Ipad 2017 or iPad Mini 4?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by clerkp, Dec 9, 2017.

  1. clerkp macrumors member

    Apr 28, 2015
    Looking for advice on whether to give my kids the 2017 iPad or an iPad Mini 4. The rub is the Mini 4 has 128GB memory (too much) and the 2017 has 32 (too little?). Both were selling at Best Buy this week for $280 so naturally I bought 2 each (2 boys ages 8 and 4) and now I need to decide. I prefer the form factor of the mini but I am concerned that the Mini 4 is outdated tech at this point. I've had lots of trouble with iOS 11 on my existing iPads of varying ages. I don't need them to last 10 years but 3-4 would be nice.

    Thoughts are appreciated. Is the Mini 4 going to be old and slow in a year? My kids use them for the usual stuff although the 8 year old is starting to make movies with his go pro which is why I'm concerned about the 32gb iPad.
  2. bensisko macrumors 65816

    Jul 24, 2002
    The Village
    I wouldn't worry about the iPad Mini 4 getting "slow and outdated" in a year - it should last 3-4 years just fine - especially for the ages.

    Maybe get the 8 year old the 2017 iPad and the 4 year old goes with the Mini 4?
  3. JPack macrumors 68040


    Mar 27, 2017
    The iPad mini 4 is already old today. You don't need to wait a year.

    It uses a processor from 2014. As a result, the mini doesn't support augmented reality apps nor high efficiency file formats.

    iOS 11 isn't kind to old hardware. You're just asking for trouble if you want an iOS upgrade next year.

    Get the iPad (2017), not the mini 4 from 2015.
  4. Richard8655, Dec 9, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2017

    Richard8655 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 11, 2009
    The Mini 4 runs with the A8 chip. Ready for retirement soon. 2017 iPad is the way to go.
  5. achappy macrumors member


    Oct 26, 2017
    Not entirely correct. The Mini can view (not create) high efficiency formats but the videos must be 1080@60fps or 720@240fps.

    The Mini is a great size, especially for the 4 year old but the device is already 2 years old so expecting it to last another 3-4 is probably asking too much. I'd go with the 2017 iPad.
  6. sracer macrumors G3


    Apr 9, 2010
    I have found that RAM is the greater indicator of longevity than pure processor power. I expect the Mini 4 to last as long as the Air 2 and 2017 iPad... give or take 6 months.
  7. coops macrumors regular

    Sep 10, 2009
    Still love my iPad mini... but having got the wife an iphone X, it now seems cleasr why the mini ipad hasn't been updated for so long.

    It's fine as it is (the ipad mini), any genuine improvement will come with the next generation with faceID, minimal bezels and no forehead/chin - so either a slightly larger screen in the ipad mini width (and still overall smaller), or same screen (OLED? or maybe the next big upgrade after faceID rolls out across iPads) and much smaller overall size.

    If you can hold on on buying a new iPad... it's only a matter of time for faceID to come and shrink sizes or increase screen sizes... maybe get a second hand ipad until then.
  8. nephron8 macrumors regular

    Apr 24, 2012
    They are putting bigger screens in iphones and hence I doubt they would put up new ipad mini 5.
    With iphone x,they put bigger screen that plus size in nornal 4.7 inch size.
  9. Brandonjr36 macrumors 68000


    Sep 12, 2016
  10. joeblow7777 macrumors 603

    Sep 7, 2010
    Let's not forget that the only internal difference between the Mini 4 and iPad 2017 is a one generation new chip. They even have the same RAM.

    For what it's worth, other than a bit of a hit in battery life compared to iOS 10, my Mini 4 seems to be performing just fine on iOS 11.2.
  11. JPack macrumors 68040


    Mar 27, 2017
    The iPad (2017) uses DDR4 instead of DDR3. The NAND used is one generation newer. The A9 chip also has a much faster storage controller. It all adds up quickly.
  12. UnLiMiTeD558 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 20, 2009
    iPad 2017 is a great device and definitely way faster than the mini 4
  13. madgibbon macrumors regular

    Mar 1, 2013
    There a big performance gap between the A8 and A9. The dual core A9 is also faster than the tri core A8X in most cases.
  14. sracer macrumors G3


    Apr 9, 2010
    When you refer to a "big performance gap" is that based on performance benchmark numbers or in a head-to-head comparison of specific tasks?

