iPad iPad air 2 vs mini 2

Discussion in 'iPad' started by TorontoSS, Oct 23, 2014.

  1. TorontoSS macrumors 6502

    Nov 9, 2009
    Hi - thought this would be the best place for opinions.

    I have an iPad mini 2. I do love it. It is 64gb and serves well as I commute 30 min a day. It's SLIGHTLY sluggish and only abt 2 tabs stay open without refreshing (by the way - is that normal?). I have AppleCare+ so going to the store on tues for apple to look at that.

    My boyfriend has the Air. When I hold it - it doesn't seem heavy and things look undoubtedly better. So I considered selling my mini.

    But for once the more sensible side prevailed and I decided I have a good ipad - it can be looked at - let's keep it.

    But before the more sensible side does completely prevail (obviously it hasn't) - I'd like to know if anyone has upgraded to the air 2.

    - Is it noticeably faster?
    - screen is already great on the mini 2 - is there a difference in screen quality?
    - this is the most important - is the air 2 noticeably heavier than the mini or lighter than the current air?

    Thanks for your help.
  2. jabingla2810 macrumors 68020

    Oct 15, 2008
    I'm going from the Mini 2 to the Air 2 when it arrives later today.

    From what others have said, and the various unboxings I have seen, people seem to think the iPad Air feels lighter than the iPad Mini.

    It is obviously heavier in reality, but in terms of feel, by all accounts it doesn't feel heavier as such.

    Performance wise, the A7 to A8X looks like a massive jump, throw in the 2GB RAM and it's a big upgrade. Obviously today, that extra power seems overkill, however, looking forward to iOS 9 and above, it will allow Apple to implement some iPad Air 2 only features.

    The screen on the iPad Air 1 had better colours than the iPad Mini 2 already, and with the screen lamination and anti glare coating, the iPad Air 2 screen looks to be on par with the iPhone 6 screen, which is to say, much nicer than the iPad Mini 2 screen.

    I will add my own hands on opinions later on :)
  3. TorontoSS thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 9, 2009
    Hey - would love to have your opinions later - would be great to hear from someone going from the mini 2. Are you also upgrading because it's better to have a bigger screen?
  4. RickTaylor macrumors 6502a

    Nov 9, 2013
    I have a retina mini. I really like the form factor, and I would much rather have a device with its form factor and one year old technology than an up to date Air.

    Everyone's different; some prefer the Air, some prefer the mini. I can't tell which one you'll like. It's possible though that the more compact device will have an advantage, given that you use it commuting.

    Reloading tabs does seem to be pretty common.
  5. FranksWildYears macrumors regular

    Aug 1, 2010
    Yes, it's faster - this is most apparent on more intensive apps & games.

    Yes - the color gamut was already much wider and losing the gap between glass & display makes a great difference. Do you notice how on iPhone the display feels so much closer to the surface? Same thing here.

    I don't know how much is the weight and how much is the perception given by it being noticeably thinner than the first Air, but it feels a lot lighter to me. I don't have a mini anymore, but I recall that, despite being lighter, the mini didn't really feel lighter than the Air due to the way the weight is distributed.
  6. TorontoSS thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 9, 2009
    Thank you - this is all really useful. I have so far resorted to buying new smart covers to make it feel lighter than my previous dodocase to prevent me from getting the Air 2. I still think I should avoid upgrading as it's only a year old. Apart from the refreshing tabs, it seems like a wonderful device. I am going to try to take a look at it later on today in the evening.
  7. scupking macrumors 6502a

    Dec 14, 2010
    Yes it's noticeably faster.
    Screen is much better.
    I don't notice the weight difference.
  8. Ledgem macrumors 65816


    Jan 18, 2008
    Hawaii, USA
    The iPad mini has a higher pixel density than the larger iPads, but in practice the screens are about the same. For what ever reason, the iPad mini's colors appear a bit more washed out compared to the larger iPads, but in practice this isn't particularly noticeable unless you have them side by side.

    Safari tab reloading is normal.

    Sluggishness is an issue with iOS, not the A7 processor. The A8X in the iPad Air 2 has better performance than the A7, but software still isn't making full use of the A7 at this point. It's popular for people to trash the previous generation as being fatally flawed or obsolete, but the A7 is far from either. It's still a very relevant processor.
  9. AppleRobert macrumors 603

    Nov 12, 2012
    I got the retina Mini on Sunday for $299. The iPad Air 2 no matter how thin and light still isn't as portable or easy to hold.

    So for $200 cheaper, winner winner chicken dinner! The screen resolution/ppi is great and it is fast enough for what I do with it.

    BTW, I can live with tabs reloading cause a page refreshes in a few seconds and not an eternity. I don't do copying or cutting and pasting into another webpage so that circumstance doesn't effect me per se.
  10. MacinAppleTosh, Oct 23, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2014

    MacinAppleTosh macrumors member

    Aug 4, 2013
    I'm planning on buying a new iPad, but having never had one before, I am torn between the mini 2 and the air 2.

