All iPads Cheat Sheet For Air or rMini

Discussion in 'iPad' started by JackParrish, Nov 17, 2013.

  1. JackParrish macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2013
    #1
    I don't mean to add to the noise, but instead to alleviate it a bit. I know there are a lot of folks that are going back and forth right now about the two models, and I've yet to see the choice really framed properly.

    Most people think of these devices in terms of opportunities. I find that a better buying decision is reached--with less second guessing--when you think, instead, of the tradeoffs in a clear and simple way.

    The opportunity is that you get an iPad. That's a good thing.

    Air: The air makes the tradeoff of screen size for weight. Unlike the last full sized iPad, the air is light enough to notice how much weight has been taken out. That's good. But it's still not as light as the rMini.

    For document reading and consuming a lot of type, the tradeoff is noticeable and welcomed. If you're not "out and about" all the time and use it at a desk, while seated (coffee shop, couch, etc), or consume a lot of PDFs, you will notice the generous screen real estate and appreciate it.

    rMini: The rMini makes the tradeoff of size and weight for screen real estate and horsepower. If you're on the subway a lot or always walking around with your ipad--and not sitting down to continually read smaller type or PDFs--you will appreciate the size of the mini and will feel much freer to roam or use a single hand for longer periods of time.

    The decision really is this simple if you allow it to be. Just think of how you will use the device in general, think of the tradeoff you'd prefer to make (or not make), and then purchase and enjoy and don't feel any buyer's remorse or anxiety about the decision.
     
  2. bkribbs macrumors 65816

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    Jan 15, 2012
    #2
    True, another way to think about it is that the mini is more for media consumption and games whereas the larger version more for actual productivity requiring writing or typing, or perhaps reading. Personally, my eyes are good enough where I can do lots of reading on the mini without zooming but that varies.
     
  3. AudiFan macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    #3
    I appreciate this thread and the OP's attempt at simplifying the decision making process. I have the rMini since launch and I will be exchanging it because it has a faulty screen (yellowing at bottom and not as bright as some other demos at the local Apple store).

    This is my first iPad so I don't know what it's like to own the full size version. I'm still unsure if I will exchange my rMini for another one and hope the screen is better, or to just get an air instead.

    My gripes with it so far: I have been using my mini in landscape mode most of the time because I don't like holding it up to my face when reading. I have very good near vision but the text on most websites is so small in portrait. My other gripe is the downgrade in color quality compared to my retina MacBook and iPhone 5s. It's very noticeable to me and I now know the IPad Air doesn't have this problem.

    However I absolutely love the small footprint of this device, it even fits in my raincoat pocket! I also enjoy its ease of one handed use in landscape when reading. I wonder how much of a difference the Air would be in that regard especially considering how tall it is and how that effects weight distribution when holding it on one corner with one hand....
     
  4. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

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    Jul 17, 2008
    #4
    I had the iPad 1-3 and the original mini, and now have an Air. I don't think holding the Air in one corner with one hand can be sustained for longer than a few seconds. Personally, I really prefer the larger screen of the Air, but it really is a two-hand device. I think even if the Air and the mini weighed exactly the same, the sheer surface area of the Air would make it difficult to hold it one-handed. This theory can be tested by cutting a cardboard in the size of a Air, and see if you can hold it one-handed for any length of time.
     
  5. donnaw macrumors 65816

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    Apr 19, 2011
    Location:
    Austin TX
    #5
    I disagree. The Air is not more for productivity for some. The OP has it right. It's all just about weight and screen real estate. Where someone decides to use the device may dictate they buying choice much more than their use. You yourself say that the small screen doesn't interfere with your use.

    Every person just needs to decide between the weight and screen based on how they intend to use the device. And I suppose for some their gender comes into play. Many women carry a larger bag all the time and an Air will fit just fine while some guys don't carry a briefcase or bag but have pockets the mini will easily fit in.

    It's just too hard to make flat statements because each person is different. Personally I prefer the Air, especially because I do use it for media consumption and the larger screen makes it much more enjoyable.

    I do see that some folks are solving the issue by buying both!
     
  6. bkribbs macrumors 65816

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    #6
    How can you disagree? Its much easier to type or write on the larger screen. Its too crammed on the mini.

    As far as reading, both work fine for me, but that's not where I meant the larger screen was needed.
     
  7. donnaw macrumors 65816

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    Austin TX
    #7
    I disagreed with your flat statement that the Mini is for media consumption and the Air is more for productivity. Sorry if I wasn't clear. Personally I think the Air is better for media consumption. That's my opinion and I THINK your post was also your own opinion you just missed adding that point.

    As for typing or writing I would tend to agree but I have read posts and know a couple of friends who think the Mini is just fine for typing, although I imagine most wouldn't want to write/type a long research paper on either one and would prefer a full-fledged computer.. But a friend of mine does a lot of work on his Mini. He prefers it because of all the other reasons most love their Mini, weight and size.
     
