Apple iPad mini: Are Women the Primary Buyers?

Apple iPad mini: Are Women the Primary Buyers?It is possible that the smaller iPad mini design will help people, such as my wife, avoid repetitive injury (due to constantly holding the weight of the 10″ iPad). Of course, her bone structure is not given to wielding a jackhammer, so any consistent extra weight-bearing places an extra strain on her arm and shoulder. With this being said, it only took a year of her being attached to the 10″ iPad before she began to experience issues. Now be aware that even she would acknowledge that the company suggests that the user finds a surface to support its weight, but if you need it to play games, read, search the Internet, use as a recipe book, get your email, etc., that isn’t practical. So for her, this means that the smaller design may keep her from further straining those injured muscles.

However, this is only one reason that woman may be drawn to the iPad mini. I polled members of Gnomies in our Facebook group to ascertain their thoughts on the matter, but you can leave comments below if you’d like to add to the conversation and you don’t happen to be a member.

You may recall that Apple recently introduced to its fine line of products its newest and smallest tablet and, according to some reports, the sales of this 7″ mini are brisk. The result of these quick sales is that many have been led to question Steve Jobs’ statement that a tablet smaller than 9″ would prove to be too small for consumers to use.

This brings me back to the Gnomies Facebook discussion board. One of the members gave a glowing report of his personal experience in purchasing four of the new Apple iPad minis; one response came from none other than Chris Pirillo, who stated, “They’ll sell. Females are the primary target, I’m sure.” I found the comment interesting and decided to see if I could find out for myself if this might be true or not.

To accomplish this, I set an original goal to contact 20 Apple retail stores — five in California (since that state is a technology hub), and 15 from other states around the country. I started by randomly picking five Apple retail stores throughout the Golden State; four of the five California stores had not received any of the Apple iPad minis. Each of these stores did tell me, however, that I could order a unit from the online Apple Store.

Not to be dissuaded from my task, I contacted five additional Apple retail states located in California, this time concentrating on the larger metropolitan areas. From this selection of retailers I received positive feedback from four of the five stores. Apparently, being in a densely populated area has its advantages since these stores were actually selling the mini and had the product in stock. Once I had established that there were stores in California that had the mini in their possession, I continued on my quest and contacted stores in the states of Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin.

The questions I posed to each of the Apple employees I contacted were: 1) Do you have the Apple iPad mini in stock? 2) Are you selling more of the iPad minis to women due to their lighter weight and smaller size, or to men because they always seem to want the latest in electronic gadgets?

In total, I contacted 34 Apple retail stores and received the following results:

19 of the stores I contacted actually had the Apple iPad mini in stock; the stores with a significant amount of inventory were located in major cities.

As to who was purchasing the mini, the Apple employees I spoke with provided me with their own personal sales experience.

  • Six store employees stated that men were buying the Apple iPad mini more than women.
  • Six store employees stated that women were buying the Apple iPad more than men.
  • Seven store employees stated that they had no idea which sex was buying the Apple iPad.

This unscientific survey did not establish, one way or another, which gender was more prone to buying the Apple iPad mini over the other. With these results in hand, I came to the conclusion that it is still too early to make a valid determination if men or women prefer the mini, so I have decided to do this. I have marked my calendar to take a second survey of the same stores in about six months. I am hoping that, by that time, the number of Apple stores that actually have the mini in stock will have increased. Another reason I would like to revisit this issue is that I expect Apple to produce and distribute more minis as the holiday season approaches and I believe that this will give me a better feel as to how popular they are going to be.

If you are of the female gender, do you think that the iPad mini will prove less fatiguing for you to use? Do you think that it will be easier to transport? Do you think that it is a logical improvement to the 10″ size iPad? Would you take it with you to your work environment? Do you plan to purchase one for yourself?

If you are of the male gender, do you like the fact that it is an innovative product? Do you think that it will be more convenient to take the work environment with you? Would you be more inclined to purchase the product for your significant other rather than for yourself?

Comments are welcome.

