All iPads Another Air or rMini Thread

Discussion in 'iPad' started by ghsNick, Dec 13, 2013.

  1. ghsNick macrumors 68030


    May 25, 2010
    Ok so I'm a 24 year old who's never owned an iPad. I have a friend who works at an Apple store so I can get $100 discount on either the Air or rMini.

    There's a lot of pro's and con's for each iPad and I'm just trying to get some friendly advice from some users on here.

    I'll use it at home, work, and travel. I drive to and from work so I won't really be using it so much when I commute (like users who ride Bus/Subway/etc.)

    I love a great screen and from what I'm reading the Air has a better screen. I also love portability/one hand use so I like rMini for that.

    After all these threads of yellowing and gamut I'm concerned about the rMini. After looking at the Air in person it felt a little too big next to the rMini.

    So no matter what, I'm literally 50/50 and I'm wondering if anyone can give their friendly input and not the overly dramatic ridiculousness I've seen in other threads.

    Thanks everyone.
  2. deeddawg macrumors 604

    Jun 14, 2010
    Will you be doing any color-critical work such as photo editing? If not, the rMini screen work just fine. It's still a fine screen IMHO.

    The other factors you mention are about form/size - a better screen you don't bring with you doesn't get you anywhere.

    My recommendation is try the rMini and see if it does what you need.
  3. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    My rMini is perfect, no yellowing and from the sounds of your post, it seems like the mini would be the better choice.
  4. ghsNick thread starter macrumors 68030


    May 25, 2010
    No color editing. I'll be using it for surfing the web at work, typing, general use, etc.

    Nothing too heavy or crazy.
  5. RickTaylor macrumors 6502a

    Nov 9, 2013
    Unfortunately, there's not much more to say. The Air has a bigger better screen, and the mini is more portable. It boils down to which is more important to you, and that's a personal matter.

    To me, ignoring size, the difference between the Air and retina mini screen is hardly noticeable. I only see it when I look at images set up to compare the two (such as Anandtech's wallpaper example), and it's something I hardly care about. To me, the retina mini screen looks beautiful; bright and clear. Other people are more sensitive to the difference between the Air and the retina mini. Of course even disregarding this, the Air screen is bigger, and so in some situations easier to use. I use the retina mini for reading pdfs, but I often rescale them a bit to hide the margins and enlarge the text; I wouldn't have to do that on the Air.

    The mini on the other hand is highly portable. To me it feels natural holding in one hand while using the other, for example reading problems out of it and writing them on a chalkboard (i'm an instructor). It's easily pulled out waiting in line or using gps while walking through a shopping mall. If you typically wear a sports coat or carry a purse, then the portability of the device can rival a cell phone; it fits perfectly in a typical sport coat pocket.
  6. JonMPLS macrumors 65816

    May 23, 2010
    Not much to add, but it's worth a trip to look at them yourself. I just took my 3 to the Apple store to compare screens. To me, all are good but all were also different. My 3 is cooler, the Airs were warmer, and the rMini warmer and very slightly muted. If you don't look at them side by side the differences would be hard to remember.

    But I liked all! If I do trade, it will be for a rMini for the form factor. For color editing, I use my Macbook Pro anyway.
  7. shamash macrumors 6502a


    Jul 19, 2008
    Taichung, Taiwan
    If you read a lot of eBooks, no matter the fact that they made the Air smaller than the old iPad, it's still a bit heavy for me personally for long periods of reading. The Mini fixes that completely.
  8. psac macrumors 6502a


    Jul 6, 2009
    I agree with the others. Go with whatever form factor works best for you. I am crazy happy with my rMini.
  9. Ludatyk macrumors 68000


    May 27, 2012
    I've had the iPad 2, iPad 3, iPad 4 & iPad Mini (1st Generation). I always approach as this when choosing between the two... If you want portability.. Get the iPad Mini or if you want something for somewhat as productivity.. Get the iPad Air. Not saying the iPad Mini isn't a productive device it's just it benefits the iPad Air cause of the larger screen.