    Overall price is not a huge factor, however I feel the price of the mini 2 right now is slightly better value than the air 2:
    $350 - 32gb vs $600 - 64gb (16gb is too small at this point).

    The newer air 2 is ahead in internal hardware, screen, and fingerprint sensor.

    I'm also having a hard time deciding which size would suit me better, the portability of the mini or the larger display of the air 2.
    (I already have an iphone 5s and a 13" MBP - new iPad would be used for school and entertainment, and replace bringing my laptop on trips and to class)

  11. DSTOFEL, Oct 23, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2014

    DSTOFEL macrumors 6502a

    Feb 11, 2011
    Apple has really made it a tough choice by giving the Air such a nice update while all but neglecting the Mini (IMO). So, other than size, it's down to a comparison between the superior spec's of the Air 2 vs the value of the Mini 2 (i.e. the Mini 3 is not in the running for me).

    You mentioned one use of the Mini would be for School. If you are planning to use it to create content (i.e. class notes, etc....), maybe the full size iPad would be a better fit? Just a thought.

    For Me: I've had both previous versions of the Mini and used them extensively for the past 2 years. For me, the mini is purely a content consumption device (Web, video, PDF's, etc..) Other then e-mails, I rarely use it to create anything. Plus, I travel each week for work and the mini is always with me (i.e. on the plane, at the Hotel, at customer site, etc..). So, the small size and portability of the Mini is perfect for me.

    BTW: I just sold my Retina 32 GB R-Mini in anticipation of the Mini 3 (big letdown), so now I'm in the same situation as you, trying to decide on the replacement. I've narrowed it down to 3....and I have all 3 (unopened) sitting on the dining room table as I try to decide which way to go:

    - Mini 2: 64GB WIFI: $369 (New from MicroCenter)
    - Air (Original): 32GB WIFI $399 (New from MicroCenter)
    - Air 2: 64GB WIFI $599 (Picked up at the Apple Store today). 2GB RAM is a huge draw...should help eliminate the Safari tab reloading issue...a real problem with both the Retina Mini that I owned and the Air (Original) that my wife currently owns. The 2GB of RAM should also greatly enhance longevity of the Air 2.

    If I take either of the previous generation options (terrific values both), I can always upgrade in a year if I want without taking a big hit (i.e. a lot of the hit is already baked into the price). The main draw for me of the Air (Original) over the Mini is the color gamut issue with the Mini (i.e. the Air has no issues in this respect). I've had the Mini's for the past 2 years and the lackluster display (i.e. muted colors) and the limited gamut are the only real disappointment for me with the Mini.

    A really tough choice: Value versus portability versus Latest Tech.
  12. DSTOFEL macrumors 6502a

    Feb 11, 2011
  13. TorontoSS thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 9, 2009
    This is a very good explanation. I spent about an hour in store today after work and decided with keeping my mini 2. Next to the Air 2, there were differences. Colour was better in Air 2. Colour contrast better too when looking at text. However the mini is just better to walk around with. I think if I were using it at home more I would get the air 2. I feel with 2gb of ram - the tab loading is nice draw for me, but with the hassle of selling my current one? No. Also many of the differences were noted because they were next to each other.
  14. dubhe macrumors 65816


    May 1, 2007
    Norwich, UK
    I went through the same thought process and ended up buying a 64GB mini 2 from the 'refurb' store which as the Apple Store came back up from the iPad launch, had a massive discount.

    Very happy for the price, hopefully next year when the iPad air 3 is launched, I'll get a cheap iPad air 2 through refurb.

    That said, I much prefer the mini's size.
  15. MacinAppleTosh macrumors member

    Aug 4, 2013
    Well put. Give an update when you decide!

    I think I'll end up waiting for a little more feedback as people have a chance to get some prolonged usage in.
    Ultimately though, I think its going to come down to holding one in each hand and and deciding which will be the best fit.
  16. Ledgem macrumors 65816


    Jan 18, 2008
    Hawaii, USA
    Unfortunately, not even spending time with it in the hand can fully prepare you for what's best.

    As a case in point, my first iPad was a gift. I began to use it as a laptop replacement. I'd carry it with me in my laptop bag, and it worked decently for me. Slowly, I began to find more uses for it beyond emulating my laptop. Unfortunately, for some of those potential uses it was still too big. So I bought an iPad mini, and it has become my most-used Apple device. The full-sized iPad was relegated to house duty and became a pure leisure device.

    Value, portability, power... it's a tough balance. Value is out the window and power is wasted if you're forced to leave the device at home more often than you'd like, but it's also trashed if portability isn't an issue and you could have used more power. The biggest issue is that, as a first-time iPad owner, you don't know and can't fully predict what sorts of uses the iPad will come to have in your life. The saving grace to all of this is that you don't have to get it perfect the first time - you'll upgrade eventually, so give it your best guess and enjoy the purchase. Even if it isn't the most optimal for you and your uses, you're bound to enjoy it :)
  17. DSTOFEL, Oct 23, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2014

    DSTOFEL macrumors 6502a

    Feb 11, 2011
    Right now, I'm leaning towards the Air Original (32GB Wifi). At $399 (new), it's a great value and I can always upgrade without loosing too much. It's pulling hard at my practical side! Also, after having owned the previous Mini's for the past two years and living with the ever present "limited gamut" issue, "for me" the fresh "FULL" colors of the Air are beginning to out weight the portability of the Mini (i.e. and I'm one who "really" values portability).

