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Old Jan 16, 2013, 11:02 AM   #1
christurbo
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iPad 4 or Mini? Decision made.

I have strayed away from tablets since they were released relying on various MacBook Pros and iPhones for both work and play.

I recently decided to make the jump to an iPad to use on the couch or maybe for a business meeting when I cannot be bothered to use the MBA. However recently it has not been an easy decision with the release of the iPad Mini.

After reading all the reviews, forum posts, and youtube videos I made my mind up and decided to go for the mini with realisation that there will be tradeoffs with the display. However when I got into the Apple store today I demonstrated both and could not believe the actual difference in display quality. The iPad 4's colours just 'popped' and the resolution - especially when looking at websites was far superior. The iPad Mini's display is not bad by any means however if you are like me and do not neccessarily need a device to use out and about on the tube or train then I think the screen of the iPad 4 wins it over.

If the Ipad Mini was released with a retina display then this review would potentially be very different!
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Old Jan 16, 2013, 02:53 PM   #2
luqtotheman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by christurbo View Post
I have strayed away from tablets since they were released relying on various MacBook Pros and iPhones for both work and play.

I recently decided to make the jump to an iPad to use on the couch or maybe for a business meeting when I cannot be bothered to use the MBA. However recently it has not been an easy decision with the release of the iPad Mini.

After reading all the reviews, forum posts, and youtube videos I made my mind up and decided to go for the mini with realisation that there will be tradeoffs with the display. However when I got into the Apple store today I demonstrated both and could not believe the actual difference in display quality. The iPad 4's colours just 'popped' and the resolution - especially when looking at websites was far superior. The iPad Mini's display is not bad by any means however if you are like me and do not neccessarily need a device to use out and about on the tube or train then I think the screen of the iPad 4 wins it over.

If the Ipad Mini was released with a retina display then this review would potentially be very different!
ipad mini isn't there just yet, I believe next 2 refreshes will be good for it. The iPad 4 screen and speed were too much for me to resist.
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Old Jan 16, 2013, 03:45 PM   #3
poloponies
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This is a situation that I've referred to in the past with a high-end speaker analogy. When you're at an audio retailer in a "listening room" and they flip between two drastically different priced sets of speakers, the differences jump out at you. But if you end up buying the less expensive ones, you'll still have an enjoyable experience at home. Ditto the iPad mini. You wonder whuy anyone would buy one when you're in the store, but when you're out and about with one the user experience is great. I bought minis for my kids (in their 20's) and they couldn't be happier. In fact, both remarked at how good the display looked. Sure, if you walk up to them with an iPad 4 they'll see an obvious difference, but I doubt either of them will feel that they have an inferior device.

Another thing, there's no "ideal" device. I've been an iPad owner for years and I like the larger format. My kids prefer the mini's size. So the "which is better?" question is really subjective.
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Old Jan 16, 2013, 04:00 PM   #4
TJ5921
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I'm the exact opposite, believing the iPad 4 isn't quite there yet given it's size and ugly bezel. It needs to catch up with the mini in the heat and form factor before it can be better. Until then the mini reigns supreme.
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Old Jan 16, 2013, 05:25 PM   #5
Wayward
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I bought and used an iPad mini for about a week. It was great, but since my eyes are not what they used to be, I appreciate the larger icons and sharper text of the iPad 4.

I returned the mini for an iPad 4 that I'm posting this on.
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Old Jan 16, 2013, 09:32 PM   #6
bigboar
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good choice on the 4... if this were the android world, the mini compared to the 4 would be like comparing one of those no name $80 tablets to a nexus...
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Old Jan 16, 2013, 10:07 PM   #7
NameUndecided
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I have an iPad3 that I'm still very happy with, but I've been fighting myself lately about getting an iPad Mini to replace or go alongside it.

I stopped in a Best Buy earlier today while I was in a shopping center, and honestly thought about it while I played around with one. The screen isn't terrible at all, and I thought maybe I could get used to it.

Then I went to the larger iPad next to it, and I instantly realized, "Woaaaaah. Nope. I like my iPad just fine."

