All iPads Can't decide between mini and air, please help?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by iPhone7ate9, Sep 12, 2014.

  1. iPhone7ate9 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 22, 2014
    Have any of you owned both? Or own one or the other and wish you had the other?

    Does the Air have a retina display?
  2. docprego macrumors 65816

    Jun 12, 2007
    Henderson, NV
    I have an Air, typing on it now. It does have a retina display. I'm very happy with it. My wife has a Mini right next to me all the time. I like both devices but they have their pros and cons. Obviously the Air has more screen real estate which I like but the Mini is undeniably more portable. Ultimately go to an Apple store and use both in every way you normally would. Only then can you make the choice for yourself.

    On a related note, I wouldn't buy either right now as they are both rumored to be updated next month.
  3. iPhone7ate9 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 22, 2014
    Well I was hoping the current version would get discounted at that time because I don't think any upgrades would really benefit me. But maybe, who knows.
  4. mangomind macrumors 6502a


    Mar 15, 2012
    My opinion based on experience:

    Size of the Air: more of a laptop replacement, nice for web browsing
    usage: rest on lap or table while using (while sitting down)
    portability: stationary

    Size of the mini: more of a book replacement, nice for reading books
    usage: hold device in the air while using (while sitting down, standing, moving)
    portability: portable
  5. Bromio macrumors 6502

    Jun 6, 2014
    I've been using both iPads in the stores and nowadays, thank the iPad Air weight, I will buy the Air undoubtedly. I believe it is more versatile, unless you're going to use it just for reading ebooks.
  6. Beta Particle macrumors 6502a

    Jun 25, 2012
    I bought a Retina Mini and replaced it with the Air.
    I found that when using a lot of apps, content was just too small to be comfortable to read.
    After an hour of using the Mini I had eyestrain, while that had never been an issue with the larger Retina iPads.

    I mostly use the larger iPads in portrait, and with the Mini I was having to use the device in landscape or constantly zoom in on websites for things to be comfortable to read - this means you can only display roughly half the content on the Mini as the Air, which felt cramped.

    I did not find the Mini comfortable to type on.
    With the larger iPads I mostly use the split keyboard to type with, but on the Mini this was uncomfortable due to my hands being too close together.
    The "big" keyboard on the Mini was too small to use comfortably as well. On the larger iPads, the big keyboard in landscape is almost a full-size keyboard which I can type very quickly with - not much slower than a real keyboard.

    The screen on the current Mini sucks. The resolution is good but the color is bad. I'm sure that will be fixed with the new one.

    If I needed a device that I could carry about with me all the time, or was only planning on using it for reading books or playing games, the Mini might be fine. I know people that own them, love them, and wouldn't trade them for an Air. They just aren't for me though.

    For what it's worth, I have a Kindle Paperwhite for reading books on, I rarely use the iPad. Not that you can't use an Air for reading books, but I find it a lot more comfortable with the smaller/lighter device, and the E Ink screen.
  7. s2mikey macrumors 68020


    Sep 23, 2013
    Upstate, NY
    The ONLY reason anyone should choose the mini over the Air would be that portability is their most important factor. Otherwise, the Air and it's bigger screen is a better experience in every way possible. Let that be your guide.
  8. JonMPLS macrumors 65816

    May 23, 2010
    I just kept going back to the Apple store and playing with both until I made my decision. Liked both, but went with the mini for travel and reading books. (also have a 1 and a 3 at home)
  9. Shadowbech macrumors 601

    Oct 18, 2011
    Planet iPhone
    I would say if you don't really care about the next generation iPad Mini RD then you could get the current generation. Even the current generation is still powerful as it is.

    If you don't mind waiting for one more month then wait and find out what Apple has to bring for the iPad line up.

    Anyways if you are looking for portability then get the iPad Mini,

    If you don't mind carrying a 10 in. then get the Air.
  10. kazmac macrumors 603


    Mar 24, 2010
    On the silver scream
    I would wait a month if you can OP. The next generation Air might be lighter than this current one (thinner usually translates into lighter for Apple), BUT this is speculation. Even so, I would wait unless you want the current gen.

    I tried both. Ultimately opted for a Mini for portability. Ironically, I never carried it with me. It was a bit small for reading, so I pretty much used it for watching videos and quick email and/or checking transit/weather and some light internet searches.

    Others have given wonderful reasons as to why both work. I am lousy with iPad recommendations since I never hang onto them, but if I were the OP, I'd wait and see what Apple will introduce next month(?)
  11. Max Your Macs macrumors member

    Sep 13, 2008
    Daytona Beach, FL
    I have bounced back and forth between a fill size iPad and a mini since the minis first came out. As great as the Air is, I still find the mini to be the perfect size for a tablet. I also have an 11" MacBook Air so the iPad Air is just so close in size that it didn't make much sense to carry both in my bag or even choose one over the other when at home. The mini simply has a huge weight/size/hold-ability advantage over the Air when it comes to reading or watching video. It is a very personal device and this size is ideal for me.
  12. Ledgem macrumors 65816


    Jan 18, 2008
    Hawaii, USA
    I have an iPad mini retina and an iPad 3rd generation (also retina display). I tend to grab the full-sized iPad when I'm at home, but ever since getting the iPad mini it has not left the house. Thus, if I had to choose one, it would be the iPad mini.

