iPad Business Users: Mini or 4?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Bdix, Nov 3, 2012.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Nov 3, 2012
    I'm looking to pick up an iPad mostly for business use (email, reading and editing docs, taking notes, etc). When I travel, I will of course use it for movies and other entertainment as well, but that's secondary.

    Without getting too deep into the retina complaints, which do business users recommend?

    Also, if it makes a difference, I own an Air and iPhone 5
  2. macrumors 65816

    Dec 9, 2011
    I use my 3 gen extensively for work, and I won't be switching to mini because I feel the larger screen size and retina is much better for reading and writing. YMMV.
  3. macrumors 65816


    Sep 22, 2007
    I also use an iPad 3 for work and can't see me using a smaller form factor without still needing the larger device sometimes. It might be convenient to use the smaller device, but I like the larger keyboard and greater real estate for reading emails, viewing pdf's, etc. Maybe in time, but not for right now.
  4. macrumors 68000


    Sep 28, 2007
    I had got to the point that I would only bring the regular iPad with me to meetings if I really needed to. If I thought that I could get buy without it I wouldn't bother. The mini is so light that I imagine that I would take it with me everywhere.
    Plus I find the mini easier to type on than the regular iPad. I haven't used it for board papers yet but I don't think that that will be a problem.
  5. macrumors regular

    Sep 10, 2007
    The four... I think it comes off as more professional and also for creating content rather than consuming it it just seems to work better. Touch typing can be done easily in landscape mode of the full screen iPad vs. a little more difficulty on the mini.

    Anyways, that is why I made my decision. I also prefer the retina display. Non-retina is not a dealbreaker, but I preferred having it's over not having it.
  6. macrumors 68000

    Jun 24, 2010
    I would have said iPad mini but that was before I seen it in person. For what you're doing, email, reading, editing docs and taking notes the screen is the main problem with the mini. Even if the iPad mini was $200 it would still be questionable. Once you have gotten a taste of iPhone 5 or iPad 3 retina display's the iPad mini is a noticeable downgrade. If you're in games or certain apps, sure, but the browser experience is not good.
    Apple set the standard for how display should look but they have gone backwards with the mini.
  7. macrumors 68030

    Jun 19, 2010
    Ft Lauderdale
    I have both the 4 and the mini and would use either for business. I like the mini for traveling -planes, airports,etc.....and using keynote.

    But the 4 would be for extensive reading of journals or PDF's at the job site.

    But the mini is not flawed, it works well, no matter what you read here...the true test is get to an apple store and look at both....

    However NEITHER is good for creating mass content - I write Keynote presentations/Word/Excel on my MBA and show them on a pad...
  8. macrumors 603


    Oct 5, 2008
    Mini will work fine for the things you need it for.

    I even used my Mini last night for iMovies. No lag, whatsoever.
  9. macrumors 6502

    May 15, 2011
    being out in the field alot, the bigger screen means alot while watching movies, showing pictures to customers, browsing the web
  10. macrumors 601


    Mar 6, 2008
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    Like the retina screen of my 3, love it with the logitech keyboard smart cover and black leather targus ipad 1 bag. As a rule, it's never more than two minutes away from me. EVER.

    Also the 30 pin connector for me is a bonus, easier to quickly and easily find a cheap wall or car charger should I need one in a pinch.
  11. macrumors 68030

    Apr 10, 2011
    I'd get the 4 since you can always buy the iPad mini 2 if it does have a retina display.
  12. GBR, Nov 3, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2012

    macrumors 6502

    Mar 19, 2012
    I am in sales and travel a lot and have owned every generation iPad. I have found it challenging to integrate my iPad too much into my job mostly because of its size and my irrational obsession with minimalism. No kidding, I made my own sales book from a daytimer because the existing folios were not thin enough for me and I modified the smallest 3 ring binder I could find to fit in it. Needless to say, I have the most ultimate sales book possible and I'm looking forward very much to receiving my LTE iPad mini as I believe it will finally fit into my job as I want it to. And also fit perfectly in the outside pocket of my sales book.
    Ultra-Productive while still Ultra-Minimalist. Boom.
  13. macrumors 601


    Mar 6, 2008
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    I think the mini is best for small business owners.
  14. macrumors 601

    Oct 23, 2010
    iPad 4 fits your needs better in my estimation. The mini is great for surfing, e-reading, and texting and using on public transit or while walking down the street.
  15. macrumors 601

    Feb 9, 2011
    What makes a difference are your needs/wants/priorities. "Business users" covers a broad group of people with varying preferences that may or may not be in line with your own. Purchase based on your requirements -- not by poling random business users.
  16. macrumors 6502

    Feb 12, 2009
    Indianapolis, IN
    I checked out the mini today and was asking myself the same question. Currently I have an iPhone 5, iPad 3, MBA 11 and an iMac. I work from my home office and mostly use my iMac there. I travel for business and have tried using my MBA and my iPad as my main travel device and really have settled on the iPad 3 for most situations. I have a nice Logitech keyboard case and use that to take meeting notes. When traveling I find most of my usage is email, browsing, note taking and movie watching. I really prefer the iPad for all of those things and unless I need to do a lot of document work or show complex word presentations that don't translate well to iOS, the iPad is best for me.

    When I saw the mini I fell in love. It is so light and so thin that it would go places with me that my iPad does not. It would be a lot easier to hold and carry. It is much more like my wife's Kindle in that regard. I was surprised how much screen real estate it really has.