I should say that I also already have an e-ink reader that I enjoy, so I guess the primary advantage to having a mini [for me] would be for video games, and I'm not huge on gaming, so I would just feel like a bum if I got a mini for that reason.

But my goodness, that unnecessary Apple-want was overtaking me for a little while, but I'm glad that I'm over it because it's honestly pretty annoying when that starts happening. It will be fun to see how I feel when the iPad 5 is announced!

/therapy.
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Old Jan 16, 2013, 10:29 PM   #8
Amplelink
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Originally Posted by NameUndecided View Post
I have an iPad3 that I'm still very happy with, but I've been fighting myself lately about getting an iPad Mini to replace or go alongside it.

I stopped in a Best Buy earlier today while I was in a shopping center, and honestly thought about it while I played around with one. The screen isn't terrible at all, and I thought maybe I could get used to it.

Then I went to the larger iPad next to it, and I instantly realized, "Woaaaaah. Nope. I like my iPad just fine."

I should say that I also already have an e-ink reader that I enjoy, so I guess the primary advantage to having a mini [for me] would be for video games, and I'm not huge on gaming, so I would just feel like a bum if I got a mini for that reason.

But my goodness, that unnecessary Apple-want was overtaking me for a little while, but I'm glad that I'm over it because it's honestly pretty annoying when that starts happening. It will be fun to see how I feel when the iPad 5 is announced!

/therapy.
Don't worry, your "apple-want" will be back tomorrow. We all go through it!
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Old Jan 16, 2013, 10:38 PM   #9
macdragonfl
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4 was best for me

I'm great with the size and weight of the 4. I am coming from a MacBook, and this is my first iPad. The processor and display are amazing in the 4. Something that I usually do is not to buy a first generation product from Apple. I have also found that the last issue of a design is usually a better over all product. The 2/3/4 form factor is done. The 4 is the best of that series. The iPad mini is just the first. In 2 years when I am going to replace my 4 it should be great. I'll look at the Mini then. The 5 will look like a big mini, but it will a feat to put the current hardware of the 4 in the thickness of the mini. So I think the hardware will not be as much of a jump.
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Old Jan 17, 2013, 12:16 AM   #10
MVallee
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My partner had an iPad 2 that we sort of shared. Since he doesn't have a laptop, it was mostly his but I would use it here and there. We upgraded it to a 4 recently and I have started using it a lot more. I now use it to read books and prefer using it for web pages, videos and games over my MacBook. I figured since I was stealing his iPad most of the time I needed my own.

I was considering the mini and came close to buying it on many occasions. I love the form factor even though I don't really need the portability since I have an iPhone 5. The display is not terrible on the Mini but the 4 just has such a beautiful display. That's what stopped me from buying it. I think the reason I prefer using the iPad is because of the display. Sure I could use the mini without a problem but I think the display is what makes me want to use the iPad. My partner and I have decided to share the 4 until the 5 comes out and then I think I will be getting my own iPad.
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Old Jan 17, 2013, 01:02 AM   #11
AlterZgo
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Many who choose the iPad 4 over the mini have not had extensive experience with both. You really have to live with the devices for a while to see which fits your needs. As an owner of an iPad 3 and mini, despite the gorgeous retina display, I grab the mini about 95% of the time around the house and 100% of the time when I go on business or leisure trips.

For me (YMMV), the small and lighter form factor of the mini far outweighs the benefits of the retina display on my iPad 3. Still, when I do occasionally go back to the iPad 3, I am wowed again by the retina display... until the weight causes me to put it down and return to the mini.
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Old Jan 17, 2013, 06:31 AM   #12
ougum
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayward View Post
I bought and used an iPad mini for about a week. It was great, but since my eyes are not what they used to be, I appreciate the larger icons and sharper text of the iPad 4.

