Air 2 vs mini 4

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Mac'nCheese, Dec 12, 2016.

  1. Mac'nCheese macrumors 68030

    Mac'nCheese

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    Feb 9, 2010
    #1
    im looking for some personal experience here. I get a anniversary gift from work and can choose between an air 2 and an air 2 which I then exchange for a mini 4. I already have an air 1 and was think of getting the mini just to have something different. I know the obvious differences in size and processor but was just curious if users of the mini had some other opinion about them that I hadn't thought of. Thanks!
     
  2. sracer macrumors 603

    sracer

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    #2
    I had an Air 2 (now it is my wife's iPad), and currently have a 12.9 iPad Pro and recently bought a mini 4 to complement the Pro. It is much more useful and enjoyable than I thought it would be. Nearly as responsive as the Air 2 (the difference is negligible).

    Although the experience is far different than using the Apple Pencil with the Pro, I find that using a stylus (either rubber-tipped or powered capacitive like the DotPen) is quite adequate in a pinch because the Mini is small enough that I don't rest my palm on it (and so no need for palm rejection). THAT was a surprise to me.
     
  3. Dukins macrumors newbie

    Dukins

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    #3
    I am in the same situation. I have both the air 2 and mini 4. I originally wanted an ipad mini because of the black friday sales at best buy, but they were all sold out. So I picked up an air 2. I have been putting both through its paces these last few days.

    Air 2 is faster, has better speakers imo, and better for watching movies or sporting events, editing, etc. If your older the bigger screen may be better for viewing.

    Mini 4, the obvious advantage here is portability. As others say, its basically a mini iPad Air 2.

    You really can't go wrong with either. Im leaning more to the Mini 4 for portability. I don't do much gaming, editing photos, or anything that requires a larger screen. Also when in bed I almost always pick up the mini for late night reading or youtubing.

    All depends how you use your device.
     
  4. Badrottie Suspended

    Badrottie

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    #4
    Air 2 is little old now and Mini 4 is new model. I don't know if iOS 11 next year will slow down Air 2.
     
  5. AllergyDoc macrumors 65816

    AllergyDoc

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    #5
    I went from an Air 1 to the Mini 4. Far less wrist fatigue after holding for long periods. Speakers aren't as nice, though, if that matters to you.
     
  6. Mac'nCheese thread starter macrumors 68030

    Mac'nCheese

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    #6
    All I need is better speakers than my phone. I like to watch videos when doing chores and sometimes the phone isn't loud enough. I don't need great quality, just something louder.
     
  7. Channan macrumors 68030

    Channan

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    #7
    The iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 4 have the same processor, except the iPad Air 2 has an extra core. The iPad mini 4 will never perform better than the iPad Air 2 and there's no reason to believe it will get more iOS updates than the iPad Air 2.

    The iPad mini 4's speakers aren't really loud. If that's important to you, you may want to go for the iPad Air 2. It would still be a pretty big update over your current iPad.

    I have, use, and like both iPads, but if I had to pick one, I'd pick the iPad Air 2 over the iPad mini 4.
     
  8. dotnet macrumors 6502a

    dotnet

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    #8
    Sounds like you need to get yourself an iPhone 7 ;)

    That said, the Mini 4 only costs half as much...
     
  9. Mac'nCheese thread starter macrumors 68030

    Mac'nCheese

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    #9
    I have a 7. :)
     
  10. joeblow7777 macrumors 601

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    Sep 7, 2010
    #10
    The Air 2 actually has a more powerful (tri-core) processor than the Mini 4, and they both have the same RAM. Just because the Mini 4 came later doesn't mean it has better specs.

    The near identical specs of the two means that they should reach obsolescence at the same time.
     
  11. rui no onna, Dec 12, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2016

    rui no onna macrumors 601

    rui no onna

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    #11
    Question, doesn't the Mini 4 have just a A8 processor instead of Air 2's A8X? Wouldn't that mean a much slower GPU on top of having one less core? Performance-wise, Mini 4 is probably more like overclocked iPhone 6+ than iPad Air 2.

    On the obsolescence front, I'd actually expect the Air 2 to last a bit longer than the Mini 4 if buying both today.
     
  12. joeblow7777 macrumors 601

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    #12
    I don't know the ins and outs of such technical details, but I guess it depends on the graphics demands of future iOS versions. Some people say that RAM is more of a bottleneck, and they are the same in that regard. In single-core performance, I think their benchmarks aren't even that different.
     
  13. rui no onna macrumors 601

    rui no onna

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    #13
    Lack of RAM, you can pretty much notice right away - frequent Safari tab reloads, app reloads when multitasking, app crashing, etc. In general though, if something is just running slow, that's likely CPU/GPU related. On that note, memory bandwidth/speed affects GPU performance quite a bit.

    I'm pretty sensitive to UI stutters and I've been noticing them on the iPhone 6 prior to upgrading to the 7. Don't think the Mini 4 will fare much better. Hoping A10X will bring processor parity again between the 9.7" and 7.9" models.
     