    You have to look at your entire set up before choosing between the two. As for me, I have a Mac Mini... I don't have a laptop, so I have a iPad Air... It serves as a void for not having a laptop. Some people have an iPad & laptop, that works for them. But I always found.. Anything not heavy intensive I can do on the iPad. If I need to do any video editing or programming... I'd use my Mac. Maybe if you have a laptop... I suggest you look into the iPad Mini due to its portability.

    But, just look at the entire picture... You honestly can't go wrong with either one.
  10. thelookingglass macrumors 68000

    Apr 27, 2005
    I vote Air. The bigger screen is just simply awesome. Per reviews, the contrast ratio is higher on the Air, too. Better experience for reading. My eyes always got tired after a whole reading on the Mini.
  11. balzmcfearson macrumors regular


    Aug 26, 2009
    Go for the Air.

    I exchanged my lte rmini for one. For my usage, I didn't need the portability I thought I did - only took the mini out of the house once. Especially with an iPhone in my pocket.

    The iPad for me in the past has always been more of a laptop replacement 90% of the time. But even when the mini sat a mere 10 feet away, I was just as content not getting off the couch and using my iPhone lol.

    Seriously though the Air is a much more immerseive experience in my opinion and the screen on the Air is NO comparison.

    Another thing to consider (if you have and frequently upgrade an iPhone) is the potential for an increase in screen size next year which would even further reduce the gap between a mini and an iPhone. Pure speculation but something to think about if you plan on holding on to whatever iPad you choose for a year or more.
  12. bevsb2, Dec 13, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2013

    bevsb2 macrumors 68000

    Nov 23, 2012
    I have both and I love both. If I had to choose I would pick the Air because the larger print is easier for me to read if I'm using it for longer periods of time and I primarily use an iPad at home. The screen is gorgeous and I prefer the larger real estate. The rMini has a screen with a little less color saturation than the Air but nonetheless has a great screen. I put the rMini in my purse and take it with me when I go out, something I've never done with a full sized iPad. If you plan to use it away from home often and don't carry a briefcase, I would go with the rMini. The Air is light, but it's size makes it a little more awkward for on the go. The performance is identical and you can't lose with either device.

    As for the yellow screen issue, it can happen with either the Air or the rMini. If possible buy the device in an Apple store and open it there for set up. It is possible to miss minor irregularities under the bright lights in the store, but you could see obvious problems and ask for another device. I returned 3 Airs before getting a screen I was happy with but I'm picky and the first rMini I got had a perfect screen. Most people report here that they were happy with the first device they got. Return policies are generous this time of year and I wouldn't let this concern keep you from getting an iPad.
  13. RickTaylor macrumors 6502a

    Nov 9, 2013
    That's a very good point. I do have a macbook Air, and so don't feel the need for the larger screen of an iPad Air; if I'm doing something serious enough that requires a larger screen, I'll probably want to use the laptop anyway. On the other hand, other people feel that an iphone does everything they want a highly portable device to do, and therefore prefer the Air over the mini.

    Another thing to consider is that Apple has a generous return policy, especially around the holidays. So if you buy a device and decide it's not up for you after all, you can return it. So if for example you buy the retina mini and discover the smaller screen really does bother you or that the portability doesn't appeal to you, you can change your mind.
  14. Misskitty, Dec 13, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2013

    Misskitty macrumors 6502

    Jun 18, 2010
    First thing is, to get real advice, you need to ask someone who has used the mini for a good length of time, as in through actually owning one. Most on here who say they dont like the mini, only give it 20secs in store so they dont see the true benefits that the mini has vs someone who has used one in their everyday life for a good length of time. Take this from someone who has used the 1st gen mini for a year and going on with the air for almost 3 weeks now.

    The biggest reason the mini outsells the full size is cause its form factor, it cant be beat. Well aside from the demand of tablets shifting away from larger to more compact, but thats another story). I will say it, and most other mini owners as well, the mini cant be beat for comfort. I dont care if the air is smaller and lighter, unless you have dinosaur hands, its still a two handed device and has to be carried by hand or in a bag. Now, for People who find the mini too small, need prescription glasses (no offense but after being a lens optician for 7 years, its true). The smaller text viewed in eye exams are much smaller than what the mini displays with the device held close to your eyes. It also takes more skill to use the mini cause it requires more hand eye coordination.