I returned the mini for an iPad 4 that I'm posting this on.
I did the exact same as you, and for the same reason. Except I returned the 4 and repurchased the mini. I used the wifi mini for one week. Really enjoyed the size, light weight and the screen wasn't bad at all. Because my eyes are getting old, I thought I needed a larger screen, so I returned the mini and bought the 4. Even though I used to have the iPad 2 and 3, I just missed the size and fun factor of the mini so I returned the 4 and bought the wifi/4g mini which I will keep till it die.
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Old Jan 17, 2013, 06:39 AM   #13
Phil A.
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I was very sceptical when the rumours about the mini came out last year, and firmly believed the form factor of the existing iPads was perfect. However, I went to have a look at the mini on launch day and bought one to supplement my existing iPad 2.
Within hours, I knew that the mini was the only iPad I'd use going forwards and so got rid of my iPad 2 and haven't looked back since - the reduction in size and weight make a massive difference to its portability and I don't have any issues at all reading on the smaller screen.
Of course, I've never had a retina iPad so the resolution wasn't a "step backwards" for me and it may be different for people coming from a retina one
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Old Jan 17, 2013, 08:40 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Amplelink View Post
Don't worry, your "apple-want" will be back tomorrow. We all go through it!
Some people even have a name for it. It's called GAS, or Gear Acquisition Syndrome.
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Old Jan 17, 2013, 09:34 AM   #15
Starrbuck
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My wife would not give up her iPad 4 screen. She doesn't care about weight and portability as she uses it for an e-reader and web browser mostly at home on the couch and in bed. Our kids use an iPad Mini as it has plenty of screen and power for them and is easy to transport in the car, for example.
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Old Jan 18, 2013, 04:44 AM   #16
Ingster
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I love my ipad 4, i'd originally had a 1st gen launch day ipad and relied on it as a crutch for everything! My MBP just sat dejected or ripping DVD's for my collection so i could transfer movies and TV shows to my lovely pad but if i wanted it was there with it's horsepower and (urgh) flash capability.
Life was sweet!
...
Until one morning i wake, pick up my ipad and find a big strip of failed LCD across the middle of the screen, glass intact, not been dropped just failed

200 for a replacement at genius bar, no thanks.

Start to save for 3rd gen, all of a sudden 4th gen and mini announced, i considered the mini but i liked my ipad size and i was used to the 1st gen weight so wasn't bothered that the 4 would not be as light as the 2.

Bought my 4 on black friday, and i'm back in love, the retina ipad display blows me away, the speed of the thing is phenomenal coming from a 1.

But as described on here i feel that even though i love my 4, i still need more apple stuff in my life, hmmm maybe the wife would like a mini for her birthday (so i can play with it) maybe by then they could have a retina display. I'm still saving for a 15 inch retina MBP, and waiting out my contract so i can get an iphone 5/5S/6 gosh darn it apple why is everything so shiny and nice!
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Old Jan 18, 2013, 07:17 AM   #17
Cowboy1629
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iPad 4

This is my first iPad and I just couldn't resist the full size. With aging eyes and the main use for it being around the house it was really a no brainier. I still have my iPhone 5 for go anywhere do anything portability but when I want to enjoy surfing the net updating a spreadsheet or reading an article the maxi pad is the way to go.
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Old Jan 18, 2013, 06:16 PM   #18
richardmu
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I have returned a 3 a 4 and a mini over the last few months.

Tried them all for a week or so but ended up staying with my iPad 2 and Kindle Fire HD. Very unimpressed overall with the mini and the retina display did not make up for the additional weight and bulk of the 3 and 4.

Here's hoping in a few months time there will be a mini that can compete with the Kindle and and a decent iPad upgrade.
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Old Jan 19, 2013, 09:52 AM   #19
jlee24219
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Originally Posted by richardmu View Post
I have returned a 3 a 4 and a mini over the last few months.

Tried them all for a week or so but ended up staying with my iPad 2 and Kindle Fire HD. Very unimpressed overall with the mini and the retina display did not make up for the additional weight and bulk of the 3 and 4.

Here's hoping in a few months time there will be a mini that can compete with the Kindle and and a decent iPad upgrade.
Don't quite understand this, your still using a bulky and heavy ipad 2, the 3 and 4 shouldn't add much bulk.
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Old Jan 19, 2013, 10:37 AM   #20
richardmu
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Don't quite understand this, your still using a bulky and heavy ipad 2, the 3 and 4 shouldn't add much bulk.
I agree that the 2 is not exactly a lightweight but the extra 40 or 50 grams of the 3 and 4 is noticeable, plus the fact that both are also a little thicker than the 2.