    The iPad mini - even with an Otterbox Defender case equipped - fits into jacket and coat pockets that my "naked" full-sized iPad does not. The iPad Air is slimmer and thinner on the sides, but I've estimated the dimensions and it would still be too large and tall for those pockets. The larger screen is nice, but the purpose of the device is defeated if you can't easily bring it around, right? Granted, this assumes that you're looking for a portable device to bring almost everywhere, as opposed to just around the house and on occasional outdoor trips.
  13. ColdShadow macrumors 65816


    Sep 25, 2013
    I've owned both.
    I bought rMini day one,but after just few days decided to return it and buy the Air instead,just because I thought the price difference was not too much,and I felt the bigger display Air was a better deal.(I felt rMini was over priced vs Air).
    Been using the Air since then,however I'm now thinking about selling the Air and buy the rMini again!
    the form factor of the rMini is superior for my needs,and it's much more portable and easier to hold and use and carry.
    I really don't want to carry the Air outside the house as it's too big.
    also I do a lot of night time web surfing and youtube watching in bed,and Air is too big and heavy to hold in bed.
    I think the 7.9 inch is the sweet spot and ideal tablet size for most people.
  14. iPhone1 macrumors 65816


    Apr 2, 2010
    San Diego, CA
    I currently own both. The Air in my opinion is superior as far as the display is concerned. The mini is awesome for portability but the screen of the Air is just so much nicer. If you're looking to use it on the road a lot, get the mini. Using it mainly at home, get the Air.
  15. iPhone7ate9 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 22, 2014
    I chose the mini, I'm glad I did. I like the air, but when I got the mini I noticed that it did have weight to it, so an Air might get a little unwieldly after a while. I can also hold it in one hand which is nice.
  16. ron7624 macrumors 68020


    Oct 14, 2011
    Houston, Texas area
    The Air is retina. I have and use both. For me, the mini is the tablet that I'd own If I could have only one. Portability rules for me. In adition, I can hand hold the mini indeffinately.
    I use the rMini 90% of the time! the Air and iPhone the other 10%
  17. yinz macrumors 6502a

    Apr 12, 2012
    It really depends on what you plan to do with it. Do you want to work on it? Do you plan to share on it? If you do, then you probably want the Air.

    If you just read and surf the web and type very rarely, then maybe Mini is better.
  18. Daws001 macrumors 6502


    Jul 27, 2011
    The States
    I own the mini (retina). It's a more comfortable ereader but I also use it as an alternative to lugging my MBA around. I suppose if I didn't have a MBA then I would have an iPad Air instead.
  19. psac macrumors 6502a


    Jul 6, 2009
    I also think the rMini is perfect for game playing. The size makes for good placement for dual-stick/thumb controls, and it also works well for full touch-control games where you hold with one hand and control with the other. One-handed holding of a full-sized iPad can get tiresome after a while.
  20. rustyosaurus macrumors regular

    Jun 13, 2009
    i got the air first and then also got the rMini when that came out. my plan was to choose between the two of them, but i couldn't so i ended up keeping both.

    i really like the rMini for looking at stuff in bed. i find the air to be really cumbersome one handed, even when propping up to watch a movie. and i like reading books better on the mini.

    but i don't think i can get rid of the air. i much prefer it when i don't have my laptop with me, like when i'm on vacation.
  21. negroswamy macrumors member

    Sep 15, 2014
    I really like what someone mentioned abt having portability be your main factor for the mini. I have an ipad 3 and would like to donate it after I see what they come out with in October (thinking abt the new mini w max hard drive space).

    Also, I'm planning on waiting until Black Friday if I do buy (although they might just match the student discount, which I already get). That way both versions will prolly be discounted (but I'm a patient dude).

    Somewhat related: does anyone know if u would be able to try out an app in your iTunes account on a display piece at the apple store? I pretty much use 1 app that I can't compromise my experience with on: goodnotes - it's perfect on my ipad 3 and I'm wondering if it would be just as perfect on the iPhone 6+ (already tried it on the mini & it's great!). That's seriously the only thing necessary to me. If I can get the same productivity out of it on the big iphone, then I need nothing else!
  22. plusnq macrumors member

    Jul 15, 2013
    I have an iPad 3 and an iPad mini retina. I just spent two weeks in hospital and found that I used the mini nearly all the time. I think it was due to restricted space and ease of holding for long periods. The iPad3 rarely leaves the house but is used a lot just lounging around.


  23. JSalig macrumors 6502

    Oct 30, 2010
    I have an ipad mini and pretty much regret choosing it over an ipad Air. However my habits dictate that I really shouldn't be owning a tablet at all. When I want a smaller device I gravitate to my Note 3 and when I want to browse websites I grab my macbook Pro and when I want to read a book I use my kindle. I think the ipad mini competes with too many devices I already have. It probably would have been much less an issue with an ipad Air though I doubt I would be using it anymore than I do the mini.
  24. Acorn macrumors 68020


    Jan 2, 2009
    I got the ipad mini retina and dont like it much. I have to zoom in all the time and everything is to small. Even after adjusting the text size option. Its just to small. I would much rather have the air. The mini is a 128 gb verizon so I wont be upgrading any time soon. A lot of money was already invested. :(
  25. itsmefudge macrumors regular


    Jun 10, 2009
    Middle of the Pacific
    I've had both. Love the Air. I miss how the mini would fit in a pocket, but would not trade it for the air. I take it everywhere too. It's not as cumbersome as you would think being a 10" tablet. Now when I get my iPhone 6 Plus, the Air may end up staying in my bag or on my desk.

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