All iPads iPad air or iPad mini:Can't Decide

Discussion in 'iPad' started by hunterheath33, Nov 25, 2013.

  1. hunterheath33 macrumors regular

    Jul 15, 2012
    So being that now both the iPad air and the mini have almost the exact same specs, its a lot harder for me to make my decision. I hope you guys can help me decide.

    I use my current android phone for:
    Email, social media, Netflix, spotify, and playing games. Which do you guys recommend??? I also will be purchasing this around Christmas time if that makes any difference.
  2. AppleFanatic10 macrumors 68030


    Nov 2, 2010
    Encino, CA
    If size is a factor, I'd suggest that you get the mini. I've heard that a lot of people prefer the mini from the Air because of the size.
  3. rrm74001 macrumors 6502


    Nov 11, 2008
    Oh look, it's one of these threads again.

    The only question you need to ask yourself is how much you value portability.
  4. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002
    Mini is best if you want a true handheld media consumption device, esp as a bedtime or couch lounging device.

    Air is more comfortable as a creation device but still too (top)heavy to hold for a long time while reading. Bigger screen is also nicer for video esp since they are letter boxed.
  5. TallManNY macrumors 601


    Nov 5, 2007
    I've got the mini after having two generations of the iPad. I have to say that I like the mini because it fits in my coat pocket and it is easy to read standing on the Subway. But in almost any other situation the full size iPad is superior. I don't regret my Mini purchase because of the days I can leave my briefcase or man bag at home and still have a tablet with me. But I can see why Apple hesitated to enter this size space. It just is not as nice an experience as using the fullsize Air. It is nicer to carry around a mini, but not to use it.
  6. RickTaylor macrumors 6502a

    Nov 9, 2013
    They're both great tablets, and it's a matter of personal preference and usage which is right for each person. If you can, go to a store where you can handle the demo models, and see how they feel side by side. Sometimes one of them will just feel right.

    Do you typically wear a jacket or carry a purse? Most jacket pockets are big enough to carry the mini. That's a big part of why I like the mini so much, as I don't even need to have a bag or a briefcase in order for it to always be close at hand. But if you don't wear a jacket or carry a purse, the difference is much less significant; a backpack or briefcase will carry both of them about equally well.

    When you read something, do you typically hold it closer to your face or further away? If the latter, you might prefer the Air; if the former, you might prefer the mini. I'm a bit nearsighted myself and tend to hold things close; that might be part of the reason I like the mini.

    Do you want something that goes absolutely everywhere with you? Or are you content with using a smart phone for those times you need something completely portable?

    Do you want to use it for reading sheet music? A few people have commented the Air screen is much better for that.

    Do you mind needing to enlarge the text a bit when viewing websites, or viewing them in portrait mode? If that bothers you, the Air might be better. On the other hand,it bothers me a little, but for me the portability of the mini is worth it.

    Do you want to watch movies on it? I tend to think movies look better on a larger screen, though a few people have said they like watching movies on the mini on the couch or in bed.

    I find thumb-typing easier on the smaller screen of the mini. On the other hand, if you're going to want a physical keyboard accompanying your Ipad, then the Air is an obvious choice.
  7. shenan1982 macrumors 68040


    Nov 23, 2011
    That's like asking if you should get a blue shirt or a black shirt. Nobody can tell you what to get. If you really want to be told, just go and buy based on what's in stock. Seems you can't make decisions for yourself. They're the same product, the ONLY difference is the size. So if you don't know if you want a small or big screen, how can anyone in here tell you what you want?


    I agree, lol. It's amazing that so many people seek reassurance from someone else to make a personal decision. The only difference between the two is the screen size, so why would someone ask which they should buy?
  8. Mactroki macrumors member

    Nov 25, 2013
    Paris, France
  9. bmclaurin macrumors member


    Nov 10, 2011
    Las Vegas, NV
    If you're 40-plus years old like me, then your eyes are likely starting to degrade a bit. Even so, I bought the rMini a few days ago after months of waiting for the retina screen. I love the form factor, but I simply could not see it well enough. So back it went, and I picked up an Air in exchange. My eyes thanked me immediately. Almost literally a night and day difference in terms of readability for me. And quite snappier to boot.

    If you covet an ultra portable ipad, and your eyes are up to the task, the rMini is great. For almost all other purposes, the Air is superior IMO.

    Again, this is coming from someone that waited many months for the rMini.
  10. ZBoater macrumors G3


    Jul 2, 2007
    Sunny Florida
  11. Hey Jude macrumors 6502a

    Hey Jude

    May 9, 2008
    I got my Mini today, after about two weeks with the Air, and I still can't make up my mind, either (typing this response on the Mini).

    I compared screens, and the Air is definitely "warmer", and more pleasing however I really like the Mini's form factor. Based on my needs, the decision should've been fairly simple but my heart is overriding common sense at this point.