    I would be surprised if there is a performance gap between the A8 and A9 in general every day tasks like playing video, browsing a webpage, or working with a Word document or Excel spreadsheet.
  15. JPack macrumors 68040


    Mar 27, 2017
    If you look at speed tests between A8X and A9X, the latter performs roughly 20% better when loading everyday apps.
  16. mk313 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 6, 2012
    I have access to an iPad Mini 4 & an iPad Pro 9.7, so the comparison isn't completely accurate, but the iPad Pro is much faster in opening apps, etc. While watching a video for example, there is no difference between the two, but the Pro is way faster at opening the TV app & seeing the list of videos. same thing with Excel/word, etc. The Pro is much faster at opening files, and doesn't have any lag (for me) with writing stuff. i sometimes see lag on the mini 4 (iOS 11) when using a bluetooth keyboard.

    The mini is by no means unusable (and i prefer the form factor quite a bit), but the iPad Pro (which seems to be pretty closely spec'ed to the 2017 iPad) is noticeably faster all around.
  17. sracer macrumors G3


    Apr 9, 2010
    Thank you for posting that. The point I was alluding to (which you picked up on in your response) is that performance differences are generally observed in GETTING to the task at hand, not the task itself. I think that is an important distinction for people who are considering getting an iOS device that has an older processor.

    The conventional wisdom is to compare benchmark scores and pick the device that has the better score.
  18. joeblow7777 macrumors 603

    Sep 7, 2010
    In benchmarks, yes, but for typical tablet tasks like web browsing, video streaming, email, and social media, it doesn't matter all that much. In addition to my Mini 4, I also have an iPhone 8 Plus which of course has an A11 and more RAM than either of the iPads in question. Of course the 8 Plus is faster, but my Mini 4 still doesn't feel sluggish or old in comparison.
  19. Falhófnir macrumors 68040


    Aug 19, 2017
    Perhaps this has been the case (though iPad 3 runs as evidence to the contrary) but I’d say with 2gb and above the graphics capability will be the bottleneck - the A9 was twice the graphics performance of the a8 and the a10 was half again on top of that...
  20. Vivian125 macrumors 6502


    May 19, 2017
    TrueLaLush, Sister Sooooo True and i agree with u...iPad 2017 is a bit of garbage compared to iPad Mini 4 for Four Reasons:
    1. iPad 2017 still uses 2GB Ram just like the iPhone 6S, iPad Mini 4, iPad Air 2 and is sooo 2014.
    2. iPad 2017 or even 2018 iPad Lacks Fully Laminated Display while iPad Mini 4Air 2/ Pro has it.
    3. iPad 2017 Lacks Anti Glare, even though iPad Air 2/Mini 4 has already anti reflective screen just like the iPad Pros so you can use it on brighter environments while the iPad 2017 WITHOUT anti reflective can strain your eyes.
    4. iPad 2017 is Heavier, thicker, unlike the iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 4, and new iPad Pros out there.

    To make matters worst, the iPad 2017/2018 is such an incomplete device, nothing but looks like an iPad Air 1 that came from 2013 and it has UGLY black border around the screen making it look like an OLD iPad Air. While iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 4 and iPad Pro are much superior better screen, True HD in comparison to iPad 2017/2018.
  21. ssledoux macrumors 65816


    Sep 16, 2006
    Down south
    While I certainly like the nicer displays, and definitely notice a difference when I look at the 2017 iPad, I’m purchasing for my grandkids, most of whom just like the idea that the 2017/2018 pads are bigger than the minis they’ve been using.

    I’ve also been wanting to unload mini 2s for a while because a lot of their apps don’t function well on those. I just couldn’t decide if I should update them to mini 4s or go on and go to the 2017 pad (mainly because of the great pricing right now).

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20 December 9, 2017