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Old Nov 6, 2012, 02:07 AM   #1
h00ligan
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Went from ipad 2 to mini and 4. Some thoughts.

First the good.

Mini size and weight are outstanding. Extremely comfortable to hold and use for extended periods. Very good for rdp/vnc. Better wifi and camera than the 2 - better display crispness.

Ipad 4 screen is beautiful. 4 can truly replace a desktop browser for heavy tab users who bounce around a lot of apps. Great tool to present photography portfolio and edit on the go (filter storm pro etc)


The bad
-------

Apple is so close on both of these. But not there. They just missed the effect devices - for me.

Mini - aside from the not retina, the bigger issue to me is screen contrast. Black levels are bad as is the color representation. Slower processor and less ram obviously. But to me the biggest thing is, the price. It's too expensive for what it is IMO.


4 - heavier than ipad 2 tangibly. I didn't think this would be noticed let alone bother me but it was and does. Where the 2 was just about bearable for longer holding sessions the 4 feels uncomfortable. Heat - I have enough devices heating my house....and I live in az. Just using Remote Desktop warms it right up.

Wrap up
-----
I'd guess the next gen will see a faster mini with retina and slimmed down full size. Owning the ipad 2 neither of these are enough to warrant the upgrade to me, which surprises me. That said I was so sure they would, my girlfriend now owns my ipad 2. So I'm not sure where I'll go. Probably find a refurb 3 or something.

They are both good devices, the ipad 4 is close to great. The mini is good in its own right and were there an 8 gig version for $249 I'd probably own it and another full size...but the price point is too high. For my personal needs in a smaller device, I will use the nexus 7 at half the price. For a larger tablet I'm not sure. I'm heavily invested in the apple ecosystem. The retina display and colors are very good, and it has great fit and finish...I just wish it was a wee bit lighter and didn't warm up so fast.

I own a Rmbp, and several other products. My posting this was in case it could help others amidst the "greatest thing ever" and "zomg apple blew it" posts.
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Old Nov 6, 2012, 09:49 AM   #2
jrlepage
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Nice to see some thoughtful reflection instead of the usual overreacting or pandering.

I'm stil waiting on my LTE Mini, but have had some time to play around with my wife's Wifi Mini. We still own an iPad 3 (hers) and iPad 2 (mine). Coming from the iPad 2, the display on the Mini doesn't bother me at all for reading or video watching in terms of ppi. In terms of size, I'm slowly finding that it's a double-edged sword.

For reading books and gaming, the Mini is the perfect size for me because it's so comfortable to hold for long periods of time. Unlike many others, I have no issues with the text feeling "pixelated" when reading and it doesn't hurt my eyes at all. However, for reading magazines (esp ones where you can't adjust font size) and web-browsing, I did find myself longing for the extra screen space when using her Mini last night. I hate to admit that, but going from looking at the Hyundai car website in my iPad 2 to the same one on the Mini (I'm car shopping), I found that the increased real estate did make a significant difference.

All of that being said, I think the solution for my wife and I will be owning two iPad Minis, and one full-sized iPad. Going that route, I think I'll trade in our iPad 2 and 3 now to help pay for the Minis, and then hold off on the full-size until the "iPad 5" since I'm guessing (hoping) there will be more significant changes to form factor, namely hoping for it to be slightly lighter, thinner, and with the same anodized aluminum back and chamfered edge as the Mini.

That only leaves me to decide on the configuration of our "trifecta" of iPads. My wife disagrees with having cellular on the iPad, making the (good) argument that we have iPhones for that. However, I do appreciate the convenience of not having to tether and the GPS, so I'm thinking: iPad Mini 16GB White Wi-Fi (hers), iPad Mini 64GB Black LTE (mine), iPad 5 64GB Wi-Fi (shared). If we do the trio of iPads thing, it probably would've made more sense for me to get the 16GB LTE Mini, but it's already ordered and don't want to be pushed to the end of the queue, plus I'm an app junkie so I appreciate the space.

