iPad iPad Air 4 v. Mini 5

Ellen

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 3, 2007
240
11
Hi. I currently have a Mini 5 which I use mainly for reading and streaming. But I am considering buying an Air 4 (and giving the Mini 5 to my Mom who has a Mini 4 which I will trade in) because I find that, apart from books, the smaller screen is a hindrance - especially when I read magazines. And streaming would be better on a larger screen.

One question I have - and perhaps a full size iPad owner can help me - is whether the size/bulk of the larger device will make it awkward as an ebook reader. I do carry the Mini with me sometimes and I read in bed a lot.

Of course I could keep both devices but I am not sure I can justify 2 iPads.

I am also torn between the Logitech keyboard cover (which will add more weight) and the Smart Folio. I have a MacBook Pro so I am not looking for a laptop replacement but the option of a keyboard seems nice if it is not too thick.

Suggestions are appreciated!
 

Robbosan

macrumors 6502
Aug 21, 2020
292
164
Mini is best iPad for books size wise, we read books on our 11" iPad pro's but we also have kindles. If you read a lot get a kindle for books, better on the eyes and can use in the sun, and air 4 for everything else.
 

klasma

macrumors member
Jun 8, 2017
91
98
As a mini 4 owner and former iPad 2 owner (and interim iPad Pro 12.9" owner), my guess is what you would miss not having the mini anymore. I would suggest to buy the Air 4 but keep the mini at first. If you then find that you could live without the mini, you can still sell or gift it. There's no substitute for having the actual devices in hand.
 

Ellen

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 3, 2007
240
11
Thanks for the feedback! I was thinking of a Kindle (I do read a lot) but currently the library apps I use are not all Kindle compatible. I decided for now to give the Mini 5 to my Mom and save some $$ by trading in the Mini 4. It helps justify my buying a new one after only a year.
 
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AutomaticApple

macrumors 601
Nov 28, 2018
4,712
1,807
Massachusetts
Thanks for the feedback! I was thinking of a Kindle (I do read a lot) but currently the library apps I use are not all Kindle compatible. I decided for now to give the Mini 5 to my Mom and save some $$ by trading in the Mini 4. It helps justify my buying a new one after only a year.
Okay then. Please update us when you get your iPad Air 4 when you get the chance! 😁
 

Yebubbleman

macrumors 68040
May 20, 2010
3,481
629
Los Angeles, CA
In my experience and opinion, the mini is the best form factor for ebook reading, at least for long periods of time. It's the only form factor that's comfortable to hold in one hand for any serious length of time. However if you read sitting at a table, the size won't matter as much.

That said, I'm a big proponent of the notion that each size of iPad has different use cases associated with it. For instance, the mini is perfect for frequent travel and e-reading where the 12.9" Pro is the best classroom note-taking device I have ever used. The 11" Pro and the Air are both great if you're trying to find a sweet spot, but in my experience that sort of thing tends to produce compromises to each use case that doesn't result in enjoyable experiences. I'd go further to say that if you're watching movies on an airplane (assuming that starts happening again) something like an 11" Pro or an Air would be better than both the mini (for the bigger screen) and the 12.9" Pro (given how cramped airplane seats usually are.
 

ejin222

macrumors 6502
Oct 12, 2011
387
207
Hi. I currently have a Mini 5 which I use mainly for reading and streaming. But I am considering buying an Air 4 (and giving the Mini 5 to my Mom who has a Mini 4 which I will trade in) because I find that, apart from books, the smaller screen is a hindrance - especially when I read magazines. And streaming would be better on a larger screen.

One question I have - and perhaps a full size iPad owner can help me - is whether the size/bulk of the larger device will make it awkward as an ebook reader. I do carry the Mini with me sometimes and I read in bed a lot.

Of course I could keep both devices but I am not sure I can justify 2 iPads.

I am also torn between the Logitech keyboard cover (which will add more weight) and the Smart Folio. I have a MacBook Pro so I am not looking for a laptop replacement but the option of a keyboard seems nice if it is not too thick.

Suggestions are appreciated!
It doesn't seem to me that you would necessarily need an Air 4 if cost seems to be a factor here. A regular iPad would be a much better value proposition in this case if you're only going to use it as a consumption device. Because the 8th gen iPad now has the same chip as the Mini 5, perhaps you should look at that instead? The bigger screen would help compared to the Mini 5.

Just a thought I would throw out. In any case, enjoy!
 
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ericwn

macrumors 603
Apr 24, 2016
5,458
3,476
I used to have a Kindle, now a Kobo for my ereader needs.
To me they are awesome for novels without image content.

I do occasionally read on iPads too and find them a bit too big for travel or bed reading, and much more annoying for my eyes. But in the end we are all different and what I enjoy might not work for you.
 

Hadron

macrumors 6502
Apr 13, 2010
259
173
Thanks for the feedback! I was thinking of a Kindle (I do read a lot) but currently the library apps I use are not all Kindle compatible.
Other eReaders are available. If that is one of your requirements maybe check whether one of those would fit it better.
 

sracer

macrumors G3
Apr 9, 2010
8,741
9,581
Prescott Valley, AZ
Hi. I currently have a Mini 5 which I use mainly for reading and streaming. But I am considering buying an Air 4 (and giving the Mini 5 to my Mom who has a Mini 4 which I will trade in) because I find that, apart from books, the smaller screen is a hindrance - especially when I read magazines. And streaming would be better on a larger screen.

One question I have - and perhaps a full size iPad owner can help me - is whether the size/bulk of the larger device will make it awkward as an ebook reader. I do carry the Mini with me sometimes and I read in bed a lot.