CC licensed Flickr photo above shared by

Best Choice for a First Time Mac User

In an email, the question was raised what is the best Mac for a first-time buyer that just wants to do some basic web browsing, photo editing, and light video editing? While the biggest and most expensive models can accomplish these tasks very easily, let’s take a look at which options would best suit these needs.

The current line of Mac minis is capable of doing everything listed, even basic movie editing through iMovie, however, if you want a smooth experience with smooth multitasking, you’re probably best going with an iMac. The i3 processor is quick and responsive, even when dealing with 1080p video on iMovie. Having a capable monitor built-in is a big plus and in terms of value makes up a lot of the difference price-wise between the Mac mini and the iMac.

If you want to go with something more portable, the MacBook is a good budget choice for web browsing and photo editing but not recommended for video editing due to it’s underpowered processor and lower resolution display. A MacBook pro at a couple hundred dollars more will give you a powerful platform with a capable of handling quite a bit.

Here are some builds I think bring the best price for performance without being overkill for what you’re asking for:

iMac 21.5-inch: 3.06GHz ($1,199)
This is the base model iMac though the differences between it and the step up are minimal considering what you’re wanting to do with it.

Mac Mini 2.4 GHz: 320GB ($699)
One of the wonderful advantages to the Apple warranty is that you don’t have to have to buy or install additional RAM through them. A $100 upgrade to 4GB of memory can cost a fraction of that if you use quality after market RAM. See for spec requirements and installation instructions.

This particular model is the least powerful out of the suggested options, and I wouldn’t recommend it if you’re planning on doing a lot of full HD video editing, but it will handle basic tasks fairly easily. Make sure you have a monitor, keyboard, and mouse at the ready since they don’t come included with the Mac Mini.

13-inch MacBook Pro: 2.3GHz ($1,199)
The MacBook Pro combines a decent amount of performance with portability. The Core i5 processor is significantly faster than the one found on the MacBook and the Mac Mini. Even large external monitors will connect to the MacBook Pro without overwhelming the video processor.

As far as software goes, iMovie is a capable movie editing platform included with new Macs without any added cost. It works very well to do most basic tasks and encoding your final product can be done through QuickTime, also included, with decent quality.

Photo editing can be done on a very basic level through iPhoto, though if you would like a powerful alternative without adding to the price, try Gimp. Gimp is the open source answer to PhotoShop and includes a lot of great features.

How to Save Hundreds on Your Mac RAM Upgrades

I recently ventured in to the local Apple store to look at pricing for a new machine. Some time was spent with an Apple representative who walked me through the pricing and options for a Mac mini, iMac, and MacBook Pro. One thing these machines all had in common were literally hundreds of dollars for RAM upgrades. In one case in particular, a RAM upgrade from 4GB to 8GB on a MacBook Pro would net me a $400 dollar increase on the price. Considering that this is an addition to what was charged on the initial price for 4GB, that’s a steep $100 per GB.

This is where many frugal computer users begin to head back to the door proclaiming that Apple products are only for the rich. While this can certainly seem like a serious drawback to the brand, there is a silver lining in this cloud.

While each manufacturer has their own warranty agreement with their users, Apple has a remarkably easy one to work with. Apple support explains its warranty policy regarding customer upgrades a bit further: “Adding memory (DRAM, VRAM) or other user-installable upgrade or expansion products to an Apple computer is not considered a modification to that Apple product. Therefore, it is not necessary to obtain Apple’s written permission to upgrade or expand an Apple computer.”

In short, the act of upgrading the RAM yourself with a cheaper aftermarket product won’t void your warranty. There is a stipulation that should you or the RAM you install damage the product, you would not be able to take it in to an Apple certified service center for warranty repair. Thankfully, Apple provides detailed instructions on how to exchange RAM for each one of its machines. It also explains exactly what kind of RAM needs to be purchased for a successful match.

Here is where the financial benefit of doing your own upgrades comes in. A search on prices 8GB of RAM suited for the 13 inch MacBook Pro at between $80 and $120. That is a savings of $85 to $90 per GB and you’ll still have the original 4GB as spare.

