All iPads iPad Air (32Gb) vs iPad Mini Retina (32Gb) for my GIRLFRIEND

Discussion in 'iPad' started by maxap, Feb 4, 2014.

  1. maxap macrumors 6502


    Sep 20, 2008
    Hey guys,

    It is not just another iPad Air vs. iPad Mini Retina thread.

    For days, I have been struggling with an important question what to buy for my Girlfriend as a gift. In a while, we will go to our local Apple Store (Amsterdam) and I will ask her (indirectly) what she would like to have: an iPad Air or an iPad Mini Retina. Just to know what she prefers. As she is not very technical, she might say that she likes both devices. I do have an iPad 4 at home and think that it is quite big for her girly hands. (the Air is a bit smaller and lighter, but nevertheless)

    The problem is that I perfectly know everything about the pros and cons of both devices. As a girl, she might fall in love with the smaller iPad Mini Retina. On the other hand, I know that the Air has a much better color reproduction, a bigger screen and better heat dissipation. (100 Mhz more CPU speed is not very important) While she might be able to easily travel with the Mini Retina and take it to her lectures, the Air is bigger and it is easier to surf on the Internet and read Pdf files on it. But you cannot comfortably hold the Air in your hands (especially, if you are a girl) and it cannot easily be transported in a tiny purse.

    Is there anybody who bought an Air/Mini Retina for his girlfriend/wife/mother? What do they prefer? What do your "better halves" think about these two devices? What is your opinion on this?

    Any ideas/suggestions are welcome! It will help me to better structure my thoughts and buy her an Apple device that she will enjoy for many years to come.
  2. SHirsch999 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 19, 2011
    Ask her if she likes things big or small. Mine like things big. :)
  3. maxap thread starter macrumors 6502


    Sep 20, 2008
    Here we go: the first suggestion. :) It depends what kind of things we are talking about. :)
  4. Wirbowsky macrumors member

    Mar 12, 2010
    Ask her what type of usage she would find the most interesting.
    If she wants to have it all the time with her and use it while commuting, then go for the mini.
    If she wants to read heavy pdf at home, the go for the air
  5. Robster3 macrumors 68000

    Dec 13, 2012
    Let her decide it will be her ipad, not yours:)
  6. maxap thread starter macrumors 6502


    Sep 20, 2008
    Thanks for your replies, guys!

    I don't want her to suspect that I would like to buy her an iPad, so I cannot directly ask how she intends to use her device. :)

    It is indeed going to be her iPad and I just want to help her decide: she has never used an iPad.

    What do your girlfriends/wives think about this Air/Mini Retina dilemma?
  7. organerito macrumors 6502

    Nov 9, 2008
    My wife loves her iPad 4. It is the only tech device that she likes to use. I gave her a smartphone and she doesn't care about it. She doesn't care about smartphones or the iPad mini. It just the big iPad.
  8. maxap, Feb 4, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2014

    maxap thread starter macrumors 6502


    Sep 20, 2008
    Thanks! My mother also has an iPad 2 and when I told her about the Mini she didn't even want to hear about it: according to her, a smaller screen would be a terrible idea. Hmmm... choices choices...
  9. kazmac macrumors 603


    Mar 24, 2010
    On the silver scream

    If your girlfriend does a lot of reading and internet surfing, the Air would be a preferrable choice as you mentioned OP. The two are so close in weight now, there are many purses which can hold both.

    For what it's worth, I've noticed other women using larger iPads on my commute. They usually have them in cases. I do not own an iPad right now (and when I did both fit into a purse I had with no problem.)

    Regardless of what you get your girlfriend, it's very sweet that you want to. I think she will be thrilled with her gift.
  10. maxap thread starter macrumors 6502


    Sep 20, 2008
    Thanks for your comment, kazmac! It is very useful. As there are more women out there using an iPad Air, I might just buy it for my girlfriend. Hopefully, she will indeed be thrilled!
  11. bevsb2 macrumors 68000

    Nov 23, 2012
    I am a woman and prefer the Air for use at home. It is easy to hold, has a full size screen with great color and text size that is comfortable to read. However I also have an rMini and that is a great device also. It fits easily in my purse and I take it everywhere with me. The Air never leaves the house. It is lightweight but too large for my purse and would have to be carried separately which is a nuisance for me. Either device is a great choice for a gift but it would depend on how your girlfriend will primarily use it as to which would be best for her. If she normally carries a backpack to class portability would not be a problem with the Air.
  12. maxap thread starter macrumors 6502


    Sep 20, 2008
    Thank you! That's indeed a nice opinion of an actual woman that I needed to hear.

    I am glad to hear that you do not think that the Air is too big or too heavy to use... The question I can ask my girlfriend is then: how would you use your iPad? (would you use it at home or take it to classes?)
  13. quamsi macrumors regular

    Nov 18, 2013
    I am a woman and recently exchanged my Air for a rMini. The Air, while very nice, was left at home more than I had hoped. To me, the rMini couldn't be better. Even after using the Air for a month, I do not notice a difference in color quality. RMini is beautiful too.
  14. maxap thread starter macrumors 6502


    Sep 20, 2008
    Thanks, quamsi! It all seems to boil down to personal preference. The size of the Mini is better suited for a girl with tiny hands: my only concern is that it is not very suitable for browsing and reading large pdf files. (and the quality of the screen is not as good as that of the Air)
  15. TJ61 macrumors 6502a

    Nov 16, 2011
    If you're concerned about ruining the surprise, I'd just get her the mini. After you give it to her, you can tell her that it can be exchanged for the Air if she'd like.

