ipad air 2 vs ipad mini 4

coachbrady79

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Sep 14, 2015
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I am on my mini 2 and in the market for a new ipad, what are your thoughts on either one
 

joeblow7777

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Both are still very good, capable tablets, through obviously not the very best with the Pro models in the picture.

Comparing the two to each other, they are virtually the same in all regards except the size (of course) and that the Mini 4 has a dual-core A8 processor while the Air 2 has a tri-core A8X. This of course means that the Air 2 has a bit more power and speed, particularly in multicore processes. However, for most routine tasks I believe that the difference is negligible. I wouldn't let it deter you if you prefer the smaller form factor. That's why I chose a Mini 4 over the Air 2. I knew that the extra processing power wouldn't matter to me and I prefer a more compact tablet.
 

coachbrady79

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 14, 2015
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Both are still very good, capable tablets, through obviously not the very best with the Pro models in the picture.

Comparing the two to each other, they are virtually the same in all regards except the size (of course) and that the Mini 4 has a dual-core A8 processor while the Air 2 has a tri-core A8X. This of course means that the Air 2 has a bit more power and speed, particularly in multicore processes. However, for most routine tasks I believe that the difference is negligible. I wouldn't let it deter you if you prefer the smaller form factor. That's why I chose a Mini 4 over the Air 2. I knew that the extra processing power wouldn't matter to me and I prefer a more compact tablet.
so the mini 4 has performed well for u
 
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coachbrady79

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Sep 14, 2015
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Yes. I don't use it for anything too demanding though. Web browsing, social networks, email, document reading, Youtube and Netflix streaming, occasional picture taking and viewing, and a few other apps.
so the mini4 is just as good as the air 2
 
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joeblow7777

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so the mini4 is just as good as the air 2
I outlined the differences above. The Air 2 has a more powerful chip in it, but for me the difference doesn't matter. I don't know if it will matter to you. I think that the size is the biggest difference between them. Go with the size that you want. The Mini 4 can do everything that the Air 2 can, and will likely be supported by Apple for just as long given their similar specs.
 

coachbrady79

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Sep 14, 2015
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I outlined the differences above. The Air 2 has a more powerful chip in it, but for me the difference doesn't matter. I don't know if it will matter to you. I think that the size is the biggest difference between them. Go with the size that you want. The Mini 4 can do everything that the Air 2 can, and will likely be supported by Apple for just as long given their similar specs.
i think i will go for the mini 4 , i am liking the form factor a little better
 

HarryWild

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Oct 27, 2012
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Mini 4 is a little thinner then the Mini 2 and is a little lighter too! The A8 is more power then the A7 and the big news is it has double the RAM at 2GB. I go with the Mini 5 if it announced in October otherwise buy the Mini 4!
 
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RickTaylor

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Nov 9, 2013
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Some like the mini form factor, some lie the form factor of the Air. It's a matter of personal preference.

I personally love the mini form factor, and have used it since the mini came out, upgrading to the mini 2, then to the mini 4.
 
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coachbrady79

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Sep 14, 2015
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There is a large difference. Processing is negligible difference but a big difference would be the GPU. The Air 2 GPU is 2x as powerful as the A8 GPU as its takes 2 of them and fuses them together.
so the air 2 is more powerful than the mini 4
 

gobikerider

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so the air 2 is more powerful than the mini 4
Yes by a large margin. Having twice the raw GPU horsepower powering the exact same resolution it a very nice smooth experience. Over time the Air 2 will remain smoother on iOS updates while the mini 4 may acquire laggy or stutters animations quicker. To me it's a no brained unless you absolutely need the smaller size. The Air 2 is so thin and light it doesn't really become cumbersome at all.
 

joeblow7777

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Yes by a large margin. Having twice the raw GPU horsepower powering the exact same resolution it a very nice smooth experience. Over time the Air 2 will remain smoother on iOS updates while the mini 4 may acquire laggy or stutters animations quicker. To me it's a no brained unless you absolutely need the smaller size. The Air 2 is so thin and light it doesn't really become cumbersome at all.
I think you're exaggerating a bit. According to Apple's specs where they compare everything relative to the A7, the A8 is 1.3x faster in CPU while the A8X is 1.4x, so indeed rather negligible, and in graphics the A8 is 1.6x compared to A8X 2.5x. That makes the A8X approximately 56% faster in graphics, not 100% faster. In fact, benchmarks show little difference in single core performance.

But none of this really matter because it's all just numbers. In real world usage, there's little difference between them in most tasks. I doubt that a future iOS version that runs poorly on the Mini 4 will run much better on the Air 2, unless Apple makes it needlessly graphic intensive. They will probably reach obsolescence around the same time.
 

coachbrady79

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Sep 14, 2015
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i am still torn on size it will be mainly in my house, and my daughter will use it a lot , not sure what to get we had the mini 2 while we liked not sure the size to go now .
 
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gobikerider

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I think you're exaggerating a bit. According to Apple's specs where they compare everything relative to the A7, the A8 is 1.3x faster in CPU while the A8X is 1.4x, so indeed rather negligible, and in graphics the A8 is 1.6x compared to A8X 2.5x. That makes the A8X approximately 56% faster in graphics, not 100% faster. In fact, benchmarks show little difference in single core performance.

But none of this really matter because it's all just numbers. In real world usage, there's little difference between them in most tasks. I doubt that a future iOS version that runs poorly on the Mini 4 will run much better on the Air 2, unless Apple makes it needlessly graphic intensive. They will probably reach obsolescence around the same time.
I'm not exaggerating the raw gflops of A8 115 while A8X is 230gflops. That makes A8X GPU 2x as powerful as A8.
 

Channan

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Mar 7, 2012
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I have the iPad mini 4 and iPad Air 2 and I never feel like the iPad mini 4 is lacking in power compared to my iPad Air 2. Even on paper the iPad Air 2 is not 2x as fast, and in real world usage it's not even close to being twice as fast. The performance increase of the A8X is negligible to me.
 
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joeblow7777

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Sep 7, 2010
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I have the iPad mini 4 and iPad Air 2 and I never feel like the iPad mini 4 is lacking in power compared to my iPad Air 2. Even on paper the iPad Air 2 is not 2x as fast, and in real world usage it's not even close to being twice as fast. The performance increase of the A8X is negligible to me.
That's what I'm saying. I think that the performance difference between the two is really only significant for graphically intensive tasks like gaming. If you're web browsing, reading, emailing, and things like that I don't think it matters very much. So I wouldn't pass on the Mini 4 if that's the size you prefer just because of concerns about performance, but that's just my personal opinion. It was a much easier choice when the Mini 4 was also $100 less than the Air 2. Now, the Air 2 does give you more bang for your buck if the larger form factor isn't a deal breaker.
 
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Channan

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That's what I'm saying. I think that the performance difference between the two is really only significant for graphically intensive tasks like gaming. If you're web browsing, reading, emailing, and things like that I don't think it matters very much. So I wouldn't pass on the Mini 4 if that's the size you prefer just because of concerns about performance, but that's just my personal opinion. It was a much easier choice when the Mini 4 was also $100 less than the Air 2. Now, the Air 2 does give you more bang for your buck if the larger form factor isn't a deal breaker.
If I had to give up one of my iPads, I would probably give up my iPad Air 2. The iPad mini 4 is just small enough to slip into some of my pockets if I have to, but also big enough to make a huge difference over my phone. The iPad mini allows me to be happy with a small phone.
 

ACG12

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Jun 9, 2015
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I'd say wait and see if the iPad lineup gets updated in October. Hopefully the mini gets the "Pro" treatment with the A9x and much better cameras.