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Old Nov 22, 2012, 11:23 PM   #1
ddaniel
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iPad mini -> 4 -> back to mini

This is my first time posting here, so if you don't want to read another one of these threads, feel free to flame away. Won't hurt my feelings in the slightest.

I read macrumors from time to time, especially when considering a new purchase, and I'm writing to help anyone who may be in a similar situation. The following is the opinion of an unbiased ipad virgin. I know everyone's experience is different, but here's mine:

With the announcement of the ipad mini, I decided to make my first ipad purchase and immediately preordered. I've always lusted after an ipad, but seeing as I'm the happy owner of an 11" MacBook Air, couldn't justify a $500 toy that really isn't that much smaller than my laptop.

I have an iPhone 5 and my roommate has a 3, so I was a little worried about the non-retina screen before my new idevice arrived. When it came, I was (like most) blown away by the weight and build of the mini. It truly is a pleasure to hold. I thought the screen looked pretty dern good, despite being able to see pixels if I hold it 4 inches from my face.

Before the arrival of my mini and immediately after, I frequently read these forums to gather a general consensus on how well it stacked up against its competition (namely, the larger iPads. Sorry android)

Despite having a good experience with my new toy, I kept seeing others post about how badly they missed their retina screen, how 512 Megs of ram and an outdated a5 processor made the mini a dumb investment, etc., and decided to return my mini to "upgrade" to a 4. After using the 4 for a week, I made a final trip to the apple store, and wound up with a 32 gig mini. I couldn't be happier, and here's why:

1. Weight (duh). I found that to use the 4 for any period of time, I had to be resting it on something, be it my leg or the table. I'm a 25 year old athletic dude, so please don't spout the "go lift, brah!" BS I've seen in other threads.

No, the full sized ipad isn't heavy. It isn't light, either. 5 lb dumbells feel light at first, but hold those suckers out for a few minutes and see how your shoulders feel. The mini is like a friggn' feather. I can surf one handed with this bad boy til the cows come home without feeling like I need to immediately chug a protein shake afterward for recovery.

2. For general purposes, the 4 isn't that much faster. Yes it has much higher benchmarks, but I really couldn't tell much of a difference in speed for everyday use (beside graphically intense games, which I didn't like playing on the 4 because of the weight)

3. Retina. Yes, it's gorgeous. Text pops and pictures look stunning. It's also (for me) almost completely useless. Most of the time I'm using my ipad I'm holding it about the same distance I would hold a book, and at this distance the pixels are indistinguishable on both devices. Even when I'm holding the mini closer to my face and can see a little pixelation, it is negligible.

My main use of the mini is to access the Internet and my main use of the Internet is to access information. I can read text on both devices perfectly fine (especially after downloading perfect browser with default text override) and pictures look great on both

3. Typing. Unless you have a wireless keyboard or put your pad down to touch type in landscape, text input is remarkably easier on the mini. I found that while using the 4, simple tasks such as performing a google search or typing in a URL were overly frustrating, and I have rather large hands. This seems like a small deal on paper, but from a usability standpoint it's paramount.

4. Anything I could do with the 4 I could do with the mini, but the opposite isn't true. All apps I have found run and run well on the mini. Browsing is great. Video is great. Even multitasking is great, despite 512 ram. With the mini, I can do these things easily and for a prolonged period of time while holding the device in any manner I please. With the 4, I cannot. This brings me back to...

5/1. Weight (duh). I really can't say enough about the form factor and usability of this device. It beckons to be played with, in a way that its big brother simply does not.

So there you have it. Another worthless opinion from one of the masses. Hopefully this post might help save an indecisive buyer such as myself from second guessing the decision to go with apples svelte new toy. If not, I just got some great thumb typing practice on my new toy.

Goodnight, God speed, and have a great weekend.
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Old Nov 22, 2012, 11:35 PM   #2
ddaniel
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Talking

I forgot about this little gem: battery life.

The 4 is no slouch, but my mini is somewhat of a freak. It has more juice then the goddamn terminator
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Old Nov 22, 2012, 11:47 PM   #3
braddick
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Wonderful thread. Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts. I own the iPad4 and haven't considered the iPad mini.
Up until now.

You make excellent points.
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Old Nov 22, 2012, 11:51 PM   #4
romanhdz
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I played with an iPad mini at a best buy a couple days ago, and I definitely sympathize with what you said! I really wanted to purchase one, but I can't justify spending that much money on a tablet when I already have a 3rd gen with LTE.