Again, not by much but together with the slight additional weight I found I was chosing the 2 in preference. Maybe something to do with the fact I've had the 2 since release and as I use it every day. It just feels more comfortable.

I couldn't convince myself or my wife that the retina screen plus a faster processor made a difference worth having!
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Old Jan 20, 2013, 08:23 AM   #21
jaglad
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Originally Posted by NameUndecided View Post
I have an iPad3 that I'm still very happy with, but I've been fighting myself lately about getting an iPad Mini to replace or go alongside it.

I stopped in a Best Buy earlier today while I was in a shopping center, and honestly thought about it while I played around with one. The screen isn't terrible at all, and I thought maybe I could get used to it.

Then I went to the larger iPad next to it, and I instantly realized, "Woaaaaah. Nope. I like my iPad just fine."

I should say that I also already have an e-ink reader that I enjoy, so I guess the primary advantage to having a mini [for me] would be for video games, and I'm not huge on gaming, so I would just feel like a bum if I got a mini for that reason.

But my goodness, that unnecessary Apple-want was overtaking me for a little while, but I'm glad that I'm over it because it's honestly pretty annoying when that starts happening. It will be fun to see how I feel when the iPad 5 is announced!

/therapy.
That could almost be me talking, I keep looking at the ipad mini, but I love the retina screens too much. I think I shall hold off and see what happens. Cant keep buying everything Apple make!
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Old Jan 20, 2013, 08:50 AM   #22
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That could almost be me talking, I keep looking at the ipad mini, but I love the retina screens too much. I think I shall hold off and see what happens. Cant keep buying everything Apple make!
This is the reason why I am holding out for a retina mini. Don't need the iPad now, and there is always going to be the "next big thing". The technology will just get better and better.
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Old Jan 20, 2013, 09:41 AM   #23
alphabetagaga
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the 269 price of the current mini made it a far more attractive and easier purchase decision for me. i have no issues at all with the mini having a non-retina display

i dont want to and cannot justify spending 400 on a tablet (that will 90% of the time be used to consume media on), however good the display. 400 would be straying into laptop purchase price territory and a tablet is definately not a laptop replacement.
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Old Jan 20, 2013, 10:36 AM   #24
Liquinn
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the 269 price of the current mini made it a far more attractive and easier purchase decision for me. i have no issues at all with the mini having a non-retina display

i dont want to and cannot justify spending 400 on a tablet (that will 90% of the time be used to consume media on), however good the display. 400 would be straying into laptop purchase price territory and a tablet is definately not a laptop replacement.
True, I agree with you.

Though I do use my iPad, iPhone, Mac Mini, Macbook Pro, Powermac G5 etc for different things.
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Old Jan 20, 2013, 01:29 PM   #25
johndallas999
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Originally Posted by christurbo View Post
I have strayed away from tablets since they were released relying on various MacBook Pros and iPhones for both work and play.

I recently decided to make the jump to an iPad to use on the couch or maybe for a business meeting when I cannot be bothered to use the MBA. However recently it has not been an easy decision with the release of the iPad Mini.

After reading all the reviews, forum posts, and youtube videos I made my mind up and decided to go for the mini with realisation that there will be tradeoffs with the display. However when I got into the Apple store today I demonstrated both and could not believe the actual difference in display quality. The iPad 4's colours just 'popped' and the resolution - especially when looking at websites was far superior. The iPad Mini's display is not bad by any means however if you are like me and do not neccessarily need a device to use out and about on the tube or train then I think the screen of the iPad 4 wins it over.

If the Ipad Mini was released with a retina display then this review would potentially be very different!
I agree, I've see both side by side and while the mini size is very attractive the display just kills it for me. I would wait for the next gen mini and see if it gets retina which i'm sure it will then it's a no brainer but the current gen one is just too low res.
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