    However, I'm also feeling the "tug" of the 2GB of RAM of the AIR 2 is pulling hard! Really hard! I guess if I really thought about it (i.e. which obviously I am), I could probably upgrade the Air 2 in a year, if I chose to, without loosing too much either.....if the latest and greatest Air 3 came along.

    I know....a "high class problem"...having to choose between different iPad models...what's the world coming to?;)
  18. DSTOFEL macrumors 6502a

    Feb 11, 2011
    I "finally" made a decision. I went with the 32GB Air (Original) for $399 over the Air 2 or the R-Mini 2. Just opened it up and it's perfect (i.e. no dead pixels, light leakage, book spine, etc...). It's a keeper!

    Talk about a tough decision. However, it's a great deal and I already have the 6 Plus and 15 Retina MBP that I travel with (i.e. I travel each week for business). The iPad for me will be purely a consumption device (i.e. web/video in Hotel, etc...). The practical side of me kicked in (i.e. good enough is good enough). At this price, I can always resell next year and upgrade to the Air 3 (or whatever).
  19. AppleRobert macrumors 603

    Nov 12, 2012
    I was not going to do it but I walked out of BB this morning with the Air 2.

    It is the same decision somewhat again versus the RMini 1st gen as far as weight, screen size and portability versus Air 1. But this Air 2 is a freaking BEAST and this time I cannot get the Mini 3 and get this performance.

    It looks like I will be spending the extra $200 after all versus Rmini 1st gen current price.
  20. TorontoSS thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 9, 2009
    And what are your thoughts on it? What are you upgrading from now? I may be taking to plunge and getting the Air 2.
  21. AppleRobert macrumors 603

    Nov 12, 2012
    I got the Rmini on Sunday for $299. Trust me I look for bargains and it screamed buy so I I went and did so.

    I was not going to get the Air 2 but games and videos while I could live with it on the Rmini, the experience was not immersive enough. Good for $299 but just something I knew down the road would bother me too much.

    The Air 2 is a beast. Read the thread I started about first impressions. You got some folks upgrading from the Air 1 which is a great device. The Rmini was just a smaller version so that is why I went with it especially with the cost savings.

    The Air 2 is just too good, I will not ever have to concern myself with the video and gaming being not impressive enough. The Air 2 while not as portable is thin and light. Sold! I will return the Rmini in a few days.
  22. TorontoSS thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 9, 2009
    Thanks - will look at the thread. I've had the mini retina for a year. Wonderful little tablet. But whenever I see my boyfriends air I feel I'm missing out. I commute with my mini but I feel I would get more from the air And I hear nice things about the air 2 so might just take the plunge!
  23. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Jul 17, 2008
    I just upgraded to the Air2 from Air1. The screen on the Air2 is gorgeous, a great improvement over the Air1. Actually, I think the ideal tablet for people using them on commutes will be a mini with the Air2 screen, so disappointed Apple didn't give us that this year. I had the original mini, and while it was great for reading while on trains and buses, I missed the larger screen for when I was home or at the office. For me, the Air is a good compromise between size and portability. Ultimately, the only way to tell if an iPad works for you is to actually use it for a few days. So my suggestion is to hang on to your mini, buy the air2 from Apple or some other retailer with a good return policy, and go ahead and use it for a few days. If it's too big or heavy, return it and go back to the mini.
  24. jm5309 macrumors regular

    Apr 17, 2010
    I have the Mini 2 and just got the Air 2 a couple of days ago. I had the first three full size iPads, then went to the Mini form factor. I have loved the size for nearly two years now, but I recently started missing that big screen for reading and games.

    The Air 2 is truly awesome. The colors are deeper, the display is gorgeous, and the WiFi is really powerful and fast. However, even though it is very thin and light, it is still a little awkward to hold after using a Mini for so long. It takes some getting used to, and I'm not sure if I want to.

    The anti-reflective coating is nice and does help quite a bit with glare, but I still notice a ton of fingerprints, which I can't stand. I'll be putting a screen protector on if I keep it, unfortunately. The vibration from sound through the whole iPad (even on the lowest volume) when playing a game feels odd to me. It's not a deal-breaker, but it's a little distracting.

    I'm keeping my Mini 2 no matter what. The decision for me is whether I will keep or return the Air 2. I still haven't decided. I know that's probably not much help to you, but I'm just letting you know it's not an easy decision for me either. Good luck! :)
  25. AppleRobert macrumors 603

    Nov 12, 2012
    If you are going to keep the Mini 2 as well, you eventually will favor either it or the Air 2 and the other will not be used much.

    If you are going to keep the Mini 2, I have at least 499 reasons not to keep the Air 2 (imagine me counting single dollar bills beside you), unless you can get it cheaper then a lesser amount of dollar bills. :)

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