All iPads Anyone switch from a fullsize iPad to a rMini


macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 23, 2011
Just upgraded from a 2 to an Air yesterday. I absolutely love the screen resolution, but am having second thoughts on the size. When I held the rMini, it felt perfect in my hands, but I was worried that web pages would be harder to read (90% of my use is web browsing, the rest is games and pandora). I mostly use the iPad around home, on the couch, and sometimes take it to school and other places.

That being said, has anyone switched to a mini after using a full size? Input is appreciated, especially about web browsing.

Is there any negative to switching from an Air to a rMini other than a smaller screen? The $100 back would be awfully nice, and I think I might like the portability.


macrumors 604
Oct 23, 2010
I had both the rMini, iPad Air and two 1st gen mini iPads(one was given to me). In any case, I gave the two 1st gen mini iPads away to friends. The rMini I took back to the Apple Store since it wasn't working out for me so well.
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macrumors member
Mar 22, 2011
London, UK
i had every 9.7" iPad up until the iPad 4. I was very happy with every single one. The only issue was the weight. I use the ipad a lot in bed and in landscape mode and found it uncomfortable after a while to do so. The only reason i never went for the Original iPad Mini was the lack of retina, so when the rMini came out i had to look.

It took me so long to decide, and after reading so many forum posts which slated the rMini, i thought i would make my own decision after i'd tried one out. I bought mine and intended to make a decision before the two week returns was up.

In all honesty, i completed forgot the possibility of returning it. The weight is just so perfect. I still use it in bed and hold it with one hand. Never am i finding myself having to zoom in and out on web pages as most webpages i use are optimised for tablets. I actually tried the Air out in the apple store for a good hour and still found myself finding it a too large a device. It is a machine and a half dont get me wrong, but i have a feeling ill be buying Mini's from now on.

To summarise, the weight was my biggest issue and the Mini fixed that. Web browsing hasnt been hindered at all, and not once since purchasing have i wished for a larger screen. Hope this wall of text helps. Good luck with your decision.


macrumors 6502
Mar 18, 2008
I had the first-generation Mini and loved it. Sold it thinking I would get a retina Mini, then the smaller, lighter Air came out first. I gave in and ordered the Air without actually handling/using one, but I couldn't get the easy handling of the Mini out of my mind. So I exchanged the Air for a retina Mini - got a 64GB cellular rMini for the same price as the 32GB cellular Air. I couldn't be happier. I absolutely love the rMini and would never go back to a full-size iPad. Web browsing is fine, and text is super-sharp. If some text is too small for you, you can always zoom in. Reading books, games, and just about everything else is great on the rMini.


macrumors 68030
Sep 15, 2012
I switched from an iPad 3 to the rMini. I always use the browser in landscape, so I haven't felt any downside so far to the smaller screen size.


macrumors 68040
Mar 3, 2008
I went from the full size, first gen iPad to my retina mini. The text is smaller, but it's so much easier to hold and read in bed. I've nodded off with my mini in bed and the bonk on my nose isn't as painful, fwiw.
My reading vision is still pretty decent. If yours isn't, you will have a harder decision.


macrumors member
Feb 6, 2008
Went from an iPad 3 to iPad Air thinking that's the one for me but after taking it on a two week trip, having used it sparingly, I ended up giving it to my brother. I am now a happy owner of a rMini! Perfect size that I can take with me to most places.


Staff member
May 3, 2009
I went from an iPad 1 to the first gen mini then to the rMini. I couldn't believe the size/weight difference between the mini and the behemoth iPad 1. I know subsequent iPads have gotten lighter and thinner but for me the change was dramatic :D


macrumors 68000
May 23, 2010
Have a 1 and a 3, so decided to change to a rMini this time around. So far I am really happy. Used mainly for traveling, and just great for reading, watching movies on the plane, etc.


macrumors 6502a
Jul 6, 2009
I also find the rMini in landscape mode is a perfect device for web browsing. Overall just love love love it.


macrumors regular
Mar 26, 2011
I had an Air bought a MBPr so I returned it for the rMIni. Kept it for 3 days and returned it for the Air. It was way to small for me didn't like how you had to keep pinching and zooming in and out for web browsing. Love the form factor but didn't like function.

Brian Y

macrumors 68040
Oct 21, 2012
I went from a 2 to a rMini - and I love it. It's not *that* much lighter, but it feels much lighter when you're carrying it around.

