The iPad Air is now on sale and making its way into the hands of the blogoratti and the Retina iPad mini will be arriving later this month. Unfortunately this fact heralds the oncoming blitz of self-indulgent tech bloggers smugly proclaiming either the iPad Air or the Retina mini to be the “real” iPad.
This is fucking stupid.
I know that the default narrative in tech punditry is that there can only be one of any given thing in a category but that is a stupid narrative and it needs to stop. Proudly proclaiming that the “real” iPad has arrived, as many did after the announcement of the iPad mini last year only makes you look like an idiot. Playing the same game this year with the iPad Air is just fucktarded.
After the initial iPad announcement in 2010 I wrote a post explaining my rationale for purchasing an iPad. In that post I posited that the iPad shouldn’t be looked at as a laptop replacement, but as a laptop alternative. The relevance of that concept as applied to the iPad Air vs. iPad mini debate is that the “correct” choice for any given person is going to be determined by their existing ecosystem of devices.
For example, prior to the iPad my computing setup consisted of an iMac and an iPhone. The original iPad filled my need for a highly functional portable computer that didn’t force me to replicate my existing OS X environment. That need will now be met by the iPad Air.
The contrary example would be someone who already was using a laptop; perhaps in conjunction with a desktop machine, perhaps not. For that person the original iPad would not have made as much sense and the iPad mini would have been a more likely purchase. Now that the iPad mini is in every respect other than size identical to it’s larger sibling that decision makes even more sense.
In both cases the choice of which iPad is the “real” iPad is based on personal needs. The pundits proclaiming one iPad “realer” than the other are simply projecting their particular situation onto the general public…again