All iPads iPad 3 to iPad Mini 2 -> what sort of improvements can I expect?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Abazigal, Jan 11, 2014.

  1. Abazigal macrumors G3


    Jul 18, 2011
    Hi all,

    I am currently using an iPad 3, and while it still performs reasonably well, I notice it is starting to lag noticeably under IOS7. I am thinking of upgrading to an iPad mini 2, but would like to know more about what sort of improvements i can expect.

    Some background, I am a teacher using my iPad in my daily classroom teaching. I mirror it to my smartboard using my macbook running the airserver app. I often refer to assignments in the Notability app (saved as pdfs) and find that the larger files tend to take quite a while to render.

    I also use it for a variety of other productivity and entertainment-related tasks, such as iWorks, gaming, and news reading using apps like Zite, and well, everything just feels a few seconds slower than they should.

    Would the iPad mini 2, with its more powerful GPU, allow the pdfs to render faster? Has anyone upgraded this way, and care to share your experiences? Much appreciated. :)
  2. KeepCalmPeople macrumors 65816


    Sep 5, 2012
    San Francisco Bay Area, California
    My wife has an iPad 3. My daughter has a retina iPad mini. EVERYTHING runs noticeably more quickly on the retina iPad mini.
  3. YanniDepp macrumors 6502


    Dec 10, 2008
    I moved from an ipad 3 to a retina mini today.

    You'll notice the size and weight. It's really tiny and very light.

    It's also a lot faster. I can't really comment, because my ipad 3 still runs ios 6, so it's pretty fast. If you have ios 7 on your ipad 3, you'll notice the speed improvement a lot more.

    The ipad 3's screen has a better colour range than the retina mini. You'll notice that bright reds and purples look a lot brighter on the ipad 3 than they do on the retina mini. The colour reproduction on the retina mini is closer to the ipad 2.
  4. Ledgem macrumors 65816


    Jan 18, 2008
    Hawaii, USA
    I have an iPad 3, iPad Mini, and retina iPad Mini. The retina Mini is much faster when it comes to loading apps, loading Notability documents, and searching PDFs. I don't time these operations, but I use my Mini in a professional setting. Searching PDFs is easily double the speed or faster; loading complex Notability documents and performing certain operations (moving large swaths of handwriting, for example) is faster, but not necessarily double the speed. Opening apps isn't quite double the speed, but it's notably faster. Apps aren't unloaded from RAM quite as easily as with the iPad 3 or iPad Mini, but it's still more aggressive than I'd like.

    It's a great upgrade, but it's still not "excellent." The original Mini was perfectly usable and very useful, and the retina Mini increases the responsiveness and speed even further. Yet for those of us using the device in environments where even a second or two matters, it's still far from perfect. I've never been the type to upgrade with each product that Apple releases, but for my work iPad Mini it seems that I might be in for the "Mini 3" that will likely be released later this year.
  5. SomeGuyDude macrumors 6502a


    Mar 19, 2011
    This paragraph depresses me. I can just imagine you opening an app and in the millisecond it takes for the animation to start you're already screaming at it to hurry up.

    I swear, some people expect everything to be literally instantaneous and anything less is a disappointment. They're the same people who scream and howl about cell phone service if they don't have full 4G out in the boonies or say their ISP sucks if it doesn't download an entire Blu-Ray rip torrent in the blink of an eye.
  6. Traverse macrumors 604


    Mar 11, 2013
    Does Notability ever crash? I was working with an 80 page powerpoint PDF and it crashed every time I tried to use it. I assume it was just too much for my iPad 3's A5X. I wonder if this would be better on the A7...
  7. Abazigal thread starter macrumors G3


    Jul 18, 2011
    Well, I took the plunge and ordered a retina iPad mini over the weekend. It arrived yesterday and I have just finished re-downloading all my apps. Using a Spigen Tough Armour case on it. It does add a fair bit of weight to the iPad, but I figured that since I will be using it in class, I need the extra cushioning, and I don't like those folio cases which block the camera when the cover is folded back.

    First impression is that it is noticeably snappier. Everything I do just seems that bit smoother and quicker than it did on my iPad 3. PDFs also render faster in notability. I haven't tested to see if this is also the case for goodreader though.

    The screen is gorgeous, on par with the iPhone. I wonder if this is one of those things I cannot downgrade from after I have seen it?

    The split keyboard also seems to work better in portrait mode, possibly because of the narrower width of the device. I am composing this post this way right now.

    All in all, a decent upgrade (as it should be). Will see if the a7 chip affords any improvement under airplay mirroring load. :)
  8. Ledgem macrumors 65816


    Jan 18, 2008
    Hawaii, USA
    Don't be depressed. As I mentioned in my post, I use the iPad in a professional setting. Specifically, I use it in medicine, where I write down notes while speaking with my patients and look up lab values from our hospital's database. I don't mind waiting a few seconds for an application to load when I'm in the comfort of my own home, but it's a different story when I'm trying to get work done and it isn't just my time that's being burned by app load times.

    The original poster mentioned using his iPad in a professional setting, as well, and hence this is my opinion. For home users, sure, the speed is likely more than adequate and the device could get an "excellent" rating. But if you're doing something "mission critical" where every second matters (as is the case in many work environments), then no, we're not quite there yet.

    As far as I can recall, Notability has never crashed on me. I've experienced a soft crash ("respring") when switching back and forth between Notability and another app or two, but that's an issue that is thought to be more closely related to instability in 64-bit iOS. Granted, none of my note documents have made it up to 80 pages - I think the most I have is around 20, made up of a mixture of PDF pages and regular note pages interspersed between them.
  9. Gav2k macrumors G3


    Jul 24, 2009
    Op it's the same as the difference between the original mini and the retina mini. Both of which are displayed next to each other in your local apple store. Go try. You'll see a massive difference in boot and launch times.
  10. dr34mc4st3r macrumors regular


    Aug 18, 2009
    I have made the switch from iPad 3 to iPad Retina Mini.

    I really liked the speedy A7 on iPad rMini. It just feels great to use. I was not bothered by the reduced colour gamut of the retina mini.

    But oh gosh, iOS7 is a crashfest. Change wallpaper? Crash. Safari? Crash. Some random app? Crash. :confused::confused::confused:

    I never had an iOS device that crash so many times in my life. I hope iOS7.1 is indeed the saviour. :)
  11. Medic311 macrumors 68000


    Jul 30, 2011
    you will first notice how lightweight the iPad Mini 2 is. then you'll notice how quick it is. then you'll realize the battery life is insane.

    the iPad 3 was an iPad that shouldn't have been. it was simply a way to bridge the gap that plagued Apple getting the A6-series processor ready for prime time in the iPad. the A5X was minimally capable of powering the Retina display of that size, at the expense of several factors - heat, performance, battery life, etc. i had an iPad 3 and i was glad to get rid of it. my iPad 4 is significantly faster, the battery life is insane, and it runs much cooler too.
  12. rkuo macrumors 6502a

    Sep 25, 2010
    The iPad 3 gets a bad rap. It was the first device with 1GB of RAM and as a result has held out the longest so far in terms of upgrade cycles. The iPad mini was far worse ... being under spec on release and only saved by virtue of its price point. Frankly, the iPad 3 is still quite usable, whereas the iPad 2 and iPad Mini 1 are just painful.
  13. Shasta McNasty macrumors 6502a

    Shasta McNasty

    Jan 5, 2010
    Southern Cali
    It's a lot snappier in every and all aspects.

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