  8. bkribbs macrumors 65816

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    Jan 15, 2012
    #8
    Ah gotcha. I can type alright on landscape, but I'm sure it would be much nicer on the air. But really, you should get a keyboard if you need a lot of typing anyways, so that point is moot. But the writing the bigger screen cannot be argued to be worse for.

    I suppose consumption is just preference, but perhaps what my wording should have been is that the mini is better for consumption then it is for productivity.

    Again, people could still disagree, but...
     
  9. donnaw macrumors 65816

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    Austin TX
    #9
    There's always someone who will disagree. :). And in a way I don't disagree with your latest statement but I would turn it around, the Air is better for productivity than the Mini. My friend who uses his Mini for work probably wouldn't disagree either. It's the other considerations that dictate his use of the Mini. Consumption is most probably just a matter of choice and circumstances.

    Personally I really, really love choice! Certainly makes life more fun and interesting. Those scifi movies/books where everyone dresses the same, etc make my skin crawl.
     
  10. gwsmith macrumors member

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    Oct 10, 2011
    #10
    I prefer the Mini

    I had the iPad 4 (retina) and replaced it with the iPad Mini (non-retina). I definitely missed the retina display but the Mini size is so much better for me, even at home, never mind travel, that I was happy with the decision.

    I have small hands and never could hold the full iPad comfortably. And I like to read in bed, laying down. I couldn't do that at all with the full-sized iPad.

    When the iPad Air came out, I hoped it might give me the best of both worlds, but it was too big for me. I've just sold my first gen Mini and am waiting for the delivery of my new iPad Mini Retina.

    If I had unlimited money, I'd buy an iPad Air for watching videos and occasional other uses. But since my budget allows for only one, the Mini wins hands down.
     
  11. MVallee macrumors 6502a

    MVallee

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    Feb 8, 2007
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #11
    I have had an iPad 2, a 4 and an Air. I just exchanged the Air yesterday for a rMini.

    I used the Air for 2 weeks and loved it. Coming from the 4, the size and weight difference was very noticeable and the screen was beautiful. Still, I have been coveting the Mini since last year and only held out for a retina display. As much as I loved the Air I wanted to give the rMini a shot in my daily routine so I could decide once and for all.

    When I first set up the rMini yesterday, I was hooked. The form factor was great, it was very light and initially I did not find the screen to be too small. Part of the reason I have always wanted a Mini was for reading books. Holding a full sized iPad does not feel the same as holding a book or a Kindle (which I used to own). The Mini feels great as an eReader, its light and easy to hold in one hand, and it just feels more like the experience of holding a book because of the dimensions.

    That said, after having it for 24 hours, I am missing my Air a bit. I always found the full sized iPad great for games, web browsing, videos, pretty much everything. It was only when I was reading that I would continually think "man I wish I had a Mini". Now that I have a Mini, I love it when I'm reading but I find myself missing the full sized screen when doing just about anything else. My main issue is the text size on web pages in portrait. I loved viewing the internet in portrait with my previous iPads but now I find myself wanting to zoom or switch to landscape. Also the screen doesn't pop on the rMini the same way it does on my iPhone 5S, Retina Macbook, or the 4 I used for the past year. The colours feel undersaturated now in comparison.

    I have until Jan 7th to return it, and I think I will try to give the rMini a good 2 weeks to fully decide which I would prefer. Right now, leaning towards the Air a bit.
     
  12. bnekic macrumors 6502a

    bnekic

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    Location:
    Cleveland, OH
    #12
    I hold my Air one handed all the time and for extended periods. Are you that weak? Lol, time to hit the gym.

    ----------

    I had the first mini then the retina mini but returned that a few days ago for the Air...couldn't be happier! I'm still amazed how light they made the 9.7" iPad, I can still use it with one hand.
     
  13. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

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    Jul 17, 2008
    #13
    Good for you that you are so powerful. But I hope you don't make a habit of laughing at people who are physically weaker than you. You don't go up to tiny old ladies struggling with a heavy door and suggest they hit the gym, do you?
     
  14. bnekic macrumors 6502a

    bnekic

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    Cleveland, OH
    #14
    Haha no because they're tiny and old. Everybody should work out, it keeps you healthy, strong and let's you hold an iPad Air with one hand
     
  15. snerkler macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 14, 2012
    #15
    That's a matter of opinion though, not fact. I have large hands and yet find it easier to type on the mini.

    The rMini is almost the perfect device for me. I still believe the only reason that Apple didn't use the same colour gamut on the rMini is to keep air sales high, and also so people will upgrade the mini for the next version. If it was a cost issue I certainly wouldn't have minded paying that little bit extra for a better screen. It's the one thing that's stopping me from buying it :( That being said, I have just ordered one for my wife, so I'll test that out and see if I can 'cope' with the poorer screen or not. If not I'll either go for the Air, or hang on to my iPad 3 until the release of the next mini in the hope they don't pull another stunt like the last 2 releases.
     
