'DNA' review: iPod touch vs iPad mini - How do you decide?

Tuesday, 30 October 2012 - 11:00am IST | Agency: dna

Does it really make sense anymore to buy the new iPod when you can have the iPad mini for a little more?

Once upon a time, life was simple in iLand. We had three product segments – iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, all in distinct price segments. So, deciding between them was a simple choice. With the recent introduction of the iPad mini and the new 5th Gen iPod touch, things have gotten a whole lot complicated to point where the existence of the iPod touch has to be questioned. Does it really make sense anymore to buy the new iPod when you can have the iPad mini for a little more?

Display size and resolution
The iPad mini definitely has the upper hand here as browsing the web and watching videos will always be better on a bigger screen. Having said that, the iPod touch does have a retina display with a pixel count of over 320ppi while the iPad mini uses the iPad 2’s resolution of 1024 x 768 (163ppi). If you’re going to be reading a lot of books or graphic novels, then the higher resolution does make it less strenuous on the eyes. So, text will appear a lot sharper and clearer on the iPod touch.

Processing power
While the iPod touch does share the exact same screen as the iPhone 5, Apple has cut back on the CPU in order to bring the price down. Both devices are powered by Apple’s A5 SoC which consists of a dual-core CPU, similar to the one used on the iPad 2. Although it’s still a very capable chipset with support for 1080p video and everything, it’s still older technology and will not be as good as the newer A5X or A6 chip. We feel Apple could have at least used the faster A5X chip in the iPad mini to give it a better advantage compared to the iPod touch.

iSight camera
Both devices pack in the same iSight camera from the 3rd Gen iPad. The five element lens packs in a aperture value of f/2.4 and a BSI sensor for better low light performance. The camera is also capable of Full HD (1080p) video recording as well as the new panorama mode that comes with iOS 6.

The iPad mini starts with 16GB of storage while the iPod touch now starts with 32GB of storage –  that’s twice the capacity. If you have the habit of watching a lot of HD videos on the go, then the 32GB does make sense. However, you’ll have to sacrifice the larger screen for this.

Pricing — the deciding factor
Previously, an iPod touch was relatively cheap, considering you could do everything you would on an iPhone, except make calls. The new iPod touch, however, starts at Rs23,900, so it’s not exactly an impulse buy anymore. That’s a lot of money for a media player and makes you think, is it really worth it anymore? While the iPad mini hasn’t launched, we can expect it to start between the 25K to 30K. This is again, very expensive since for a little more, you can buy the iPad.


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