What I do know is that I will have a much harder time choosing an iPad next time I upgrade!
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Old Nov 23, 2012, 01:16 AM   #5
thirdeyeopen666
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ddaniel View Post
I forgot about this little gem: battery life.

The 4 is no slouch, but my mini is somewhat of a freak. It has more juice then the goddamn terminator
How in the heck are you getting 20+ hours?
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Old Nov 23, 2012, 01:27 AM   #6
Anti-Lucifer
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I'm on the same boat - I'm really on the edge of jumping ship back to the mini ship that is.

Congrats!
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Old Nov 23, 2012, 01:32 AM   #7
CandyNJ66
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Great post. I went from an iPad 4 to a Mini as well. Love how light it is.

I plan to get the Acase from Amazon next month for it, so I can take the Mini with me every day
__________________
Ipad Air Space Grey 64GB Wifi
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Old Nov 23, 2012, 01:52 AM   #8
BrianSoCal
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CandyNJ66 View Post
Great post. I went from an iPad 4 to a Mini as well. Love how light it is.

I plan to get the Acase from Amazon next month for it, so I can take the Mini with me every day
I highly suggest this case: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...ls_o00_s00_i00
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Old Nov 23, 2012, 02:02 AM   #9
Simgar988
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Op do you even lift?
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Old Nov 23, 2012, 02:31 AM   #10
7thson
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Thanks for your insight. I am on the fence about buying one and your thoughts are helpful in helping me make that decision. Up until the mini came along, I didn't even want an iPad. Now I want one, but wonder if I'll really get my money's worth from it.
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Old Nov 23, 2012, 02:36 AM   #11
kannesss
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I have a 3. And I just noticed how much lag it has compared to my iPhone 5. I couldn't ever go to non retnia after using a 5 and iPad 3. But I could do without an iPad I think. I use my phone way more now, and I haven't turned on my iPad in a few weeks probably.

I was thinking of selling my 3 when the iPad mini 2 comes out. Better faster, better screen and camera. The usual stuff
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Old Nov 23, 2012, 03:24 AM   #12
wrkactjob
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Nice positive review well written thanks....

Quote:
Originally Posted by ddaniel View Post
I'm a 25 year old athletic dude
Pics or you didn't happen.
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Old Nov 23, 2012, 06:27 AM   #13
plucky duck
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Glad you are enjoying your new toy. For me though, retina means a lot, and the weight on the full size iPad is not an issue for me, quite contrary I quite like the heft and it feels substantial in my hands.

The mini is light, too light as a matter of fact that I wouldn't feel comfortably using it naked. I'd be inclined to get myself a Targus Versavue folio case to give me that peace of mind that it won't just fly off my hands or my lap.

But yes, first time when you hold the mini in your hands it definitely is wonderful and feels like a breath of fresh air, so to speak
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Old Nov 23, 2012, 06:36 AM   #14
NewGenAdam
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thirdeyeopen666 View Post
How in the heck are you getting 20+ hours?
"Since last full charge" - may have been partially charged once or twice
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Old Nov 23, 2012, 06:39 AM   #15
swabbie568
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How refreshing an insightful useful post

I agree with ya on all your points. I went from an iPad 3 to the mini. I had initially no friggin desire to get a mini...until I walked in to an apple store "just" to look at one to see what it was like. Well I walked out with a 64Gb wifi mini and have never regretted it.

Having had the 3 and currently the iPhone 5, the lack of retina is surprisingly to me, having to have items with all the bells and whistles a non issue.

Again nice post and welcome back to the land of the mini users
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Old Nov 23, 2012, 06:40 AM   #16
pommie82
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Mini great for everything except movies period!!!!!!!
Mini is a little small to be watching movies on.
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Old Nov 23, 2012, 06:46 AM   #17
AppleRobert
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I had the iPad 3 for one week which was a purchase from BB open box.

I liked it but the size and weight I was not accustomed to because of 7" andriod tablets I have. It doesn't mean the 3 was HEAVY, more uncomfortable to handle would be my way of describing after awhile as I don't have large hands. Yep, I can throw weight around in the gym as well no problem so no issue in that regard but this seems to need to be mentioned on this forum.

Enter the Mini. Weight, size and more comfortable. Viola.