Only other thing that throws a monkey-wrench in everything is the MacBook Pro 13" w/Retina Display which would give us the Retina for more serious web browsing, and unlike the iPad we could setup 2 accounts on it. Meaning that I might prefer going with the following family setup:

- His & Hers iPhone 5 64GB AT&T (Black & White)
- His & Hers iPad Minis (Black 64GB LTE & White 16GB Wi-Fi)
- Shared MacBook Pro 13" w/Retina
- His & Hers 27" iMacs (each w/secondary Thunderbolt Display)
- Upstairs & Downstairs Apple TVs
- Possibly a Mac Mini running OS X Server down the road...

Anyone else have a fully-Apple family setup? If so, which devices do you have and do you find that they suit all your needs?
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Old Nov 6, 2012, 10:05 AM   #3
h00ligan
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Thanks for your reply. It seems we are in a similar situation.

I try to also stick to the 'which one do I reach for more' method...and honestly for a lot of things it's the mini. I have probably been using the mini 75%. That said I do edit photos on the go and that's an extremely important, to me, percentage. The ipad 2 was not good enough for that task , again for me. I'm going to load up my last batch of wedding photos and see how the 4 handles them with batch edits in filter storm. Had I purchased a 13" Rmbp not a 15 I would certainly think the mini to be the answer...but I use the 15" in 1920 all the time.


Again I appreciate your comments and story. Cheers.
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Old Nov 6, 2012, 10:07 AM   #4
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Actually to add something. I would have kept the 4s and bought a mini instead of the iPhone 5 if the timing had lined up. Subsequent iphone purchases are going to be farther apart now it's in the line.
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Old Nov 6, 2012, 10:19 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrlepage View Post
- His & Hers iPhone 5 64GB AT&T (Black & White)
- His & Hers iPad Minis (Black 64GB LTE & White 16GB Wi-Fi)
- Shared MacBook Pro 13" w/Retina
- His & Hers 27" iMacs (each w/secondary Thunderbolt Display)
- Upstairs & Downstairs Apple TVs
- Possibly a Mac Mini running OS X Server down the road...
I would go with this (and will most likely go with this setup with my Wife):
- His & Hers iPhone 5 16GB AT&T (Black & White)
- His & Hers iPad Minis (Black 32GB LTE & White 32GB Wi-Fi)
- Shared MacBook Pro 13" w/Retina
- His & Hers 21" iMacs (one w/secondary Thunderbolt Display)
- Upstairs Apple TV
- Possibly a Mac Mini running OS X Server and HTPC as Plex
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Old Nov 6, 2012, 10:30 AM   #6
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I'm in the same situation as the OP. I have an iPad 2 32GB, this past Friday went to the Apple Store and bought an iPad mini 32GB and at the time I really liked the mini. Used overnight going to the same websites, checking email, etc. and it wasn't the same with the small screen. I found myself zooming the text to be comfortable or using the mini sideways, to be able to read some websites.

The next day I went to the Apple Store and exchanged the mini for a 16GB iPad 4. The screen is beautiful and a big change from the iPad 2. But I can't stand the weight difference and the iPad heating up on the lower left corner, even while browsing the internet; played a couple of games, one of them being Bejeweled Blitz and there wasmore heat coming out of the iPad. Now I'm having second thoughts about the iPad 4, I went back to the iPad 2 and even though the screen is not the same, for the use I give the iPad, i'm more than happy keeping it.

I already restored the iPad 4 and is all back in it's original box ready to be returned. I think I'm ready to wait for another version of the iPad, if they follow the same line as the iPad mini, iPhone 5 and new iPod Touch and somehow they get to reduce the weight, that will be reason enough to upgrade to a new iPad. In the meantime, back to my iPad 2 it is.
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Old Nov 6, 2012, 11:10 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Sh0k View Post
I'm in the same situation as the OP. I have an iPad 2 32GB, this past Friday went to the Apple Store and bought an iPad mini 32GB and at the time I really liked the mini. Used overnight going to the same websites, checking email, etc. and it wasn't the same with the small screen. I found myself zooming the text to be comfortable or using the mini sideways, to be able to read some websites.