    The air has to be used naked or with skins as opposed to cases, if you want its size and weight feel in hands to match the mini as close as possible. Even then it doesnt match it, but it comes awfully close. And this is coming from someone who absolutely hated typing with a split keyboard at first, but actually quite like it now and very good at it. Cant say i prefer it to reg typing on an unsplit board, but at least on the mini it gives me that option. The air, to thumb type comfortably, (and taking it that you dont want arthritis down the road), doesnt give you that option.

    Typing on the air in portrait, forget about it, the weight is too unbalanced cause of how long it is, so it feels much heavier than it really is and results in more strain in your hands. The mini, can be types in all positions, equally as comfortable.

    Depends if you want to carry it by hand and bag or pocket. Theres a reason why you see people with 8" and under tabs in public and 10" tabs at home on couches.

    Yes the airs screen is better, but i find i can live with the minis too. Not cause i want to, but cause i have no choice since no other tab offers 4:3. One hand use is awesome and once you lose this ability, you will miss it. Its not a factor to air owners cause most air owners never take their air out of the house. The mini is a true handheld device and was meant to be used that way, whereas the air is meant to be on a lap or desk.

    One reason why people used the mini so much was cause you could use it for hours and never feel any strain cause of the form factor. Cant say the same for the air. Ive been using the air as a handheld device for the past couple weeks and i can safely say, your hands and wrists will strain a lot easier and quicker over using the mini.

    Simply put, are you a couch potato? If so, get the air.

    Well thats cause it is. Its 35% larger. Even though many on here will try to tell you that the air is not mich larger and jist as portable. I Dont think so.

    Btw, i typed all this on my mini on about 2mins,
  15. Misskitty, Dec 13, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2013

    Misskitty macrumors 6502

    Jun 18, 2010
    Sorry, but what exactly makes the air a more productive device than the mini? It just really bothers me when I hear people say "oh the air has a bigger screen and its more can get more work done with it." Really? Ipads, no matter the size are a web viewing device, not a productivity device. Until it runs OSX (or at least a more capable version of ios), it will never be a productive device.

    No device running ios will be productive. You cant multitask, (sorry 4 finger swiping between apps doesnt count), you can only run and view one app at a time.

    Aside from larger text and images, the air offers you zero advantage. You have the bigger screen, but Apple doesnt take advantage of it. If the air had bit higher resolution where it allowed you to see more, than yes I could see that being a huge selling factor, but it doesnt.

    On the mini, you make up for the smaller size by holding the device closer to your eyes. Thats what makes the mini a true handheld more intimate device and the air a lap and desk device. And like RickyTaylor said, the mini is just a much more logical choice in travelling situations. You can one hand it, you can walk with it, you can carry it piggy backed to your cell phone and not look out of place.

    For me, being able to carry my mini everywhere my cell phone goes, and have the larger screen when web browsing in public is a HUGE advantage. Theres no way anyone would want to bring their air with them everywhere cause its simply just too big. If you did this with the air, you would look hideous.
    And who enjoys web surfing for longer periods of time on tiny 3.5 and 4" iphone screens? The mini fills this void. Its the ultimate companion to your cell phone.

    The air is a better companion to laptops, not cell phones, but even then I find it to be a poor campanion simply cause of its lack of basic multiasking. If ios had basic multitasking, id see the value in the air, but to me, the air (or any full sized ipad) is a poor choice as a laptop companion cause of the severe limitations. Most people who buy full sized ipads for the couch, only use it to check email, facebook blogs, tweet, and shop. I would not pay $500 for an ios tablet strictly to be used on the couch.

    Its even been said in many reviews, aside from larger text and images, the larger screen is gone to waste.
  16. deeddawg, Dec 13, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2013

    deeddawg macrumors 604

    Jun 14, 2010
    You must be young.

