the iPad 4 comes stocked with the more powerful A6X chip, but is considerably larger with a 9.7 inch display, which may discourage some users from taking it on the road.

The iPad 4 version, which comes with the popular Retina display and 16 GB of storage, sells for $499. The iPad Mini with Wi-Fi capabilities and LTE Cell Phone features, however, becomes more pricy, with a 64 GB model selling for $659. In comparison, the 64 GB iPad 4 with Wi-Fi connectivity and LTE Cell Phone capability lists for $829.

Smaller Size, Same Impact?

The iPad mini won’t hog table space when entertaining clients over a meal and its small size means it will help save space in typically crowded briefcases.

The Mini, however, has a variety of features that make it appealing for conducting presentations when traveling. Its small size means users can hold it with just one hand, leaving a second hand free for using a pointer during presentations. Its display aspect ratio, furthermore, is the same as the regular iPad, so presentations made on the full-size tablet will work on the Mini. Software for the Mini is also compatible with the full size iPad. The Mini can be connected to full-size monitors, further improving its appeal as a presentation tool.

Yet, critics point out that the Mini lacks the highly popular Retina display featured in the machine’s full-size cousin. And while its display resolution of 1024x768 and pixel density of 163 pixels per inch is beaten by lowered priced competitors, including the Kindle Fire HD and the Nexus 7, some reviewers maintain that the display quality is sufficient. They maintain that the more than 275,000 apps designed for Apple tables further enhance the appeal of the product.

At the end of the day, advisors will have to decide if they find the Apple computing experience compelling and if the compact nature of the Mini is enough to encourage them to embrace the product rather than opt for full size iPads, tablets from other companies, or the new Windows 8 convertible machines.

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