The next day I went to the Apple Store and exchanged the mini for a 16GB iPad 4. The screen is beautiful and a big change from the iPad 2. But I can't stand the weight difference and the iPad heating up on the lower left corner, even while browsing the internet; played a couple of games, one of them being Bejeweled Blitz and there wasmore heat coming out of the iPad. Now I'm having second thoughts about the iPad 4, I went back to the iPad 2 and even though the screen is not the same, for the use I give the iPad, i'm more than happy keeping it.

I already restored the iPad 4 and is all back in it's original box ready to be returned. I think I'm ready to wait for another version of the iPad, if they follow the same line as the iPad mini, iPhone 5 and new iPod Touch and somehow they get to reduce the weight, that will be reason enough to upgrade to a new iPad. In the meantime, back to my iPad 2 it is.
it's not so much that the screen is small, in my experience, but that it isn't retina. If it were then it would be much easier to read fine/small text (think of your iPhone, if you have one.. retina makes small text a pleasure to read, whereas small text is fuzzy and indistinguishable on the mini).
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Old Nov 6, 2012, 11:19 AM   #8
h00ligan
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Well. The screen real estate is exactly the same. You don't see more or less, but with retina you wouldn't have to zoom.

The 4 has a big plus going for it also, which is rdp can be used at 1600x. S that's great. But. Using it now I am struck again by the weight and heat. Already. I have to go back to apple for my rmbp to be fixed. Again. How they handle that will indicate whether I keep either to be honest. Unfortunately the rmbp has a loose case, image retention and a hue shift from magenta to cyan.

If they're good about the fix on that ill figure something out. If they give me a hard time (which I don't expect as their cs has always been excellent) both will be returned.

Still though. I can't take the ipad 2 back from my lady, she's already loving having one!

If I had to choose mini or ipad 2 today, I'd probably get the mini and wait a year for a lighter maxi or retina mini.

Not sure! Thanks for the comments all.
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Old Nov 6, 2012, 11:30 AM   #9
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Good post. I am always a touch skeptical about perceiving the weight difference between a 2 and a 3/4 since it's only 51g (about 3 CDs without cases), especially as ~8% of the overall weight, but if you've got both and have tried it, you've got direct experience.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jrlepage View Post

Anyone else have a fully-Apple family setup? If so, which devices do you have and do you find that they suit all your needs?
We're pretty Apple-centric. I do have a few server boxes running Windows and Linux, a NAS, lots of network gear, etc.

2 iPhones, MBP 13 and 15, AppleTV on the main set, my new 4thG iPad, my old iPad 1.

I generally run my MBP at my desk (with a 24" IPS display, KB, magic mouse). It's rare I lug it around the house unless I'm working on some code. If I'm drafting up a document, doing something on the web, looking up DTV listings (and controlling the DVR), IMDB, reading tech PDFs, books, etc., I use my iPad. Heck, even sitting at my desk, I tend to use it for Podcasts and the occasional movie vs. running dual screen with the MBP - it looks great, doesn't use any Mac resources and I have a nice SuperTooth speaker I broadcast to.

I love the fact that single purchases (we have a single AppleID we use) get pushed down to all our devices, one price, multiple users. I know if I pick up my wife's iPhone, it'll have the app, song, or at least a quick and easy mechanism to get it. We also use iTunes match, so music is super easy to manage. I warehouse most of my media on one of the central storage locations (where it's also backed up).

The common UI across all devices is very nice too, especially for my wife. I don't know how many times she picked up one of my previous Android devices and was baffled at the ROM-of-the-Week I had installed.

The Apple TV is a nice appliance - it has access to the same iTunes content that we have everywhere else (iOS devices, iTunes on the Macs). We also share our iTunes libs, so local content that's managed by iTunes is available streaming to all it, plus all the over connected devices. We can also Airplay phones, tablets, Macs to the main TV using the Apple TV, so sometimes we'll play a game but share it to the TV so everyone can see - that's also great for showing off pics, but the AppleTV connects to the PhotoStream too, so they're always available once we hit the local network with the device use to shoot the pics.