But now the choice needs to be made with this older technology Mini and the bigger better brother 3 or 4 which I feel I'd be more inclined to want to hold unto for awhile.

Text in portrait mode for the web with the MIni? Well some have gone to a different browser, myself included. No problem per se BUT I like Safari personally. No matter how you slice it IF you use an alternate, one has made a compromise as well and it needs to be emphasized to potential buyers about web browsing in portrait.

I'm on the fence. I already have had the Mini and larger better brother. We'll see.
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Old Nov 23, 2012, 06:47 AM   #18
ZipZap
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Said it since Ipad 1. Its ALL about the weight. iPads are too heavy. Mini is just right.

I suspect that Apple will find a way to drop the weight of the full size iPads down below 1 pound.

That said, I doubt there will be a retina mini and I would rather apple spend their time making the full size iPad lighter than improving the mini.
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Old Nov 23, 2012, 07:27 AM   #19
maddux2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NewGenAdam View Post
"Since last full charge" - may have been partially charged once or twice
Nope. It would say "iPad has been plugged in since last full charge" if you even plug in for 10 seconds.
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Old Nov 23, 2012, 07:52 AM   #20
ddaniel
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Wow, thanks for all of the replies. I'm glad my post was well received.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thirdeyeopen666 View Post
How in the heck are you getting 20+ hours?
I'm not sure. I have been using it for browsing, a few games, and some YouTube videos. Watched a full movie on her last night, and she's still chugging along:
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Old Nov 23, 2012, 07:54 AM   #21
mattopotamus
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Originally Posted by maddux2005 View Post
Nope. It would say "iPad has been plugged in since last full charge" if you even plug in for 10 seconds.
Oddly enough, my ipad does not do that. My phone does, but the ipad does not
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Old Nov 23, 2012, 07:59 AM   #22
ddaniel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleRobert View Post
I had the iPad 3 for one week which was a purchase from BB open box.

I liked it but the size and weight I was not accustomed to because of 7" andriod tablets I have. It doesn't mean the 3 was HEAVY, more uncomfortable to handle would be my way of describing after awhile as I don't have large hands. Yep, I can throw weight around in the gym as well no problem so no issue in that regard but this seems to need to be mentioned on this forum.

Enter the Mini. Weight, size and more comfortable. Viola.

But now the choice needs to be made with this older technology Mini and the bigger better brother 3 or 4 which I feel I'd be more inclined to want to hold unto for awhile.

Text in portrait mode for the web with the MIni? Well some have gone to a different browser, myself included. No problem per se BUT I like Safari personally. No matter how you slice it IF you use an alternate, one has made a compromise as well and it needs to be emphasized to potential buyers about web browsing in portrait.

I'm on the fence. I already have had the Mini and larger better brother. We'll see.
I actually generally prefer safari as well, and generally don't have an issue with text size. When I do, I just switch to landscape.
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Old Nov 23, 2012, 08:01 AM   #23
eggersj
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Very nice, unbiased write up. Glad you are happy with your purchase!!!!

Hope you contribute around here more.
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Old Nov 23, 2012, 08:11 AM   #24
ddaniel
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Originally Posted by 7thson View Post
Thanks for your insight. I am on the fence about buying one and your thoughts are helpful in helping me make that decision. Up until the mini came along, I didn't even want an iPad. Now I want one, but wonder if I'll really get my money's worth from it.
I don't regret a single penny spent. I even happily paid Apple's absurd $100 price to double the storage (my first was a 16). It is a premium device that feels like it will last for a long time.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianSoCal View Post
Looks nice! I just ordered one. You don't deprive a classy lady of classy shoes...

Thanks again to everyone for reading!
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Old Nov 23, 2012, 08:35 AM   #25
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3. Typing. Unless you have a wireless keyboard or put your pad down to touch type in landscape, text input is remarkably easier on the mini. I found that while using the 4, simple tasks such as performing a google search or typing in a URL were overly frustrating, and I have rather large hands. This seems like a small deal on paper, but from a usability standpoint it's paramount.
What's wrong with using the thumb keyboard on the full- sized ipad?

Holding the device in potrait mode with both hands and with no case or covers attached, I can type just as fast using the thumb keyboard (moved 1/3 up the screen) than on the mini.

The mini actually optimises the thumb keyboard to cover the same surface area as the full sized ipad, as evidenced by the smaller gap separating each side of the split.
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