  16. Night Spring, Nov 18, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013

    Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

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    Jul 17, 2008
    #16
    How do you know I'm not tiny and old? :D

    Not that I consider myself old yet, but I really am kind of small, and doubt any amount of working out will let me hold the iPad Air (or even a cardboard cut that size) by a single corner for any length of time.

    I suspect it really was a cost issue. YOU might not mind paying only, say, $50 less for the smaller model, but I think Apple felt that the majority of the market would feel that is too small a difference. As it is, I suspect Apple is taking a smaller margin on the mini than the Air. It has most of the same components as the Air, AND a screen with higher pixel density. The only real cost difference I see is that the mini requires less aluminum for the casing. I haven't seen any estimates of the cost of material for the mini vs the Air, but I think the difference would be less than $100.
     
  17. snerkler macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 14, 2012
    #17
    That's why I said I wouldn't mind paying extra, not everyone wouldn't mind paying extra :p

    I doubt the difference in extra glass and aluminium, and extra gamut comes anywhere near £80, which then kind of suggests that 'we're' being 'ripped off' with the Air :p;)

    Edit: I think you're over egging it about holding a piece of cardboard surely ;)

    ----------

    Well I've just had a dispatch notification for my wife's rMini but it's not due to arrive (UK) until next week :( Guess it's coming from China or somewhere?
     
  18. lulla01 macrumors 68020

    lulla01

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    Jul 13, 2007
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    U.S
    #18
    I couldn't decide, so i got both.

    Air 1284g for a total package and I got a mini 32gb wifi for travel.


    The best of both worlds
     
  19. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

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    Jul 17, 2008
    #19
    No, I'm not, really. I just tried with a closed magazine. Holding one by a corner gets uncomfortable in a few minutes. I either need to put it in my lap, or hold it with both hands.
     
  20. snerkler macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 14, 2012
    #20
    Eeks, a piece of cardboard in iPad size will weigh next to nothing, the weight and even the rotational force when holding it should be next to nothing. I suffer a lot with RSI's due to my job, and whilst the iPad 3 gets heavy holding it one handed, I'm sure I could hold a piece of cardboard for a very long time (although I may just get general fatigue from the actual gripping action, but this would take a considerable amount of time).

    Are you in good health?
     
  21. Good.Shepherd macrumors member

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    Mar 8, 2011
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    USA
    #21
    And I think as this thread kind of brings out, and it was tried to say in the OP, is that most of us have much more simple thinking about tradeoffs than we do about opportunities.

    Thinking of opportunities is crippling. There's too much. "Maybe I'll use it in bed, maybe I can replace my old laptop, maybe I can...." and it goes on forever.

    But really, there's one or two major tradeoffs you make between them, and if you're honest and clear with yourself about those, the decision is much easier. You may or may not follow up on the opportunity thinking (how many have bought LTE and never used it like they thought?). But you'll face the tradeoffs every day.
     
  22. bkribbs macrumors 65816

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    Jan 15, 2012
    #22
    If you have large hands and prefer the mini, you seem to be in the minority. I haven't used the air but I imagine the keyboard is preferable, and that's the opinion I seem to have gathered from what many say.
     
  23. snerkler macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 14, 2012
    #23
    Unfortunately for me it doesn't, it makes it harder. I want the size of the mini with the screen of the Air, and I can't decide which is more important :(

    (I like to be awkward ;))

    ----------

    Depends where you collect your 'data' from :)
     
  24. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

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    Jul 17, 2008
    #24
    I'm not sick or anything, but as I said, I am rather small, and not physically strong.

    I mean, I can hold a magazine comfortably one handed if I hold the middle of a side, but on a corner -- I think the rotational force (thanks for the term, btw) is a bit much for me.

    If you said you would give me a $1000 if I held a magazine by the corner with one hand for an hour, I might do it, but it would by no means be an enjoyable experience. And I guess that's the point I've been trying to make -- holding something the size of an iPad Air by a corner wouldn't be an enjoyable experience for me, even if it were as light as a sheet of paper. Even with the mini, I didn't think "oh, good, I can use this with one hand." I think most of the time, I used the mini too with two hands, or resting on my lap / pillow.
     
  25. snerkler macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 14, 2012
    #25
    I agree re bigger iPads, over time they do start to get heavy holding it in one hand. I'm not someone that likes to hold it in two hands though, hence me looking at swapping my iPad 3 for the rMini or air. After 20-30mins reading from the iPad 3 it does start to get uncomfortable. The mini I think I could hold all day long, but if I do go down the air route I do hope that I could hold it for a good length of time.
     

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