Five Reasons I’ve Learned to Love the iPad Mini the Second Time Around

Turns out: it’s in the way that you use it.

Gray Miller
6 min readJul 11, 2022


Image created by the Author

When they came out last year with the sixth version of the iPad mini and announced that it would also work with the Apple Pencil, I thought I’d go all in.

I ’ve been a mostly-happy denizen of the Apple ecosystem since the Apple IIe, with MacBooks, iPads, Apple Watches, and serial iPhones (not every single model! I swear! I can stop any time I want!). My iPad Pro and Apple Pencil were in particular beloved parts of my productivity and recreation, letting me send a newsletter and sketch a figure model on the same device, all in my lap.

I devour note-taking and productivity videos the way some people watch sports. I’m also a sucker for pen-and-notebook handwriting, with so many versions of bullet-journals and organizers and calendars on my shelf that I literally had to get a rubbermaid container to keep them in.

So I bought one…and it didn’t go so well.

The text seemed too small for me to read (yes, I am over 50, why do you ask?). It didn’t really fit in my hand well. Yes, it worked with the pencil, but the screen felt tiny and slick compared to my souped-up giant 12.9” iPad Pro with the matte screen cover.

Most of all, it felt redundant. I also own the “max” version of the iPhone, and holding them side-by-side, it really didn’t seem like there was enough difference to justify a whole other device.

I returned my iPad mini within the 14-day period Apple gives you for new devices, and that, I thought, was that.

Still, people kept talking about how great the iPad mini was.

My girlfriend used one both for work and for reading. I’d see YouTube journaling experts raving about it, and the confirmation bias went into full effect: I started seeing them everywhere.

Then one day there was a magical confluence of some extra discretionary cash, a 20% off sale, and some unexpected free time…and I decided to give it another go.

That was about four weeks ago, and I absolutely love the thing.



Gray Miller

Gray is a former Marine dancer grandpa visualist who writes to help adults figure out what they want to be when they grow up.