Does the iPad have the footprint for field work?
This week Apple announced the release of the iPad mini, a slightly smaller version of the iPad. It has a 7.9-inch multi-touch display, as opposed to the 9.7-inch displays that are on the regular-sized models. Its main selling point is that, due to its smaller size, users can finally grasp the iPad with one hand, leaving the other hand free for tapping and swiping.
It has a Dual Core A5 processor chip, which is the same as is in the older iPad 2. It also doesn’t have a Retina display, so it is essentially a slightly smaller, slightly less expensive iPad 2 that weighs about half as much as a full-sized iPad.
The iPad mini may be ideally suited for applications that require more screen space and computing power than a smartphone would provide. Agencies such as the U.S. Geological Survey and the Forestry Service, as well as field workers such as county surveyors, would likely make good use of a device this size.
The iPad mini is available for pre-order on Oct. 26, and starts at $329, but that is for a model with only 16G of drive space and no cellular capability. Government buyers may want to look at the cellular-capable models, which start at $459.
Greg Crowe is a staff writer covering mobile technology for GCN. Follow him on Twitter: @GCNLabGuys.