We also on the main TV rack have a Pioneer AVR, fully connected, supports Airplay (with OSD), so sometimes I'll broadcast to that directly for music on the deck on the weekends. I have a drop from the upstairs main network space to the TV with a local 8 port GB switch.

The plan is to add another AppleTV up in the bedroom - that set is also connected, has a nice array of apps (Amazon and Netflix), but of course no native access to iTunes. I've also considered a Mac Mini for an OSX front end to an iTunes "server".

Everything works really well. I mean, we'll go out, shoot some pics, come home, look at them on the Apple TV, open iPhoto, share them to Facebook, download a movie, stream it to my iPad or the little ones iPad - anytime I buy a song, it's instantly available everywhere - I even buy quite a bit of music from Amazon, and using their iTunes download app, it's quick and easy to add the music into a local iTunes repository.
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Old Nov 6, 2012, 12:20 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by h00ligan View Post
Apple is so close on both of these. But not there. They just missed the effect devices - for me.
Yes, I know someone always wants something different, but 8.9 inches would meet the sweet spot between size/portability. 7.9 inches=too small for many adults, 9.7=less portable, less comfortable. My vote would be 8.9 with slimmer bezel of the Mini.

Last edited by Awakener; Nov 6, 2012 at 12:28 PM.
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Old Nov 6, 2012, 12:51 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by h00ligan View Post
Apple is so close on both of these. But not there. They just missed the effect devices - for me.
Im feeling the same way. One of the things i never got into was hardcore gaming on iOS (especially with virtual controls)

iPhone - Fingers tend to cover up the screen and battery life drains too fast
iPad 9.7 - Very powerful and has Retina but heavy and a bit too big of a screen
iPad Mini - Great screen size, fingers dont get in the way but lacks retina and power

I'm only talking games but I think it applies to other scenarios too. So it does feel like we're a generation or two away from perfection and every model requires some compromise.
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Old Nov 6, 2012, 01:08 PM   #12
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Im feeling the same way. One of the things i never got into was hardcore gaming on iOS (especially with virtual controls)

iPhone - Fingers tend to cover up the screen and battery life drains too fast
iPad 9.7 - Very powerful and has Retina but heavy and a bit too big of a screen
iPad Mini - Great screen size, fingers dont get in the way but lacks retina and power

I'm only talking games but I think it applies to other scenarios too. So it does feel like we're a generation or two away from perfection and every model requires some compromise.
My opinion is that Apple is trying to keep the mini a bit inferior than the ipad, else everyone would end up buying the mini and not the ipad which is more of an extensive product. So if anyone is thinking that its better to wait for ipad mini 2 as that would end up being comparable to ipad4, then know that there is a good chance ipad4 will be upgraded to ipad5 and you will be in the same quandary.
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Old Nov 6, 2012, 01:44 PM   #13
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it's not so much that the screen is small, in my experience, but that it isn't retina. If it were then it would be much easier to read fine/small text (think of your iPhone, if you have one.. retina makes small text a pleasure to read, whereas small text is fuzzy and indistinguishable on the mini).
I agree, if it was retina it would be okay. At least the device has lots of potential.
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Old Nov 6, 2012, 02:13 PM   #14
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My GF can tell the iPad 2 from the iPad 3 based on weight (and complains about how much mine weighs), but I can't tell. But if you're planning on selling the 4 to get a 3 instead and your biggest complaint is because of the weight, I think you'll be disappointed. AFAIK, the 3 and 4 weigh the same. Don't know about the heat issue, though...

Clint
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Old Nov 6, 2012, 02:21 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Sh0k View Post
I'm in the same situation as the OP. I have an iPad 2 32GB, this past Friday went to the Apple Store and bought an iPad mini 32GB and at the time I really liked the mini. Used overnight going to the same websites, checking email, etc. and it wasn't the same with the small screen. I found myself zooming the text to be comfortable or using the mini sideways, to be able to read some websites.