    Still the resolution was just adequate. I definitely noticed a big drop off from my 3. And I think it would be hard to read in a meeting when taking notes. Things are just smaller. It would also be a lot harder to edit presentations our use Logmein when I need to.

    So if I dumped the iPad 3 for the mini I would need to take my MBA with me to meetings and use it as my main travel computer. Sure the Mini would be more convenient for browsing and email when going to a restaurant or when traveling. But I would need the MBA for real work. Even with its limitations I can use the iPad 3 for most work.

    So it comes down to either an iPad 3 alone most of the time, or an iPad Mini and a MBA on most trips. Not worth it.

    I might rethink if a retina Mini comes out. I sure do love my iPad 3. It's my all time favorite device.
  17. Guest

    Jul 29, 2007
    I have an iMac, MacBook Pro, Mac Mini, iPad, and iPhone.

    Just got an iPad Mini.

    We eventually end up with just a MacBook Pro, iPad Mini, and iPhone.
  18. macrumors 65816

    Jun 5, 2007
    Oddly enough I'm in almost exactly the same situation with the same hardware though I've also got the iPad 3 for home use which has been pressed into work duties in the past and for me the choice was easy: iPad Mini every time.

    First up ignore the retina display purists. It's a lovely, lovely thing to have but it's NOT essential. To give you some context the Pixels Per Inch figures for your devices are 135 for the 11" Air (128 for the 13") and 326 for the iPhone. The Mini comes in at 163 so if you're happy using your air on your lap you'll be fine with the Mini.

    I'm assuming as you have an air you're looking for portability as one of your prime requirements and it's here that the Mini will be so much better than its big brother. While the iPad is by no means heavy you will notice the weight in daily use but it's the size that's the killer. I can just about squeeze mine into the map pocket of my waterproof but it's hardly ideal and rather uncomfortable. Yes, you'll sacrifice a little size and I'd expect some apps to be a little harder to use with smaller touch targets but it's a tradeoff worth making if portability is important.

    As for editing documents do yourself a favour and budget for a bluetooth keyboard and iPad stand. You'll know from your iPhone how well you get on with the on-screen keyboard but, in my experience, for anything other than quick edits a full-size proper keyboard is a huge bonus. Leave the iPad bluetooth turned on and just power up the keyboard when you need it.

    In my case my main requirements where 1) to be able to either carry around locally or remotely access all document and e-mail, 2) to be able to take digital notes in a meeting and keep them organised by project and 3) to access web-based software systems all in a device that would just replace my normal notebook and fit in a pocket (primarily for dashing between buildings when it's raining). There's also the usual criteria about having enough flexibility in the device and choice of apps in the ecosystem to further adapt workflows in the future but that's normal. Considered an iPad 4 but the smaller form factor and much lighter weight of the Mini along with reportedly superb battery life swung it. When I'm at my desk I've got a nice Griffin stand (literally just a stand, no built in charging or anything) to drop the iPad on and an Apple bluetooth keyboard close by.
  19. macrumors 68040


    May 10, 2010
    Bigger screen for business ... Apps I often use are mind mapping tools, email and some special business apps or even SharePoint. Not yet tried but I think the onscreen keyboard must be quite small on the mini. I ok with the writing speed on iPad 3 and love the screen.

    The mini for me will be for commuting/casual surfing. Once it gets the real screen :rolleyes: Spring 2013
  20. macrumors 6502a


    Jul 24, 2011
    Aberdeen, Scotland
    But that's the only real difference! OK, the 4 is faster, but you don't mention gaming as a priority, so that's irrelevant. It is much heavier than the mini, and this is to hold the giant battery which is required to power the Retina display. It has a slightly larger screen, but it won't give you any more real estate, just things on the screen will be bigger. If it's for personal use, rather than showing stuff off to clients, the smaller screen will be fine - you can just hold it closer if you want stuff bigger.

    So really it comes down to one question: Is the Retina display worth the extra weight? Personally I'm waiting for a Retina mini.
  21. Contributor


    Dec 8, 2009
    While business could means "portability", and the Mini would be perfect, the OP said "editing docs and writing notes", and in my opinion for that kind of business the screen dimensions are the most crucial factor.
    So go for the iPad 4
  22. macrumors 65816

    May 17, 2006
    Sydney, Australia
    I find I type just as fast on the mini as I do on my iPad 3 which I just sold. I fully intend to use my new mini at work, including note taking in meetings, reading and annotating PDF's and other 'business' type tasks.

    The mini can do everything the regular iPad can do, and I find there is absolutely no hinderance for me. I prefer the smaller form factor.
  23. macrumors 68020

    Nov 3, 2008
    For "Business Users" I'd say the optimal device is a phone and a laptop.

    You CAN get "business work" done on a tablet, but the experience is full of compromise so if your primary goal is to make money then stick with what's most efficient and view the iPad for what it is. A complimentary device.
  24. macrumors member


    Jun 21, 2010
    For my line of work I am on the road 75% of the time (driving not flying) and as such don't want a situation where I forgot to bring a document or piece of marketing material. I've used the iPad 3 as an in-meeting device and recently got an iPad mini that will be my new primary work device. All the productivity functions and apps work just as fast on the iPad mini and I find it easier to handle and type on than the fill size iPad. The loss of screen size is an acceptable trade off for the very reduced weight and increased battery life. With the new size it easily pops into the front pocket of my briefcase and even fits in my overcoat pocket.

    On a superfluous note, the black slate back looks slick and very professional.
  25. macrumors 68030


    Jun 28, 2007
    Good advice :)

Share This Page