    Multitasking and viewing multiple apps aren't required to be "productive". Many millions of people were quite productive on non-multitasking single-app computers in the years before Windows existed.
  17. richardbb85 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 9, 2009
    well true multitasking would be like, typing sth on the left and watching a clip on the right. i am okay with what the ipad does but to say it has multitasking is kinda stretching it.
  18. meistervu macrumors 65816

    Jul 24, 2008
    Multitasking is a misnomer

    Technically speaking, people don't multitask. We think we do, but what we really do is task switching.

    Many study have shown that task switching is really inefficient as it takes a bit of time for your brain to switch from one task to another. The more complex the task, the more inefficient it is to switch.

    When I want to do good work, I don't "multitask." Can you imagine what Michelangelo's David would look like if he was talking on the phone while chiseling away?
  19. braddick macrumors 68040


    Jun 28, 2009
    Encinitas, CA
    The iPad air is an excellent first choice, with the iPad mini a distant second.

    I own both- and there are advantages to the mini- but the advantages of the Air will far outweigh.

    Obviously a personal choice, and my options work for me.

    Either way, you're going to enjoy your new iDevice!
  20. bigboar macrumors 6502

    Oct 26, 2012
    I owned both and felt just the opposite. I returned the air....Op you need to decide what works best for you...
  21. PDFierro macrumors 68040

    Sep 8, 2009
    I've had the rMini since the day after it came out and today I returned it for the Air, thanks to Apple's generous holiday return policy.

    It sounds like the OP could be happy with either. But if you really want the bigger screen, then go Air. I returned the mini for the Air because it ended up being better for me.
  22. ghsNick thread starter macrumors 68030


    May 25, 2010
    Just got the Air and I'm completely satisfied!
  23. MrXiro, Dec 13, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2013

    MrXiro macrumors 68040


    Nov 2, 2007
    Los Angeles
    "Better Screen" is subjective "More Colorful Screen" would be the more accurate description of the iPad Air. rMini has a higher pixel density so text and pictures are more crisp (326ppi on the rMini VS 264ppi on the Air) but has a lower color gamut, which to some people on here makes it inferior even though the ppi makes up for it... and you would never notice the lower color gamut if you didn't have them side by side.

    I got both and kept the rMini... first reason is price point. That extra $100 goes a long way I got a 64gb rMini instead of a 32gb Air... also I found an open item rMini at Best Buy for $70 off so it was down to $529!!!. 2nd I found I actually preferred the size of the Mini when holding and using. Not that the Air was bad or "too heavy" but it's more comfortable to hold the rMini. I generally use it to surf the net, read articles and play games. I also preferred the Mini for games as it's kind of just right as a portable gaming system, while I found the air slightly larger than I preferred. Video was obviously better on the Air but it's not bad on the rMini either.
  24. samiznaetekto macrumors 65816

    Dec 26, 2009
    I felt the same when the original iPad came out almost 4 years ago. When the novelty wore off, I realized that I have to think whether I'm taking it with me or not for each usage scenario. Unlike a phone, which we don't even think about carrying all the time (grab keys, wallet, and phone - done! - it's automatic), carrying 10" iPad requires decisions, decisions... Carry it in a bag? Carry it by hand? What if I need my hands free? What if... And so on.

    Here's a one-word summary for 10" tablets: "UGH!" :D

    Mini doesn't have such a friction and constant mental struggle. Keys, wallet, phone, slide rMini in front cargo pants pocket - DONE! No second thoughts about bringing it or not. I've taken it to restaurants, to take-out while waiting, public transit, car navigation, waiting in line for 2 hours to get Dell Venue 8 Pro for unbelievable $99, hiking in the mountains, sitting on the toilet in public places :D - I've done it all, and couldn't be more satisfied with rMini.

    So, when the moment comes that you feel that "UGH!" friction, remember Mini. ;)
  25. ghsNick thread starter macrumors 68030


    May 25, 2010
    I appreciate you trying to ruin my purchase lol, but when a larger iPhone comes out I think the rMini will be obsolete.

    I only use it at home and work. Not too much transportation like you, so that's why the rMini probably works for you. I'll be at my desk/couch 95% of the time with this thing.

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