iPad 4 vs iPad Air

Discussion in 'iPad' started by JohnApples, Sep 14, 2015.

  1. JohnApples macrumors 65816

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    #1
    Hello! First time posting in the iPad forums I think, but I need some opinions on which iPad to go for.

    My father's birthday is coming up, and I think it's time I updated his iPad. He's currently using a Mini 1, which is starting to show it's age and may also be a bit too small as my dad's eyes are also showing their age. Anyway, I started doing some deal hunting, and I found 2 iPad's at this local used electronics store (which has great reviews and I've never, ever had a problem with a purchase there before).

    One is an iPad 4 (16 GB, WiFi+LTE) and one is an iPad Air (16GB WiFi Only). I've been keeping an eye on them for the last few days as they were a fair deal. Well, today I discover that the store is having an amazing deal on both iPad's. The 4 is only $139 while the Air is only $199. Both are listed as "like-new" and both come with the original charger and box (which looks flawless for both models).

    Normally, I would jump on the Air as it's only $60 more, and obviously newer, potentially more powerful, and more likely to be supported longer. However, this is for my dad, who only browses the web, watches some videos, and plays a couple of games. 90% of the time, it's just web browsing though. As much as I'd like to buy both, I'm only getting one. So I'm wondering, which would be the better buy for him?

    The 4 is cheaper, still has the Retina screen, and also includes LTE, should he choose to add it to his cell plan. The Air however is newer, faster(?), and more likely to be supported longer. I guess I'm making this more complicated than it has to be, but my real question is: Would you sacrifice LTE and an extra $60 for the faster Air? Or is the Air's performance not that much better than the 4 (especially when it's just going to be used for web browsing)?

    I've only ever used the iPad Mini 1, so I really don't know much about how the models differ! Any insight or opinions on which I should go for would be much appreciated!

    Thanks!
     
  2. SdkDel macrumors newbie

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    Oct 18, 2014
    #2
    I think that's what it boils down to. If your dad is going to be using it to read / browse 90% of the time, you might as well get the iPad 4. Plus, you have the added bonus of LTE, which in some situations is really convenient!

    If on the other hand it was for using CPU intensive apps, my opinion would differ, but for general reading / media consumption, I'd certainly go for the iPad 4 and save the extra cash :)
     
  3. Devvy macrumors newbie

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    Nov 14, 2014
    #3
    First of all, I think they are great prices for both.
    I think it all depends on the importance of LTE. If you have a use for that, I would definitely go for the 4.
    There is a substantial speed difference between the Air and the 4, but on the other hand, both have 1 GB RAM which nowadays is the limiting factor, especially when browsing and using multiple tabs in Safari.
    Keep in mind that the Air is much, much lighter than the 4 as well. Your Dad might not appreciate the increase in weight, as the Mini 1 is very light too.
     
  4. JohnApples thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #4
    Thank you for the very helpful insight, both of you :)

    I THINK I'm leaning toward the 4, as LTE may definitely come in handy for him as he likes to travel. The weight though is also something to consider...

    How does the 4 perform on iOS8? Do you know by chance? If it's already starting to stutter/slow down while the Air is not, that may also effect my decision. I don't want this one to become bogged down like his current Mini one year from now.
     
  5. Devvy macrumors newbie

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    Nov 14, 2014
    #5
    I do not have experience with the 4 on iOS 8, I have an iPad 2 that is similar in performance compared to the iPad mini 1. (Actually, I consider the iPad 2 on 8.4 to be quite usable).
    There is maybe one other thing: The Air has a 64-bit processor, the 4 a 32-bit. I expect Apple to stop supporting 32-bit someday, but I don't think it will be next year already. But it might.
     
  6. newellj macrumors 604

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    #6
    I owned a 3, which was essentially the same as the 4, and I owned an Air. I hated how heavy and thick the 3 was. I felt like I'd gotten rid of a brick when I sold the 3 and bought the Air.

    FWIW...
     
  7. s2mikey macrumors 68020

    s2mikey

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    #7
    I have the Air and wifey has the 4. Day to day performance is fairly close although the Air is faster overall. The weight difference is rather pronounced though. I have cellular support on mine and I find mandatory to have on a tablet.

    Tough call....but unless you know he'll want the cell data, the Air is the better overall device and for $60 bucks it's worth the improvements. IMO.
     
