Due to the decrease in size of the bezels, thumb typing in portrait is actually not bad at all! I was surprised to find this out the first time I started using my Air. It's not as easy as in the rMini (which is incredibly easy, and is probably the best iOS device for this), but it's acceptable.
Thumb typing in portrait is easier on the air than on the previous gen iPads. The side bezels have been slimmed down quite a bit, so your thumbs can navigate the QWERTY keyboard much easier by covering more surface area.
That's why on the mini it's the easiest to thumb type (since it's much narrower than the Air)
Debating between the Retina Mini and the Air, so I was wondering about thumb-typing. Thumb-typing on the iPad 4 is very uncomfortable. Any opinions on thumb typing on the iPad Air would be great. Thanks!
this is my 2cents on this. portrait typing is definitely in favor of the mini if you don't split it, though i'll say its almost as good. Landscape typing OTOH is strange on the mini since it's actually too small for any long period of time. I'll admit to using the mini like a large iphone that types superbly in portrait mode, whereas the ipad air feels more an at home device lounging on the couch. I use mine mostly at home and the gamut thing bothered me, so i chose the air. I would try out however you plan on using it in the store to see what you think yourself.
Try splitting the keyboard...