  14. joeblow7777 macrumors 601

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    #14
    I doubt we'll see an "X" processor in a Mini. As I said, I'm no expert on the technical side of things, but I suspect the reason the Mini 4 got an A8 instead of an A8X is having to account for a smaller battery and less surface area to radiate heat on the smaller device.
     
  15. Mac'nCheese thread starter macrumors 68030

    Mac'nCheese

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    #15
    i could also return it for store credit and wait to march. See if anything new pops up.
     
  16. dotnet macrumors 6502a

    dotnet

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    #16
    Oh. :D

    I haven't had an iPad mini for a while, but I cannot imagine it to be much louder than the iPhone 7, at least not than the 7+, which I've got. It's crazy loud.
     
  17. iPadDad macrumors 6502

    iPadDad

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    #17
    If you already love your experience on the Air 1, the Air 2 is a Big upgrade! Performance is a huge step up especially with iOS 10. Speakers are better, battery is also very good. But Touch ID is so convenient and such a welcome upgrade. Going to the mini is going to mean a compromise in screen real estate obviously, and that is a very big thing to compromise on.

    I wouldn't, the Air 2 is so light and portable anyway, I personally don't understand the market for the mini, it is getting too close to iPhone 7 plus size. If I want more screen to enjoy movies games etc, why go to something just a little bigger than an iPhone, why not go to iPad Air, and that's in a nutshell why I think you should go with the Air 2.
     
  18. bingeciren, Dec 13, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2016

    bingeciren macrumors 6502a

    bingeciren

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    #18
    I have both a Mini 4 and a 9.7" Pro. Pro is good for pencil supporting applications and better than Mini 4 for reading the National Geographic magazine for example, which does not allow zooming in, using the Zinio Reader.

    Mini on the other hand is my perfect travel and bed companion for pretty much everything else.

    Frankly, the the speed difference between the two is negligible. Both of them are plenty fast for almost everything.

    And no, don't kid yourselfs, iPhone Plus is no way getting near the Mini size.

    Here are the actual screen areas and ratios between them: (effective visible screen dimensions in mm.)

    iPhone Plus: 122 x 68 = 8296 sqmm
    iPad Mini: 161 x 121 = 19481 sqmm
    iPad 9.7": 198 x 150 = 29700 sqmm.

    Mini / Plus = 2.35 times the area
    Pro / Mini = 1.53 times the area

    From my first hand experience, I can use Mini all day to surf and read but I only use the Plus in a pinch to do the same and only for short periods of time.
     
  19. Kostas3000 macrumors member

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    Sep 28, 2016
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    New York
    #19
    I have an ipad pro 12.9, which is great for desk or lap use. However I spend a lot of time studying pdfs at bed and ipad pro 12.9 is too heavy for that.

    I will get a smaller one. What size do you suggest, 9.7 or 7.9?
    thanks
     
  20. bingeciren macrumors 6502a

    bingeciren

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    #20
    If I had to make a "Sophies Choice" type of decision between the Mini and the 9.7", I'd go for the 9.7". Because starting from Air 2, the weight for the 9.7" has been really trimmed down and if you use it without a case and cover like I do, the weight is really not that much of a hindrance any more.

    But, now that you already have the 12.9, the Mini is an awfully nice temptation for portability.

    For the sake of continuity for pencil use, in your case, 9.7" Pro could be a better choice however.
     
  21. iPadDad macrumors 6502

    iPadDad

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    #21
    Ok, you make a good argument, I actually see your point here, there is no doubt it is a nice-to-have!
     
  22. ACG12 macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 9, 2015
    #22
    My wife has the mini 4 and I have the air 2 and I personally like hers more than mine. Daily normal use, you really can't tell a performance difference between the a8 and a8x chips and I've always thought the 7.9" screen looks sharper. And her's doesn't have the dreaded speaker vibration mine does :mad:
     
  23. Channan macrumors 68030

    Channan

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    New Orleans
    #23
    This is exactly why I don't like bigger phones. I don't want a Plus because it can't replace my iPad, so why get a huge phone if I'm still going to use it like a small one sans one handed use.

    Turn your volume down then. If you lowered the iPad Air 2's volume down to the same level as the iPad mini's max volume, you probably wouldn't feel any vibrations, or it would be minor enough to not bother you.
     
  24. bingeciren macrumors 6502a

    bingeciren

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    #24
    I absolutely agree, however, my wife just upgraded from 6 Plus to 7 Plus after seeing the performance of its camera. In fact, her primary reason to get the big model rather than its small counterpart is just the difference in camera features.

    Buying a phone because of its camera sounds absurd, but the quality of the pictures keep improving with each generation, and now we are talking about a lens on a phone that goes down to f1.8 and takes 12MP pictures.

    I used to joke and say, when are they going to add a phone to my camera some years ago. Well, they did the other way around. :D
     
  25. rui no onna macrumors 601

    rui no onna

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    Oct 25, 2013
    #25
    This is why I'm not a fan of the 6/6s/7+. I find them too big to comfortably use as phones but still too small to replace the iPad. If Apple added phone functions to the iPad mini 7.9" and turns it into a phablet, I'd totally be on board.

    That's just fact. Air 2 is around 260ppi while Mini 4 is around 300ppi.
     

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