    Or, buy both and return one?
  16. grockk macrumors 6502


    Mar 16, 2006
    Why not just surprise her at the apple store by telling her you will buy one right now and which does she prefer.
  17. Tyler23 macrumors 603


    Dec 2, 2010
    Atlanta, GA
    A few months ago, my fiancee and I decided it was time to get ourselves iPads.

    At the moment, we couldn't afford two, so we compromised. I wanted the Air, and she wanted the rMini. Since I wanted the Air and we'd be sharing, the Air made more sense to get as our primary iPad, so that's what we did.

    Last week, we finally got her the rMini. She loves it, and she hasn't touched the Air since. She's not short, and doesn't have small hands, but she just loves the way the Mini feels. It's nice and compact, easy to travel around with, and plus it doesn't hurt that she think it's adorable :p .

    She had no issue using the Air and liked it just fine, but it was obvious what she had her heart set on, and she hasn't looked back since.
  18. maxap thread starter macrumors 6502


    Sep 20, 2008
    Thanks for all your comments! Especially, Tyler23!

    For some reason, I also think that she would find the Mini "adorable": the Air is amazingly beautiful, but is just a little bit too big for a lady.
  19. Laguna, Feb 4, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2014

    Laguna macrumors newbie

    Apr 29, 2009

    My Mother loves her 2nd Gen iPad and doesn't find the mini to be an attractive alternative.

    My wife has an iPhone, a iPad4, & iPadMini. She uses her phone and iPad4. I have never seen her even pick up the Mini. I think that it comes down to usecase; she only uses the Mini as a remote control for Spotify and Focus@will.

    She put a case with a keyboard on the iPad and uses it as MacBookAir alternative. I just doesn't remind her or 'work' as much as the MBA. She uses the phone for texting. She watches videos on the iPad *a lot*.

    What is the use case? In some ways, it seems that you are choosing between an Audi A5 and a BMW 4-series. They are distinct, but you are unlikely to be making a bad choice. As we *all* know, the it is really about the apps. Both my mother and my wife are hopeless in their reluctance to experiment with new apps. They only use what I personally install for them and tell them about.
  20. rui no onna macrumors 603

    rui no onna

    Oct 25, 2013
    Another girl chiming in, I like having both. :) I've got tiny hands and relatively weak wrists/arms but holding the iPad 3/4 with two hands has never been an issue much less the Air. However, I use the rMini for single-handed operation. For me, it's actually the reverse. The Air goes with me while the rMini mostly stays at home. I find the larger size of the Air is better when I'm showing other people PDF documents, images, etc. I just find that the Air's larger screen size just gives it more flexibility. Of course, I do have a messenger bag which can easily accommodate the size of the Air. Someone with a tiny purse would likely prefer the Mini.

    My mom, aunt, etc all prefer bigger iPads because it's easier on their eyes.
  21. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Jul 17, 2008
    As a woman, I think a person's gender has nothing to do with which iPad would work for them. Me and my mother both prefer the Air, but that is because we both have bad eyesight, so the bigger screen on the Air is easier for us to see. As another poster mentioned, another significant factor to consider is what kinds of bags your GF uses. If she carries a purse, then a mini might fit whereas the Air won't. But if she regularly uses a bigger bag, then the Air will fit, too. And I think a person with small hands would feel perfectly comfortable holding an Air, so personally I wouldn't consider hand size as a factor in choosing between the Air and rMini.

    I think the best course of action really is to ask your GF. Or give her one or the other but make it clear she can exchange if she wants the other one. We can all speculate over which she might like, but she is the only one who can actually know.
  22. maxap thread starter macrumors 6502


    Sep 20, 2008
    Thank you for all your reactions, girls and boys! I really appreciate it.

    Now, I think that I will seriously consider buying her the Air instead of the Mini given that many ladies prefer it over its smaller brother.

    In the end, she is indeed the one deciding which one to choose. You opinions, however, are very much appreciated. :)
  23. Ladybug macrumors 68000


    Apr 13, 2006
    Another lady chiming my air, it's light enough to hold with even one hand, and easily fits in my medium size purse. However her preference may be different. The idea of surprising her with a trip to the Apple Store and letting her decide for herself sounds like a great idea to me.
  24. maxap thread starter macrumors 6502


    Sep 20, 2008
    Thanks! I am quite surprised to know that many ladies prefer the Air over the Mini. :) We will see what we will do but I am going to let her decide... I'll keep you posted.
  25. Cyloncat macrumors regular


    Oct 26, 2012
    NC, USA
    Another woman, although with larger hands... I have both, but the usage patterns are completely different.

    The mini fits in a side pocket in my purse, which makes it more convenient than a larger tablet (Air, or Surface) that has to go in the main compartment. It has music, podcasts, and books (Kindle). Kindle is a great reading app on either platform, because it is easy to adjust the type size, and Kindle handles formatting and text flow. That's very different from PDF reading.

    PDF reading works better on the Air, as does web surfing. The only resizing you can do with PDF documents is pinch-zoom. I also prefer PDF format for technical books; formatting of things like programming samples stay formatted correctly in PDF, while Kindle may try to reflow the text. So reading really does come down to use cases, and you might want to be sure you've had some experience with both Kindle and PDF readers, so you can tell her how each one behaves on an iPad.

    Also, how is her vision? If she has problems reading small text, she will probably prefer the Air.

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