There is a clear benefit to upgrading your own RAM after purchase, though it is important that each computer user be aware of the slight risks involved and weigh whether or not this method works for them.

Two Dell Inspiron Mini 10V For Only $398 – Hurry, Supplies Limited

Dell is offering two of their Dell Inspiron Mini 10V netbook computers on sale for only $398 for both units. This is an older model that comes with Windows XP Sp3 but it does have just about everything that a road warrior would need. The unit comes with the following:

Software, Hardware & Services

Genuine Windows® XP Home Edition SP3
160GB, 2.5inch, 5400RPM SATA Hard Drive
24WHr Lithium-Ion Battery (3-cell)
1 Year Basic Mail-In Service Plan
Wireless 802,11g mini card
Intel 1.66mhz cpu
10.1″ Widescreen Display (1024×600)
Integrated 1.3M Pixel Webcam
Intel Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 950
Obsidian Black
Adobe® Acrobat® Reader 9

Just click the link below and select the ON SALE button located in the component area at the bottom.

Comments welcome.

Buy Dell here on sale…………hurry

The New Gboard For Gmail – Will It Make Using Gmail Easier? You Decide

The first thing that you should know is the Gboard is not affiliated with Google. So what is a Gboard? It basically is a keybod with 19 keys that the developers believe are commends most used by Gmail users. In order for the Gboard to function, you must have a free USB port, Microsoft Windows or Apple operating system with shortcuts enabled. That basically is it since no software is necessary for the mini keyboard to operate. The keyboard is priced at $19.99 plus tax.

So what does it look like? Here is a image of the device:


Personally I won’t be buying a Gboard since I access my Gmail account through Thunderbird. But what about you? Is this a device that would be worthwhile?

Comments welcome.

Source – Gboard

Dell Mini 10v + Google Chromium OS = A Winning Combination

I read with interest the project that those at Dell have done and how they were able to install Google Chromium OS on a Dell Mini 10v. What was also interesting is that Dell was also providing a download link to the Google Chromium OS and instruction on how to install it. That part is fairly simple and straight forward. My problem was where do I find a Dell Mini 10v to try this on? If I found a Mini who would let me install the OS on their system?

Desperate times require desperate choices. Maybe I could ‘borrow’ a Mini v10 from a retailer for a test drive.   If I image the drive on a new Mini I can then play with Chromium, than re-image the drive back. This guy is good! LOL  So I finally get my hands on a Dell Mini 10v and get Chromium installed. I followed Dell’s direction they had posted  on the download site. Thank you Dell. Your directions were right on.

So what we have is Ubuntu 9.10 Light for lack of a better description. Google gave the folks at Canonical the spec’s they wanted and it seems they got what they wanted. After you log in the system boots to the Chrome browser with Adobe Flash already installed.

I was able to surf the Internet as I normally would. There was no difference in using Chrome, whether it be Linux based or Windows based that I could discern. There was one big difference from when the Mini booted Windows 7 Starter and Google Chromium OS and that was speed of boot. Chromium OS boots in about 15 seconds. The Chrome browser is fast as well.

I wish I had more time to play with the system, but time wasn’t on my side, since I had to return the Dell Mini. But I can say one thing. This is going to be a fun and simple user experience for those who wish to live in the clouds. :-)

Comments welcome.

Get Google Chromium OS from Dell here

Dell Replaces Mini 9 With Mini 10V

Over at the Direct2Dell Blog they have announced the retirement of the Dell Mini 9 Netbook. The Mini 9 was Dell’s first stab at the pint sixed Netbook market. According to the blog entry they claim that the Mini 9 was a success and that it was being replaced by the new model.

The blog entry also states that:

As you may recall, the Gizmodo team ran into Michael at last year’s All Things Digital and he shared a prototype Mini he was carrying at the time. We officially launched the Inspiron Mini 9 Sept. 4, 2008 for $349 and it became the first netbook product with built in Mobile Broadband support offered by a major wireless carrier, Vodafone, in EMEA. Since the launch of the Mini 9, Dell has extended its Mini family with several new products, incorporating industry-led enhancements and customer feedback inspired improvements, and we expanded the palette for personalization options, with more colors and original artwork by Tristan Eaton. For customers who were looking for the Mini 9, we suggest they consider a Dell Mini 10v, with a starting price of $299.