Of course I could keep both devices but I am not sure I can justify 2 iPads.

I am also torn between the Logitech keyboard cover (which will add more weight) and the Smart Folio. I have a MacBook Pro so I am not looking for a laptop replacement but the option of a keyboard seems nice if it is not too thick.

Suggestions are appreciated!
Over the years, I went from a 12.9 iPad Pro -> 2018 9.7 iPad -> iPad Mini 5. Due to the nature of iPadOS, I've been able to use the Mini in all of the ways I was using the larger ones, and using it even more because it is a very convenient and portable form-factor.

I've done a lot of e-reading on all of them, but I find the Mini to be head-n-shoulders above the others for that purpose. I use the Mini to read vintage magazines and store catalogs without much of an issue. Yes, I usually have to pinch to zoom, but the performance is so buttery smooth that it isn't an inconvenience. Even on the 12.9 Pro I would have to pinch to zoom. It really depends upon your source material and how they are formatted (or not formatted).

Another thing to consider is that the neither Air nor the Pro have a smartcover. That adds considerable bulk and weight. The smartcovers for the Mini 4 work perfectly with the Mini 5.

The only non-Mini iPad I would recommend for people who will use their iPad as an ereader would be the 8th Gen iPad. Smartcovers and smartkeyboards are available for them. They're terrific accessories. If I was going to size-up from the Mini, it would be the 8th gen... without a doubt.
 

Robbosan

macrumors 6502
Aug 21, 2020
292
164
Another thing to consider is that the neither Air nor the Pro have a smartcover. That adds considerable bulk and weight. The smartcovers for the Mini 4 work perfectly with the Mini 5.
But most people get a back shell cover too, so not much difference.
 

Ellen

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 3, 2007
240
11
Thanks everyone. I gave this more thought and decided to try the Air before doing a trade in - in case I decide to return the Air or in case I prefer to keep the Mini as an e-reader.

I did consider the regular iPad as an option but would at least like to check out the Air first. With the Air I feel like I am moving forward rather than buying a larger Mini (without a laminated screen).

Kindles are great but a lot of my public library content is unfortunately not compatible (I hope that changes eventually) and many of the books I read have pictures which don’t show up well on the Kindle.

But you have given me a lot to consider during the 14 day return window!
 
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gymratjudy

macrumors 6502
Dec 28, 2016
267
160
Thanks everyone. I gave this more thought and decided to try the Air before doing a trade in - in case I decide to return the Air or in case I prefer to keep the Mini as an e-reader.

I did consider the regular iPad as an option but would at least like to check out the Air first. With the Air I feel like I am moving forward rather than buying a larger Mini (without a laminated screen).

Kindles are great but a lot of my public library content is unfortunately not compatible (I hope that changes eventually) and many of the books I read have pictures which don’t show up well on the Kindle.

But you have given me a lot to consider during the 14 day return window!
I'm actually doing the same and for mostly the same reasons. I had the iPad generation 7 and traded that in to get the mini 5. I felt the iPad was too heavy to lug around during my work commute. Now that I'm no longer commuting, and my eyes are getting older, I think the iPad Air will be a better fit for me.
 

coachingguy

macrumors 6502a
I've been an iPad user since iPad1... I've got an iPad Air for work and my personal iPad mini5. I rarely, as in almost never use the iPad Air, but use my iPad mini5 daily. I'll sometimes reach for my Air, and realize I haven't used it for a month and the battery is down to 25%... LOL

IMHO, if you've been a Mini user, you'll miss it if you don't have it. I'm really hoping that they give the Mini the same update as the iPad Air4 next Spring! I'll be ordering mine day 1!

Coachingguy
 
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bluespark

macrumors 68020
Jul 11, 2009
2,074
2,313
Chicago
Like others here, I’m a proponent of the Kindle for reading. Since a Kindle won’t work for OP’s needs, I think the mini is the next best thing for reading, and superior for books with pictures.
 

Robbosan

macrumors 6502
Aug 21, 2020
292
164
You are the one who made the claim. If you don't have statistics to back it up, that's fine... you are entitled to your opinion, but masquerading it as a fact is not helpful.
Just gave you enough proof in all the threads of people looking for back covers, what stats would you like a door knock of mini owners?
 

nordique

macrumors 68000
Oct 12, 2014
1,755
1,354
Over the years, I went from a 12.9 iPad Pro -> 2018 9.7 iPad -> iPad Mini 5. Due to the nature of iPadOS, I've been able to use the Mini in all of the ways I was using the larger ones, and using it even more because it is a very convenient and portable form-factor.

I've done a lot of e-reading on all of them, but I find the Mini to be head-n-shoulders above the others for that purpose. I use the Mini to read vintage magazines and store catalogs without much of an issue. Yes, I usually have to pinch to zoom, but the performance is so buttery smooth that it isn't an inconvenience. Even on the 12.9 Pro I would have to pinch to zoom. It really depends upon your source material and how they are formatted (or not formatted).

Another thing to consider is that the neither Air nor the Pro have a smartcover. That adds considerable bulk and weight. The smartcovers for the Mini 4 work perfectly with the Mini 5.

The only non-Mini iPad I would recommend for people who will use their iPad as an ereader would be the 8th Gen iPad. Smartcovers and smartkeyboards are available for them. They're terrific accessories. If I was going to size-up from the Mini, it would be the 8th gen... without a doubt.
Out of curiosity, why the 8th gen and not say the 10.5 Pro or Air 3, or an 11” Pro/10.9” Air 4?

they all seem more or less the same size as the 10.2” iPad 7/8
 
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