All iPads Airs and minis and Pros, oh my! AKA another "help me choose" thread.

Discussion in 'iPad' started by bodhimama, Nov 11, 2013.

  1. bodhimama macrumors newbie

    Mar 26, 2011
    I know no one can really tell you what is the best fit for you, but find that reading posts here about other people's usage patterns and thought processes has been helpful. Although sometimes more confusing.

    So I am a writer by profession. I bought a 2007 Macbook with my first freelancing check. In 2011 it became unusably slow, hot, etc. I got a Mac Mini at that time and moved to desktop, as much of my serious writing work requires a PDF and a composing screen open at the same time (nonfiction). And it requires Scrivener, a Mac app that isn't on iOS yet. Then in July 2012 I got an iPad 2 16GB for $319 refurb. I got a Brydge keyboard for it and it served well as an almost-laptop, only I couldn't really do serious work on it because of the iOS (I multitask) and not having Scrivener, and just the size. I read PDFs, nonfiction and fiction on it, have music streaming on it and plug it into my stereo receiver at home, surf the web, do FB, email, have guitar tabs and tuner on it, do banking and check deposits with it, etc. That kind of thing.

    I have an iPhone 3GS on StraightTalk for my cell and find it small and slow, so I really just use it for phone calls, the occasional text, and music in my car via Spotify/bluetooth. I do not have cell coverage at my house as I live in the boonies.

    I travel to work each day and write in an office in a coworking space. I had been unplugging the mini, putting it in a padded lunchbox, and taking it with me. Ugh.

    So I just got a new 13" retina MB Pro for my primary work machine. The mini will continue to be used on my desktop at home, although it may end up as more of a family computer, I don't know. I use the MB Pro to go to and from the office and when I want to work at home and not sit at a desk, which is often, I use it.

    I traded my iPad 2 in for $200 at Target, and was able to sell the GC to someone. And then I just ordered an iPad Air LTE. My plan was to get a Moto X via Republic Wireless for $300, get the $25/mo plan on it for data, and be able to have true cell coverage at home, but use the Air on the road with LTE - checking email and replying, working in the car (I have two teenagers and spend a ridiculous amount of time waiting for them various places).

    But now I'm wondering if I shouldn't get a retina mini LTE instead. But then, I really like reading on the larger form factor of the Air and read a lot of PDFs and nonfiction books that seem like they would be too small on the mini.

    Or do I get the mini and basically use it as a cell phone, instead of dropping $300 on the Moto X? And get a cheap prepaid flip phone for calls? I hardly make/take calls on the cell; a few here and there during the day at the office, but I use Skype for almost everything business related and no reason I couldn't do the same with the Mini. I just need the school, my kids' dad, etc, to be able to reach me via phone during the day, so I do need a cell number.

    Thanks if you made it through all this! TL/DR:

    Should I get a retina mini LTE OR an Air LTE, or a mini LTE and wifi Air? Can I avoid buying a Moto X and get a cheaper plan and just take calls on my phone? Or should I plan to use the Moto X as my mobile everything and use the Air LTE for work on the go???

    It seems ridiculous to have a 13" MB Pro, an iPad Air, and an iPad rMini LTE...and then a prepaid flip phone for basic calls, but it's tempting. I mean I'm considering the 13" MB Pro, an Air LTE, and a Moto X, so why not? Which one of those configurations is better, do you think?
  2. bambooshots macrumors 65816


    Jul 25, 2013
    As a third party opinion, it sounds like you'd be better served by the MBP, iPad Air LTE, and the Moto X phone.
  3. Jinzen macrumors 6502

    Oct 16, 2012
    Moto X? Why when the Nexus 5 is out and way better?

    In any case, get the LTE version of whatever device you think you'll be using on the road more often.

    I am getting an LTE Mini and a Wifi Air.
  4. Ladybug macrumors 68000


    Apr 13, 2006
    Of course no one can really decide for you but my personal thoughts are this. If you rarely use a cell phone except occasional calls, why buy an expensive phone and get locked into a contract? The rMbp, Lte ipad, and cheap phone should be sufficient. can always get a phone with contract later if the cheap phone doesn't work for you, but once you lock yourself in on a new contract, you won't have a choice but pay for 2 years on something you will hardly use. As for Air vs Mini, either will be nice if your eyesight is 20/20. If not you might want the Air. Best of luck whatever you decide.
  5. bodhimama thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 26, 2011
    Thanks - no, no contract, not even considering it. Republic Wireless is $299 for the Moto X and $25/month prepaid for unlimited 3G data, text and calls.

    The reason for the Moto X is that I can't get a prepaid plan that cheap on a Nexus 5. Also, only Verizon has LTE around here - Republic Wireless only sells the Moto X for their plans; it runs on Sprint but roams on Verizon.

    I don't need the best phone, but the one that works best for my needs.

    The more research I did, the more I feel like the iPad Air LTE on Verizon and the Moto X with the cheap prepaid plan is the best combo. My eyesight isn't great and I do read a lot. But I expect the Air to be my primary mobile data device.
  6. RickTaylor macrumors 6502a

    Nov 9, 2013
    I don't know if my experience will be helpful, but I use my Ipad mini mostly for reading pdf documents. It's just barely big enough for that to be comfortable in portrait mode (and I expect the retina mini to be an improvement in that regard).

    I love the mini for it's form factor. It slips into my jacket pocket and goes everywhere with me. I'm a math teacher, and when I'm lecturing at the board, I can old it effortlessly in one hand while writing down problems from it with the other.

    For me, the size of the ipad mini is ideal. Any smaller, and it wouldn't be practical for reading pdfs. Any bigger, and it wouldn't fit in my jacket pocket, or be useable with one hand.

    I'm intrigued by the idea of using it as a phone; it would be nice to have one less device to carry around. How would you use it for receiving calls though?
  7. bodhimama thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 26, 2011
    Using Google Voice, and I actually have one of those retro style handsets already.

    Now I just found out that because of Sprint's ****** coverage here, I'll be roaming with Republic for data most of the time, and when roaming for data, I might only get 1xx speeds...pushing the decision of Air vs. mini to the forefront again. Plus I have a 15yo who needs a cell phone with data (currently has a dying iPhone 3GS on StraightTalk for $45/mo). Okay, not "needs." know. So figuring out how to do Verizon LTE, which is available here, for cheap, for calls and data, would be great.

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