All iPads iPad 4 vs iPad Mini 2

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Coomb, Nov 16, 2013.

  1. Coomb macrumors member

    Nov 16, 2013
    After reading reviews and way too many posts today I'm still a little torn on the choice between an iPad 4 refurb vs an iPad Mini Retina. Assuming the cost could potentially be the same at some point, is there a reason to choose the iPad 4 other than the full colour gamut?

    Size isn't much of an issue for me. I lug around my 13" MBP and either option seems great. When I test the sizes in store I'm indifferent. I can see typing making that slightly biased in that the keyboard takes up some of the screen. I've seen the numbers and am going under the assumption that the iPad Mini 2 outperforms the iPad 4 in pretty much every way…right? So if the cost were hypothetically the same, the rMini would be the way to go, right?

    I do use my Apple stuff (iPhone 4s, MBP) for school but I only have one in-class course left (the others will be online) so note taking isn't a big factor for me. Even if it is heavy on note taking, I'm used to the old pen and paper methods and am keen on using Evernote to digitize if I must. Really the main drive to get an iPad is to be able to travel without hauling my MBP with me. If I weren't in need of Photoshop, Lightroom, and burning discs on a regular basis I'd ditch the laptop altogether. I'd also like to read and annotate PDF's with ease. I just want to make the "wisest" choice. aka considering future proofing and performance. Gut says rMini.

    (yup, my first iPad…)
  2. nightlong macrumors 6502a


    Jun 16, 2012
    I can recommend the ipad4, a great machine, I've had no screen or other problems with it. But, I think iPad technology is going to evolve hugely in next 2 years, and if I was buying now I would buy current model as I don't upgrade every year. depends on your circumstances and needs, what you can afford, how long you need it to last, and which size screen you prefer. I like the bigger screen, my iPhone takes care of travelling light situations.
  3. Coomb thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 16, 2013
    Very good points!

    I'm certainly not rolling in money, so to go with the newest would mean rMini. I'd like it to last at least two years. I do like to keep on top of technology but at the same time I'm still very happy with my iPhone 4s and don't feel the need to upgrade (though more screen real estate would be nice in 2014).

    I'd consider the base Air but I suspect I would need more than 16 GB, especially if retina based apps hog more space. Perhaps I need to become more savvy with DropBox?
  4. dhokes macrumors regular

    Dec 5, 2012
    I was in a similar dilemma and wanted to purchase an iPad with the main aim being to read PDFs so I ended up purchasing a second hand iPad 4 + two cases (£280) and the new rMini + case (£339). I've decided I prefer the bigger screen size of the former especially when it comes to reading small text on PDFs and decided to return the rMini.

    If I had a laptop, I may have opted for the rMini or neither of them but I'm happy to keep the iPad 4, at least until I purchase a laptop and/or iPhones become larger.
  5. mtneer macrumors 68030


    Sep 15, 2012
    One of the distinct advantages of the iOS ecosystem is the support for at least two years going back. Given that the 4S and iPad 2+ are still supported; I would fully expect the iPad 4 to be able to last 2 more years. Reading PDF's and taking notes won't tax your iPad as much as keeping up with the latest games.
  6. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I'd say that the iPad 4 may be a good choice over the mini in your case as you don't mind the size and I think overall it may be a better fit.

    I personally would (and I am) with the rMini. The major factor for me is the smaller form factor, its a huge draw for me. I'd rather commute or read on a smaller tablet but that's just me.
  7. Ledgem macrumors 65816


    Jan 18, 2008
    Hawaii, USA
    Size probably is an issue for you, but you don't realize it yet.

    I used to bring my 15" MBP around with me almost everywhere. I didn't see the point of the iPad (the mini didn't exist at that time). I received an iPad (3rd generation) as a gift and didn't feel much differently. Sure, even with a keyboard cover my iPad was a lot lighter than my Macbook Pro, but it's not like I was struggling with the MBP to begin with. Basically, when it came to heading out of my apartment, I would choose between packing the iPad or the MBP into my computer bag (a slim backpack). That's what the iPad was to me: a lighter, slimmer, more limited laptop that was handled differently.

    The iPad mini changed things. While I had transported the iPad in a similar manner as my MBP, the mini was small and light enough that I could store it in my coat pocket. It could go places that I would have never thought to bring my MBP, nor my full-sized iPad. I bought it primarily for work, but found myself using it more than my full-sized iPad even for personal uses. Now that the mini also has the retina display, I suspect my full-sized iPad will see even less use.

    You say that you'd like an iPad for travel, enabling you to leave the MBP at home. You're looking at portability. While either iPad is arguably more portable than the MBP, the iPad mini is as portable as it gets. You'll get greater utility out of it by being able to bring it along more easily and to more places than you would with a full-sized iPad. Now that the mini has the retina display, there are no compromises to be made in order to get that portability.
  8. Coomb thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 16, 2013
    You guys had me leaning towards the 4 until the last post. ;)

    I think my plan will be to see how much Apple/Best Buy/whoever takes off the rMini on Black Friday. If it becomes roughly the same as a 32 GB 4 refurb I'll go for the rMini and see how the size handles for a few days. If it leaves something to be desired I'll return it and order an iPad 4. (that makes sense…right?)

    I have an image of the actual size of a Mini up on my screen which seems to be helping a bit. I wish I could play with both for a day outside a store without pressure!
  9. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Jul 17, 2008
    I think you really need to buy both and try them for a few days in order to find out which is right for you. So many factors for choosing between the two depend on the individual.

    Eyesight -- if you have good eyesight, smaller font on the mini, especially in PDF files, may not bother you. If you have less than perfect eyesight, it may be a deal breaker.

    Hand size -- depending on your hand size and typing habits, on-screen keyboard on mini may feel too small, or conversely, the keyboard on full size iPad may feel too big.

    Size / weight -- some people find that the smaller size and weight of the mini makes the difference in whether they take it with them. Others don't mind toting around the big iPad 4.

    Above are a few of the factors that people need to consider when deciding between the two sizes, and the answers are going to be different for each individual.
  10. Coomb thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 16, 2013
    I have teeny girl hands. The best comparison I could find was my Kobo which is very close in dimension to the Mini. I wish I could buy both to test but don't really have the funds!

    Regarding weight I figured since I hauled the MBP around even the iPad 4 would be a dream in comparison.

    I will definitely look into the smaller font though. At 28 my distance vision isn't amazing but glowing surfaces can be rough.

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