  8. ron7624 macrumors 68020

    ron7624

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    #8
    A main concern about getting older is the weight of an item. I am older and in great physical shape, but things that were no problem to pick up and carry, like a 6ft wooden ladder, now feels heavier.
    I had an ipad 3 - and traded up for an Air 1.
    Thust me, he will appreciate the lighter weight even if he doesnt appreciate the better tech.
     
  9. MF878 macrumors regular

    MF878

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    #9
    I agree with the last two commenters. The iPad 4 is a hair more than twice the weight of the original Mini, and it may be a bit jarring. The Air is heavier than the Mini, but it's basically proportional to the difference in size, giving them similar density, so it's not a big deal.
     
  10. ron7624 macrumors 68020

    ron7624

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    #10
    Another question about this... Did his Mini 1 have data support, or is he used to wifi only?
     
  11. newellj, Sep 15, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2015

    newellj macrumors 604

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    #11
    Totally mis-read the post; edited.
     
  12. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

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    #12
    From the perspective of someone with a bad eyesight, the Air screen is much easier to read than the 4. Same resolution, but Apple did something to the screen that makes text come out sharper. I've found that people with normal eyesight find the difference too subtle to matter, but for me the difference is that I can have the text one size smaller and read comfortably.
     
  13. ron7624 macrumors 68020

    ron7624

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    #13
    I am saying that if he is used to having a data capable iPad, and uses it away from the house often, you probably don't want to buy one that is Wi-Fi only.
    If those are your only 2 choices and he uses data away from the house, I wouldnt get him a wifi only iPad. He may not mind the extra weight, but will mind not having internet capabilities while away from home.
     
  14. JohnApples thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #14
    I really appreciate all the feedback I've gotten! Everyone's given me a lot to think about! the only problem is now I'm starting to lean toward the Air— I can't seem to make up my mind!

    It did not, so he's used to WiFi-only. But.. I feel like the LTE may be a huge perk for him. He goes up north (Michigan) frequently to a cottage where he has absolutely no WiFi or internet. He does, however, get a surprisingly strong LTE signal (one thing ATT does right I guess). I feel like he would really appreciate being able to use his iPad online up there.

    Of course, the Air has longevity, less weight, and more speed. If only it had LTE, then it would be a no-brainer. It's boiled down to LTE+more weight, or WiFi-only+faster and less weight.
     
  15. ron7624 macrumors 68020

    ron7624

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    #15
    Then in my eyes, as an older guy, I would consider the weight in my decision. Can you ask him or is it a surprise?
     
  16. newellj macrumors 604

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    #16
    To chime in again, every time I picked up the iPad 3 i noticed how heavy it was. The Air was a complete pleasure after the Air 3 (which weighed about the same as the 4).
     
  17. ACG12 macrumors 6502a

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    #17
    Ipad Air. The weight difference is quite noticeable and much more comfortable to hold.
     
  18. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

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    #18
    If you do get the Air, perhaps you should consider a wifi hotspot device for your dad's cottage.

    Also, are you limited to just those two choices, or can you shop around to see if you can find a good deal for an LTE Air?
     
  19. newellj macrumors 604

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    #19
    Chiming in on a tangent, the Apple refurbs are literally as good as new, just not in a white retail box. You can also find great deals, randomly, on open box iPads at Best Buy. I picked up my Air 2 LTE 64GB this summer for either $500 or $525 (I don't remember which... :eek: ).
     
  20. JohnApples thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #20
    Yeah, I just remembered they have those! I'll definitely consider that then, since the Air appears to be the more attractive option overall.

    I suppose I'm not just limited to those 2 choices (although they are a steal!) I'll definitely shop around some more— I still have a few weeks anyway. Bestbuy is having a 4 hour deal for the iPad mini 3 @ $250 new..
     
  21. masotime macrumors 68020

    masotime

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    #21
    Be aware this will require that you get an extra SIM card, and that will cost roughly $10 more a month, or $120 more a year.

    You could also live off the 200MB free data from a T-Mobile starter SIM I suppose.
     
  22. newellj macrumors 604

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    #22
    Re-read you original post - I have one potentially critical suggestion. Check and make sure you understand the return policy and warranty. Some second hand electronics stores have extremely limited or no return policy, and so-so warranty periods. iPads are usually in the "it works or it doesn't" category but with used tech you never really know. Think about more than just price. :)

     

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