You’ve made the decision to incorporate a tablet into your practice. The question is, which one? As a big fan of Apple products, that question is an easy one for me: and iPad of course. I began incorporating my first iPad into my practice shortly after they were introduced. About 6 months ago I upgraded to the newest iPad and I couldn’t be happier with the decision. At the time, I never considered an iPad mini. Recently I received an iPad Mini as a gift, and I can report on how an iPad mini compares.
I use my iPad in numerous ways through out my practice. I review transcripts and pleadings, conduct research and use it extensively for note taking. I’ve incorporated a number of trial related applications into my practice as well, such as TrialPad. One of my favorite uses is as a teaching and demonstrative evidence device. I primarily handle medical malpractice cases, so anatomy exhibits are a staple of my practice. There are number of applications I use to replace the once expensive custom exhibits. In short, the iPad has become an indispensable part of my practice.
My initial thought was to use the iPad mini merely as a glorified e-reader. In my quest to eliminate more and more paper from not just my practice, but my life, I made a conscious decision to move to E-books as much as possible. I am a voracious reader, and before the move my nightstand and the table next to my favorite chair were piled high with books and magazines. No longer. I purchase almost everything I read as an E-book and have transferred most of my magazine subscriptions to digital. So my initial plan was to use my iPad Mini simply as a device for consuming content. And it excels at this.
Then I found myself using it more and more for quick checks of email and light web browsing and it does a fine job at this function as well. However, I do find that the small size of the links and web buttons presented as a result of the reduced screen size can be irksome. Quite frequently I find myself clicking on the wrong link, or simply unable to select a link at all without zooming out.
It is this fact that leads me to conclude that, for most people, the iPad Mini isn’t going to replace an iPad for most law practice and trial practice related functions. In trial I think the reduced screen size and difficulty navigating are simply unacceptable. It is possible that I could see using one during trial as a dedicated remote for Keynote presentations, but I wouldn’t purchase an iPad Mini simply for that purpose.
If you have the funds, or receive one as a gift, by all means the iPad Mini is a fine addition to your technology stable. I just wouldn’t rely on it to be your main workhorse alternative to your lap top, the way you can with an iPad.