Best iPad for Uni?: Reading and annotating PDFs

Discussion in 'iPad' started by jojods, Jan 5, 2016.

  1. jojods macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2014
    #1
    Hi Guys,

    I'm stuck between buying an iPad mini 4 or waiting for an iPad air 3...

    I'm looking for an iPad to read pdfs whilst writing essays on my macbook pro.

    I currently have a macbook pro 15 inch retina and a 6 plus and am wondering what iPad would fit into my system the best.

    Any help would be much appreciated,

    thanks :)
    --- Post Merged, Jan 5, 2016, Original Post Date: Jan 5, 2016 ---
    Or even the iPad Air 2? I am going to new york in 2 weeks and have seen that I can get the iPad air 2 for £350 at best buy for 64gb. Would it be a good idea to buy that and use it then sell it potentially at a profit to then buy the iPad air 3?
    --- Post Merged, Jan 5, 2016 ---
    just seen that the best buy deal is available for iPad mini 4 too so same question applies haha
     
  2. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

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    #2
    Depends on how much zooming you prefer to do, how much you want to carry around, and how good your eyes are. Really, it is a personal preference. Go down in a store and try them out.
     
  3. jojods thread starter macrumors regular

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    #3
    Does anyone know how long the best buy deals will be available?
    --- Post Merged, Jan 5, 2016, Original Post Date: Jan 5, 2016 ---
    I've tried them both. I used to own an iPad mini 2 but I got rid of it when I got my 6 plus. I regret that now :/ Is the iPad air 2 a better device all around?
     
  4. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

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    #4
    The iPad Air 2 is faster, but for PDFs that doesn't matter at all.
     
  5. joeblow7777 macrumors 601

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    #5
    I love the Mini 4 because I use it mainly for web surfing, email, social media, and watching videos, but if you plan on reading and annotating pdfs a lot then I think more screen real estate would be very beneficial. An Air 2 will probably suit your needs just fine.
     
  6. ssong macrumors 6502a

    ssong

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    #6
    you should try liquid text it's a great app to annotate and organise notes.. I find it perfect for use on my iPad Air 2, but I personally want a bigger screen so I'm moving to the iPad Pro

    Edit
    Final year history student so I've done my fair share of pdf reading and writing :p
     
  7. jojods thread starter macrumors regular

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    #7
    would you guys get an air 2 or wait for an air 3? If i spend £350 on an air 2 at best buy in the states could I sell it on when the 3 comes out?
     
  8. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

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    Jul 17, 2008
    #8
    Unless you have a huge PDFs file, like ones over 200 pages. In that case iPad Air2's 2gb RAM will be a big help. I can't remember how much RAM the Mini4 has. If it also has 2gb then the difference really is only screen size.

    You need an iPad now, correct? Then get what's available now, that is, pick between an Air2 or Mini4. If you wait for Air3 you could be waiting until October/November.
     
  9. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

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    #9
    iPad resale is typically very low - especially after the new model comes out.
     
  10. jojods thread starter macrumors regular

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    #10
    so in that sense i should either buy the mini or wait for the 3?
     
  11. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

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    #11
    Personally I would think the mini would not be well suited to taking notes. These iPads without a proper stylus already require you to zoom in to write much of anything better than children's crayon level. With the mini you have so little screen to work with I think you'd just constantly be zooming in and out.
     
  12. jojods thread starter macrumors regular

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    #12
    i don't know if i'll use it for notes. mostly for reading coursework
     
  13. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

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    #13
    Well by note taking I meant the annotations you mentioned in your post title. The mini is small enough that even to read a pdf document, you'll be doing a lot of zooming, panning and scrolling. For most people the text size will be too small to read a pdf full page without zooming. The full sized ipad is a lot more comfortable for reading documents. That said, you have to decide what you are comfortable with and whether you prefer the much more portable form factor of the mini.
     
  14. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

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    #14
    The Air2 is perfectly adequate for reading PDFs for Uni. So is the Mini4, if you have good eyesight. Even if the Air3 comes out in the spring, that's still 3 months away. If you get an Air2 now, you could spend the next 3 months reading PDFs on it instead of wishing you had an iPad to read on. Then skip the Air3 and consider upgrading when the Air4 comes out. There's no need to have the latest and greatest in order to read for Uni.
     
  15. ssong macrumors 6502a

    ssong

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    #15
    dunno what the price will be later but an iPad Air 2 64gb cellular sells for about £330 at mresell
     
  16. jojods thread starter macrumors regular

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    #16
    I think I can hold out to march if I push myself to wait. Thing is if the iPad air 3 doesn't come out in march then I wouldn't know what to do
     
  17. nalbagli macrumors 6502

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    #17
    Actually I am a student and I wen with the Pro, I know it's more expensive but for me the expierence of marking PDFs with the pencil on the Pro is far superior to what I could do on my iPad Air, I markup lots of PDFs so for me the Pencil was the key deciding factor
     
  18. jojods thread starter macrumors regular

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    #18
    in that case I should wait and hope the 3 gets the Pencil
     
  19. cdcastillo macrumors 6502a

    cdcastillo

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  20. jojods thread starter macrumors regular

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    #20
    even when the 3 comes out? I probably will :/
     
  21. v1597psh macrumors regular

    v1597psh

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    #21
    Oh man, go ahead and decide yourself. Nobody else but you knows better what you want and need. Personally as Computer Science student I have both iPad Air and iPad mini 2. Air I use in uni with Parallels Access and mini I use when I'm on the go. But I would never buy mini if I had 6 plus
     
  22. username: macrumors 6502a

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    #22
    Whatever you get, max out the storage. When I was a student I could easily max out my 64gb mini (before I sold it for an iPad Air 2) with apps, textbooks, PDFs, files and iTunes U materials. Go 128gb cellular for sure so you never have to worry about unreliable wifi or storage.

    But if I have to choose between your alternatives, wait for the air 3. There is no point getting an air 2 at this stage, and you can get by with a 6 plus until then.
     
  23. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

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    #23

    Unless you read the hugest PDF's on the planet, or love scrolling up and down the document for no apparent reason, I don't see how RAM should help. My iPad2 handles large PDF's just fine.
     
  24. joeblow7777 macrumors 601

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    #24
    Yes, the Mini 4 has 2GB of RAM. The only real internal difference is the tri-core A8X chip in the Air 2 vs the Dual-Core A8 in the Mini 4.
     
  25. xraydoc macrumors demi-god

    xraydoc

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    #25
    The iPad mini's screen is small, so depending on the nature of the PDF files you're viewing, it may be too small to be comfortable or you'll be doing a lot of pan/zoom. But it's small and light and has good battery life, so t's easy to toss in a bag and not notice it's there.

    The standard iPad (Air/Air2) screen is a good size and is comfortable for most kinds of documents. Costs (new) $100 more than a similarly equipped iPad mini.

    The iPad Pro is the most expensive of the bunch of course, but the screen size gives you essentially real-life paper sized documents, the screen is sharp as hell, and the Pencil makes annotations a breeze. Also the heaviest (though still relative; weighs what the original iPad weighs, that is, not that much in practical terms).

    The most economic thing is to set your 15" MacBook Pro's screen resolution appropriately and split the screen/window with the PDF on one side and your word processor on the other. After that, it all comes down to mobility, screen size and cost. But all three options have more than sufficient CPU power to display PDFs of virtually any size.

    As for the Air 3, at this point there's no one outside of Apple's lead development team who know anything. It could come out next week or it could be another 6 months or more.
     

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