The next day I went to the Apple Store and exchanged the mini for a 16GB iPad 4. The screen is beautiful and a big change from the iPad 2. But I can't stand the weight difference and the iPad heating up on the lower left corner, even while browsing the internet; played a couple of games, one of them being Bejeweled Blitz and there wasmore heat coming out of the iPad. Now I'm having second thoughts about the iPad 4, I went back to the iPad 2 and even though the screen is not the same, for the use I give the iPad, i'm more than happy keeping it.

I already restored the iPad 4 and is all back in it's original box ready to be returned. I think I'm ready to wait for another version of the iPad, if they follow the same line as the iPad mini, iPhone 5 and new iPod Touch and somehow they get to reduce the weight, that will be reason enough to upgrade to a new iPad. In the meantime, back to my iPad 2 it is.
Almost exactly the same story here. iPad 2 32 GB, preordered the 4. Didn't even open it, as the weight and heat of the ones in the store was too much. Bought the mini and returned it today for the same reasons Sh0k returned his.

So I am with Sh0k and the OP - both new iPads are so close to great but not quite there. If I didn't have an iPad 2 that is rock solid - fast, no heat at all, very long battery, thin, light - I'd probably have one of the new ones and love it. But as it is, both seem to have too many compromises. Whichever way I'd go, there would be a downgrade in some respect from my 2. Upgrades in other ways, but I don't want 2 steps forward, 1 step back. So I'm sticking with what I have and will see where both products get to next year.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by CNeufeld View Post
My GF can tell the iPad 2 from the iPad 3 based on weight (and complains about how much mine weighs), but I can't tell. But if you're planning on selling the 4 to get a 3 instead and your biggest complaint is because of the weight, I think you'll be disappointed. AFAIK, the 3 and 4 weigh the same. Don't know about the heat issue, though...

Clint
Yes, true. Weight, thickness, and heat are all the same from 3 to 4. 4 does have better battery life though.
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Old Nov 6, 2012, 02:29 PM   #16
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I will use the nexus 7 at half the price.
Stopped reading here.
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Old Nov 6, 2012, 02:42 PM   #17
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Old Nov 6, 2012, 04:45 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by TheSandman2236 View Post
I would go with this (and will most likely go with this setup with my Wife):
- His & Hers iPhone 5 16GB AT&T (Black & White)
- His & Hers iPad Minis (Black 32GB LTE & White 32GB Wi-Fi)
- Shared MacBook Pro 13" w/Retina
- His & Hers 21" iMacs (one w/secondary Thunderbolt Display)
- Upstairs Apple TV
- Possibly a Mac Mini running OS X Server and HTPC as Plex
Cool, that's probably more realistic... I don't know why I always feel the need to get the largest storage option. Why have 3 seasons of a TV show stored on my iPhone/iPad when I can just stream it from anywhere...

By the way, I did some reading about Plex after reading your post because I had never heard of it. What makes it better than just using iTunes to manage your media? Can it serve up iTunes-purchased content or just DRM-free? We pretty much get all of our media through iTunes.

The reason I mentioned the Mac Mini as a possibility is I would love to be able to have us store all our media on that (with a thunderbolt RAID drive attached) and share one iTunes library. However, from everything I've read, sharing a single iTunes library like that, where it's stored on a server and accessed on multiple clients,... well, it doesn't seem easy. I hope I'm wrong though.
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Old Nov 8, 2012, 11:22 PM   #19
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I ended up ordering a 3 with no AppleCare..the base model...refurb.

To the statement above about losing someone at nexus 7... That's just silly. For network admin, web browsing. Etc the nexus is a a good device with higher ppi than the mini.

I think an ipad 3 base and mini or nexus 7 is a great combo. In the old you over camp until a mini with retina or cooler lighter full size comes out $199 + $379 vs $750 for ipad with AppleCare makes a lot of sense. I can gift one or both of them away at that price

I had a nexus 7 before. They had some qc issues for sure which I gather are worked out. Other than that it was a great pick up device.