The Mini 10v features the same processor: Intel Atom N270 at 1.6GHz, the same OS choices: Windows XP and a Dell customized version of Ubuntu,  and 1GB of memory. The Mini 10v also improves upon overall ergonomics with a 10-inch display and a bigger, better keyboard (92% of standard), as well as more storage space and options: choice of SSD (16GB) or traditional hard drives (up to 160GB). It appears up to the task of filling the Mini 9 shoes on the “modding” front as well. For those of you who purchased a Dell Mini 9 during the last nine months, thank you. We appreciate your business, and hope the Dell Mini 9 continues to deliver a great mobile experience.

Interesting that Dell actually is listening to their customers. I commend them for this. It does appear that the Dell Mini 10v is an improvement for consumers.

Comments welcome.


A Mini, Mini, Mini Sub Netbook Unveiled

You have to see this in order to fully appreciate the size of this tiny netbook. The iKit features a 2.8″ screen along with a keyboard. The system is said to be an alternative somewhere between a phone, pda, netbook, laptop or whatever else you wish to compare it to. But the system is so small that the keyboard could be problematic.

According to this article it also states that:

The stylish iKIT is a dedicated chat, email and internet accessory and unlike smartphones it is fully optimised for that purpose. The clamshell design provides users with a full keyboard and landscape screen that don’t have to be compromised for voice calls. Dedicated hotkeys for all of the applications, including a music and video player and webcam, coupled with the elegant design mean that iKIT is the ultimate, portable multimedia device.

Take a look at this new mini wonder and let us know what you think.

Comments welcome.


Dell Inspiron Mini 9 Is Finally Here

Dell has finally released their much anticipated mini-9 netbooks that currently come in 3 models.

A Linux box starts at $349 and comes with a smallish SSD hard disk at only 4GB in size. Next comes a Windows XP system with 8GB of storage at $399. Both the Linux and Windows systems have 512 MB of memory. Finally comes what some can call as the deluxe system using Windows XP, 1 GB of memory and a SSD 16 GB for storage selling for $449.

The biggest benefit of netbooks is weight. These micro-mini systems weigh in at about 2 lbs each, give or take a few ounces. So what’s missing in the little guys? No optical drive is on board. Interesting.

But one needs to consider this. If you are not packing this lappy on a regular bases through airports and traveling a lot, does the mini-fit your needs? You can’t watch DVD’s on the small box and storage is limited. These little boys are designed for cloud computing.

Next is price. Take Dell’s $449 model. I can buy a full blown 15.4 Gateway for $549. So is it than worth the price for the mini?

You decide.

Comments welcome.


Netbook Pricing To Fall Fast

Those little compact mini-laptops known as Netbooks, may be heading for a fast price slide as more and more companies bring their models to market. It seems that companies were not entirely aware who was bringing the mini’s to market, until the Intel Developer’s Conference, which took place in San Francisco last week. It than become evident that dozens and dozens of companies were entering the mini marketplace.

The first to drop prices is Acer who dropped their Aspire pricing down to $349 from $399. It’s cutting the price of another netbook, the Linpus Linux Lite, to $329 from $379. But it gets better. According to this NY Times article it is estimated that by the holidays we could see $249 mini’s.

Heavy price competition is never a happy thing for manufacturers. More broadly, this netbook category has been a mixed blessing for the personal computer electronics industry.

The category threatens to upset some very established computing giants – from Microsoft to Hewlett-Packard – because they don’t require the powerful on-board software and computing power that have driven marketing and sales in the past.

Intel has said that it is fully embracing the category because it sees the opportunity to help drive and capitalize on a new market.

That is going to be the beauty part of the mini’s. They are set to be basic Internet machines. Couple them with the start of cloud computing and this could put a huge dent in some companies pocket book. Only the strong may survive this change. So it should be interesting to see what happens.