Going from an iPad 2 + 15" MBP to a rMini + 11" MBA made my backpack much happier!


macrumors 6502a
Mar 19, 2011
Went from a 3rd Gen to a Mini. Don't regret it even a little bit.

If I had the Air, it would basically be a smaller laptop. Maybe if I was using it as my ONLY portable device, like if I had an iMac for my home PC, but I have a 15" MBP. While not an MBA, it's a device that goes in a backpack or big sleeve. The rMini can slip into a jacket pocket. That's what I got it for.


macrumors 6502a
Oct 10, 2011
I have gone from the original mini, to the iPad air and back to the rmini, I am staying with this for good, unless the come out with a iPad Pro


macrumors 6502a
Dec 9, 2009
those complain about the air weight should go workout and lift some 5lbs dumbbells, the air is like 1lbish, give me a break


macrumors 6502a
Feb 25, 2011
I did. It isn't the weight savings for me (although that is nice). It is the fact I can wrap my digits around it and carry it in a pocket that is awesome.


macrumors 6502
Mar 18, 2008
those complain about the air weight should go workout and lift some 5lbs dumbbells, the air is like 1lbish, give me a break
It's not just the weight difference that makes the rMini easier to hold and use. There's only about .25lb difference between the Air and rMini. It's the way the weight is distributed. The center of gravity is closer to where you're holding it on the rMini than on the Air. I'm in pretty good shape, and I exchanged the Air for the rMini, and the difference in the ease of holding/using it is major.


macrumors 6502
Jul 18, 2010
Plusses and minuses; sixes and sevens; half a dozen of one, six of the other…

However, a big issue is which web sites you visit regularly--and whether they have a Reader function that works well. Browsing can be a nuisance on the Mini. Pinch-zooming often does NOT work as the text gets bigger, but then moves off the page--and you end up having to scroll back and forth--a major nuisance!

And, in iOS 7, alas, the Reader function in Safari is no longer accompanies by its own text size control (you have to set it in the Settings and it can wreak havoc with other apps' text sizes).

Center of gravity is an issue with the Air, especially when typing. I dropped the Air twice onto a bed. If you split the keyboard and position it reduced a third of the way up the page, it rebalances the center of gravity when typing.

Personally, I think there's much to be said for having both a Mini and an Air--although, we're still finding our original iPad a good competitor for the Air!


macrumors 6502a
Jul 24, 2011
Aberdeen, Scotland
I went from a 3 which lived on a stand on my kitchen table and never moved, to a retina mini which which does sometimes leave the stand, because it's so much easier to carry.

Reading back issues of New Scientist through Zinio is definitely better on a larger retina screen - a whole page fits and the text is legible. On my old original iPad, and on my new retina mini, I have to zoom in, which is surprisingly irritating.

New Scientist now has an app, which scales better than Zinio's photographs of paper magazines.

Websites work just right on the retina mini, though of course it depends which ones you visit and how good your eyes are. Macrumors fits perfectly.


macrumors 6502a
Oct 13, 2011
I've used a full size iPad 1 & 2 but I never bought one, partly just because they seemed too large. I bought the rMini about a week ago and I'm loving it. The size is perfect.


macrumors 65816
Dec 26, 2009
those complain about the air weight should go workout and lift some 5lbs dumbbells, the air is like 1lbish, give me a break
It's not about heavy lifting, the fatigue is caused by discomfort in the finger tips and various small muscles. The Air is not only 42% heavier than the rMini, but also has 26% longer lever arm, so the discomfort is about 80% worse with Air than rMini.

Lifting 5lbs or 100lbs dumbbells won't change this.


macrumors regular
Dec 25, 2006
Used the full sized iPads since version 1. Got a rMini for Christmas and won't be going back. Love the size and now the screen is as good as it gets on an iOS device.


macrumors member
Oct 23, 2013
Having owned every generation of full size iPads and now Minis, I must say that for my usage I'd pick the rMini in a heart beat. As a matter of fact, I just got rid of my iPad Air because it was practically collecting dust and I realized that the mini fit the bill for everything I needed a iPad to do.

My initial thought process when I bought both models was to use the Air in and around the house, and to utilize my rMini when I leave the house for appointments, etc.

That quickly changed because the mini is much more comfortable to hold and type on in landscape position. Now that the rMini is on par with its big brother in regards to hardware specs, my opinion is that eventually the larger iPads versions will be targeted towards niche groups.

Just my 2 cents.

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