I certainly hope apple has a plan for a 6 month upgrade to both the full and mini. My guess is the shorter product cycle this time is to start acclimating customers to twice a year upgrades. Not massive overhauls but spec bump etc.

Either way. We will see if the 3 is as I expect, which is to say pretty much on par with the 4 for my uses. Again any video or photo editing gets done on a rmbp which clearly is a superior device for that sort of thing, as it should be for three grand.
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Old Nov 9, 2012, 01:09 AM   #20
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Ipad 2 is better than Ipad mini. It is bigger at least, if you feel the text is not clear then zoom it. Still you can pretty much read the whole paragraph without having to move the screen because it is 10 inch, its big enough. Ipad mini if you need to zoom then you will probly have to move text around to be able to finish a sentence. Not sure im clear with my explanation. u get the picture.
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Old Nov 9, 2012, 02:50 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by jrlepage View Post
Nice to see some thoughtful reflection instead of the usual overreacting or pandering.

I'm stil waiting on my LTE Mini, but have had some time to play around with my wife's Wifi Mini. We still own an iPad 3 (hers) and iPad 2 (mine). Coming from the iPad 2, the display on the Mini doesn't bother me at all for reading or video watching in terms of ppi. In terms of size, I'm slowly finding that it's a double-edged sword.

For reading books and gaming, the Mini is the perfect size for me because it's so comfortable to hold for long periods of time. Unlike many others, I have no issues with the text feeling "pixelated" when reading and it doesn't hurt my eyes at all. However, for reading magazines (esp ones where you can't adjust font size) and web-browsing, I did find myself longing for the extra screen space when using her Mini last night. I hate to admit that, but going from looking at the Hyundai car website in my iPad 2 to the same one on the Mini (I'm car shopping), I found that the increased real estate did make a significant difference.

All of that being said, I think the solution for my wife and I will be owning two iPad Minis, and one full-sized iPad. Going that route, I think I'll trade in our iPad 2 and 3 now to help pay for the Minis, and then hold off on the full-size until the "iPad 5" since I'm guessing (hoping) there will be more significant changes to form factor, namely hoping for it to be slightly lighter, thinner, and with the same anodized aluminum back and chamfered edge as the Mini.

That only leaves me to decide on the configuration of our "trifecta" of iPads. My wife disagrees with having cellular on the iPad, making the (good) argument that we have iPhones for that. However, I do appreciate the convenience of not having to tether and the GPS, so I'm thinking: iPad Mini 16GB White Wi-Fi (hers), iPad Mini 64GB Black LTE (mine), iPad 5 64GB Wi-Fi (shared). If we do the trio of iPads thing, it probably would've made more sense for me to get the 16GB LTE Mini, but it's already ordered and don't want to be pushed to the end of the queue, plus I'm an app junkie so I appreciate the space.

Only other thing that throws a monkey-wrench in everything is the MacBook Pro 13" w/Retina Display which would give us the Retina for more serious web browsing, and unlike the iPad we could setup 2 accounts on it. Meaning that I might prefer going with the following family setup:

- His & Hers iPhone 5 64GB AT&T (Black & White)
- His & Hers iPad Minis (Black 64GB LTE & White 16GB Wi-Fi)
- Shared MacBook Pro 13" w/Retina
- His & Hers 27" iMacs (each w/secondary Thunderbolt Display)
- Upstairs & Downstairs Apple TVs
- Possibly a Mac Mini running OS X Server down the road...

Anyone else have a fully-Apple family setup? If so, which devices do you have and do you find that they suit all your needs?
I think you need his and hers sex.
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Old Nov 9, 2012, 05:51 AM   #22
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I think you need his and hers sex.
Lol, gotta have something to stay entertained in between, but thanks for the free advice!
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Old Nov 9, 2012, 12:04 PM   #23
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Lol, gotta have something to stay entertained in between, but thanks for the free advice!
Lol, at last someone with a good sense of humour! Have a good weekend
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