Wait until the dual-core Atom chips arrive from Intel and they start to show up in the mini’s.

What do you think. Will the new mini’s change the way we compute?

Comments welcome.


Asustek To Offer Ultimate and Pro Fashion Eee PCs

Asustek, makers of the very popular Eee PC’s, has announced that they will be offering additional models during 2008. The new computers will be versions of the Eee PC called Ultimate and Pro models and will be in the $700 range. According to this article which states:

Asustek Computer plans to launch more Eee PCs designed to address different market segments, according to company president Jerry Shen.

Shen said he anticipates the netbook and Mobile Internet Device (MID) markets will offer substantial business potential in the future generating demand as high as one billion units based on forecasts by Intel. He also noted that Intel is expected to keep shipping Atom N270 CPUs through late second quarter 2009 implying notebook vendors will have consistent processor support.

Asustek currently has a total of 11 Eee PC models on the market differentiated in terms of size, CPU type and design. Shen added that two new categories, Ultimate and Pro Fashion, are planned for 2008. These models will feature dual-core Atom processors and larger storage (either 120GB HDD or 32GB SSD). Shen said he anticipates total Eee PC shipments will exceed 1.5-1.6 million units in the third quarter, putting the company on track to achieve its targeted annual shipments of five million units.

Regarding the launch schedule of these upcoming Eee PCs, Shen detailed that an Eee PC with 32GB SSD (S series) will be introduced in late September. The model will feature a 10.1-inch 16:9 ratio LED backlit panel and battery life of 4-5 hours. The new Eee PC will be priced in the range of US$700-900 and will be the first Eee PC designed for the high-end market, Shen detailed.

In related news, industry watchers have pointed out that among major panel makers in Taiwan, Chunghwa Picture Tubes (CPT) and Innolux Display are the only two capable of producing the 10.1-inch panels Asustek is planning to use in upcoming Eee PC devices. Since 10.1-inch panels are relatively weak due to limits in their possible thickness, a stronger chassis lid design is required.

What is going to be interesting is to see how this will effect the other OEM’s, some of who are just getting into the mini-notebook market. It is hoped that this competition could lower pricing on all models, which would be a benefit to consumers. 2008 should be a great year for the introduction of new laptop, mini-laptop and netbooks computers.

Comments welcome.


What Is The Difference Between A MID, Netbook, Mini, or Full Size Laptop?

We appear to be entering into an era in which the lines between small, medium and standard laptops may start to blur. Yesterday I was looking at a specific HP model #2133 that was supposed to be a mini-notebook. Yet this mini looked more like a standard laptop. In the review it states:

The HP 2133 Mini-Note PC (starting at $599 for Windows Vista Basic, $499 for SuSE Linux, and $749 as configured) is a bit more expensive and weighs more than the competition, but the system’s unique strengths make it a good investment for students, mobile professionals, and anyone else looking for an affordable, highly portable computer.

Large for a Mini

Like other mini-notebooks, the 2133 Mini-Note is aimed at the education market, though you wouldn’t know it from the design. Measuring 10.0 x 6.5 x 1.1 inches and weighing just under 4 pounds, the Mini-Note is a tad bulkier than the ASUS, CTL, and Everex models. A brushed silver aluminum case over a magnesium-alloy chassis gives the system a durable foundation, which is augmented by a hard drive accelerometer and a spill-resistant, wear-resistant keyboard. Even the display features a glossy no-scratch coating.

What is strange is that this HP model can be purchased with Vista Business installed. Yet in the spec’s this laptop comes with a “1.6-GHz VIA C7-M processor” Which IMHO may be kind of weak to run Vista.

I think of low cost mini-laptops more in tune with the Asus Eee PC. Using a lighter weight OS like Linux or even Windows XP. A mini in the 2lb weight class.

What do you think should be classified as a low cost, light weight mini-laptop?

Fill review is here.

Comments welcome.

[tags]netbook, mid, full, mini, laptops, classification, processing, ram, [/tags]