Fraser Speirs is perhaps the most knowledgeable IT person regarding heavy use of the iPad in K-12 education. He is responsible for launching and running the iPad 1:1 program at Cedars School of Excellence in Scotland.
The first thing to get out of the way is that the iPad mini is an iPad. Even more than calling it a real iPad, I want to describe it as a full iPad. Give or take a few benchmark points, it’s as powerful as any iPad that existed until the 4th-generation 9.7″ iPad. This is really important. It’s important because the executive summary of what I’m about to write is this: get the one you like best.(…) That’s when it clicked. When I realised I had – without really thinking – done all the things I need an iPad to do for a whole week without being forced back to a full-size iPad, I saw that the iPad mini is just that: an iPad. No need to over-think the distinction, no real need to develop theories about it: the iPad mini is an iPad in the same way that the 13″ and 15″ MacBook Pro are both Macs. They’ll both do the same 95% of the job: get the one that suits you best.The iPad mini reminds me of my first MacBook Air. When the Air first shipped it was a Mac with some serious technical compromises with a design and form factor so compelling that you would re-arrange your entire digital life to make it work. The iPad mini reminds me of that except that it only has one serious compromise: the non-retina display. In every other respect, it’s a full-bore iPad. In fact, I don’t even refer to it as “my iPad mini” any more; I just call it “my iPad”.