    I'm going to calibrate the rMini screen, and if I can warm it up a bit then I'm definitely keeping it. Thanks to Target's and Apple's holiday return policies, I have over a month to decide.
  12. ZBoater macrumors G3


    Jul 2, 2007
    Sunny Florida
    Let us know how that works out for you.
  13. hunterheath33 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 15, 2012
    If I purchase the device closer to Christmas do you think the screen issues will be fixed by then?
  14. ZBoater macrumors G3


    Jul 2, 2007
    Sunny Florida
    It depends on what issues you are referring to. Despite the many threads you read here, most people have no issues with their mini.

    Buy one now, and IF it has an issue, return or exchange it.
  15. Hey Jude macrumors 6502a

    Hey Jude

    May 9, 2008
    I'm not certain if this is sarcasm or not....

    Datacolor Spyder offers screen calibration for the iPad/iPhone so I'm going to attempt to calibrate the Mini's screen to try to get it closer to the Air's.

    If I'm successful, I will keep the Mini, otherwise color fidelity trumps portability for my needs, unfortunately.
  16. bnekic macrumors 6502a


    Sep 19, 2013
    Cleveland, OH
    I vote for Air, I've had both gens of the Mini.
  17. ZBoater macrumors G3


    Jul 2, 2007
    Sunny Florida
    Just a little bit. :D

    The rMini screen cannot be calibrated. The most you can hope for is calibrate a photo viewer, so it attempts to adjust pictures you view from your library. If that suits your needs, that's great. But once you go into the home screen or any other app, the "calibration" will not take.

    I've read somewhere jail breakers can change their device color profiles. I'd be curious to know what effect that would have given the rMini's little gamut...
  18. whodatrr macrumors 6502a


    Jan 12, 2004
    It's mainly about eyesight, IMOHO. If your eyesight is good enough with the mini, that might be your best machine. Best to try both units out, in the store.

    I went with the mini because I've still got good eyesight, and liked the smaller form factor. Only downside is my hearing has degraded a it over the years... and the mini is even quieter than the Air. Both are inferior, in audio, to my Kindle Fires.... the speaks on those machines are great. I just wish their ecosystems were better, and they were as intuitive as the iPads.

    Try both out in-person, and see what works best for you.
  19. Misskitty macrumors 6502

    Jun 18, 2010
    Dissapointed with the retina minis screen

    I find the jump from the mini to rmini isnt nearly as great as say the ipad2 to ipad3.

    It doesnt wow me and honestly i agree with the review i read where the guy said the same thing. Its not a big jump and something that should have spckme without a price hike.

    However,the airs screen is out of this world and kills the rminis screen.
  20. HappyDude20 macrumors 68020


    Jul 13, 2008
    Los Angeles, Ca
    Perusing through posts, debating myself to sleep as well. Did you follow up on this? Even an improvement on color, if at all?
  21. Dlanod macrumors 6502a

    Jul 11, 2008
    You've got more chance of a decent screen with an Air. Screen quality on the rMini is very patchy.
  22. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Check both out, though my vote is for the rMini. I love my little tablet, its quite mobile - fits in my coat pocket and is great fro reading - less arm fatigue then a larger tablet.
  23. s2mikey macrumors 68020


    Sep 23, 2013
    Upstate, NY
    Yeah, but it's not like the Air isn't portable. The mini just fits better in a purse or larger jacket pocket. Overall, I don't find the mini to be that much more portable. It still won't fit into a standard pants pocket or most jacket pockets. And, you will miss the screen real estate more often than you'd think.

    The Air. :D
  24. Jay Kayess macrumors newbie

    Nov 18, 2009
    Oregon Coast
    I'm in the same boat: Air or rMini ~ but I live 200 miles from the nearest Apple store so rely on reviews/advice.

    My other dilemma is whether to order a Verizon-ready unit even tho I don't currently have a cellular plan. My friend suggested adding it in case I ever do want/need cellular.

    Any suggestions on 32G vs 16G for possible future use (or resale value) when I currently only need 16G?

    Thanks for sharing your ideas.

    15" MacBook Pro w/in-home WiFi
    & Inherited Old iPod Touch
  25. Jambalaya macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2013
    I have an iPad1 64 Wifi only.

    As above mini is great for coat pocket portability. Fullsize needs to go in a bag of some sort. For me the extra screen size is well worth it, so I'll be getting an Air next year.
    As for cellular, when I need internet I use personal hotspot from my iPhone. To me unless you are going to have your iPad without having your phone with you at the same time why pay for two contracts ? You can also think about a mobile wifi device (I have one also) which costs no more than having the cellular connection inside the iPad but is more flexible.
    I think 16GB is too small for the iPad (my iPhone is that size) as on the iPad you are more likely to have movies, tv shows, lots of music, documents, more apps/games. I have a 64 currently and will go for 32 or 64 next time.

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