Both the new iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina Display are set to debut three weeks apart with the iPad Air going on sale this Friday, November 1st. Available for pre-order online and available for "in-store pickup", if you want it same day with no lines, reserve it online and pick it up. If you ask me, I'm doing just that. If I didn't make it clear already, I'm grabbing the 32GB LTE, T-Mobile option, leaning towards 51% space gray. You can't beat 200MB free of data and they'll have various one time plans available too. Just incase you go over 200MB, they'll just cut it off and reset it the following month so no overages! During this afternoon's Apple earnings call, CEO Tim Cook mentioned that he believes the iPad mini with Retina Display is going to be hard to come by this Christmas / Holiday season primarily due to manufacturing constraints. So yes, I too will be pre-ordering a mini and make my decision on which one to keep after I've handled both new iPads. While we're at it, if you must know, I'm also opting for the 32GB LTE, T-Mobile option in space gray… maybe. Or maybe white. Darn it!
"In terms of the retina or the iPad mini with Retina Display, we'll start shipping later in November. Uh…i t's unclear whether we will have enough for the quarter or not. We know how many we will have but we really don't know the demand until we start shipping, so we'll see how that goes. I think we'll do fairly well with with iPad as i'd mentioned before. we felt like its gonna be a great holiday season." - Tim Cook
Helping me with which size to pick, here's Jon Gruber's take on the iPad Air.
Calling the new full-size model the iPad Air says it all. In one year, the iPad Air has dropped 30 percent of its weight, narrowed considerably, and doubled in performance. A weight drop like that is significant for any product, but especially so for a device that is primarily used while being held in your hands. It’s startling when first you hold one.
I’m an iPad Mini convert. After just a few weeks last year, my Mini became my one and only iPad. My iPad usage is mostly for reading, and not much for typing. The smaller size and lighter weight just fit my usage better. I went into this year’s event assuming I’d walk out wanting to buy the new Mini. But the new Air is so much lighter, and thus so much more amenable to holding it in just one hand, that I walked out of the event completely unsure which one I want. In fact, the new Air (469 grams) is closer in weight to the new Mini (331 grams) than it is to the old iPad 3/4 (650 grams) that it replaces. (Those weights are all for the Wi-Fi-only models.)
The Verge posted their hands-on glimpse of the iPad Air last Tuesday during the Apple Event. In case you missed it:
I'm excited, none the less, to once again have a full-sized iPad so that I can enjoy my comics, magazines and movies on my commute or while I sit in the pilot lounge during prolonged stays.
For further reading, iMore's Rene Ritchie offers his advice on which color to get and which model to get. I stand by it and agree with him. It didn't make it necessarily easier for me but I'm sure that you might be able to take something away.
Also if you want to read an edited transcript of Apple CEO Tim Cook Macworld has you covered. He also goes on record saying, "I think it’s going to be an iPad Christmas." If you ask me, exciting times ahead for Apple especially with the mention of new product categories.
I'll leave you with Apple's awesome pencil commercial. Take a peak. What do you think? Which one are you going to buy?