iPad iPad Air or rMini for intensive (academic) use?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by naomired, Nov 17, 2013.

  1. naomired, Nov 17, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2013

    naomired macrumors newbie

    Nov 17, 2013
    I am planning to buy an iPad for academic use [will use it intensively - around 8 hours a day ], undecided whether to go for Air or rMini. Will be grateful if you could help me to choose.

    1. Which is more comfortable to hold and read? [trade off : Air's size good for eyes, weight may be not]
    2. Does Air or rMini get warm making it uncomfortable to put on the lap or to hold it?
    3. Is the glare or reflection from the screen too distracting or painful?
  2. ZBoater macrumors G3


    Jul 2, 2007
    Sunny Florida
    1. The Mini.
    2. No.
    3. No.

    If we're going to use it 8 hours a day, I'd get the Air for the larger screen. But I'd put it on a desk or something. After a while it will start getting heavy. :D
  3. AdonisSMU macrumors 603

    Oct 23, 2010
  4. AttilaTheHun macrumors 65816


    Feb 18, 2010
    I have the mini, I bought it because the ipad was too big and heavy
    I just bought the air after the two no nos were solved,
    it's not heavy at all and the size is smaller, and I take it to school but not for 8 hours,
    because I spend less time there.
  5. JGWolven macrumors regular

    Oct 10, 2013
  6. RickTaylor macrumors 6502a

    Nov 9, 2013
    If you're using it eight hours a day, you may find the mini more convenient to carry around. Do you have a jacket? The mini fits nicely in my jacket pocket and goes everywhere with me. On the other hand, do you take a backpack or briefcase everywhere with you? In that case, the Air will fit in that nearly as well, and you might prefer it for the larger screen. Do you like to read a work with a tablet in your lap? Definitely the Air then, the smaller mini works close up. Do you expect to be lecturing at a board with the tablet in one hand and a piece of chalk in the other? The mini might be less awkward for this.

    There are tradeoffs for both advices, and it's a personal decision what works best for oneself.
  7. ShakinBake macrumors member

    Oct 20, 2013
    It really depends how you see yourself using it. I'm a medical student always on the go. The mini R made the most sense for me and here's why.

    It's perfect as a study aid between classes. I can view countless histology slides and anatomy pictures. Carry around dozens of books at a time, that in its physical form would easily weigh 100+ lbs. Prepare presentations on the fly and organize my day. All in a light weight ultra portable device that I can keep in a special inner pocket of my uniform that's always ready to b whipped out incase of emergency .... Or boredom.

    Ordered the space grey 32gb wifi. Should arrive Tuesday.
  8. Harmonious Zen macrumors 6502a

    May 18, 2013
    If you're going to be using this 8 hours a day, you'll want the bigger screen on the Air. Plus if you're reading PDFs or journal articles, the Air makes a lot more sense.
  9. ppfd macrumors regular


    Apr 14, 2007
    West Virginia USA
    Shakinbake brings up good points.

    I'm a Nurse and used an ipad 1 all the way up to my 3 while in various classes, continuing ed seminars, training, etc.

    I just picked up my r mini last night. I like the size and "carryablity" (is that a word!:D)

    I'm back in school for advanced practice and interested to see how this one will work out.
  10. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    It depends. What sort of academic use? If you are going to be using or manipulating images, the Air has a wider color gamut, and so photos will look richer. If it is just text, then I think either would be fine.

    Will it be the only device you carry? If so, maybe go with the Air since you might find the larger screen easier to read. If not, consider the mini as it is still noticeably lighter.
  11. saberahul macrumors 68040

    Nov 6, 2008
    Got the mini for the wife for the same purpose. Fits well in her white coat pocket. I'd prefer the larger (use the iPad 4 for now). Doesn't get heavy when holding with 2 hands (like reading a book) and does everything flawless. Why the bigger one? Allows me to take notes more feasibly in notability - something I always do.
  12. xraydoc, Nov 17, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2013

    xraydoc macrumors demi-god


    Oct 9, 2005
    My own personal experience: the mini is more portable, and it's lighter so it's easier to hold, but the full-sized iPad's screen is easier to read multi-column journal articles and such... Less zooming and panning.

    Again, just my own personal experience.

    I went from an iPad 3 (great screen) to an iPad mini (super easy to carry) to an iPad Air. And I'm very happy with the Air.

    Try both and see which is better for you - screen size or device size.
  13. mac.cali macrumors 65816

    Mar 16, 2012
    I say try both. Some class rooms have very small desks and a larger device makes it harder to use with school supplies already on the desk. As far as factor goes, to each is own. The wife loves the mini size for ease to hold and and do the exact same function as the air. If the mini was severely under powered I'm sure the air would be the go to option, but since specs are similar you really can't go wrong with either one.
  14. rkuo macrumors 6502a

    Sep 25, 2010
    I suspect you might be trying to get an iPad for the wrong reasons. For heavy academic use at 8 hours a day I don't think I could recommend any sort of iPad. So you need to give us more context as to what you are planning on doing.
  15. AudiFan macrumors newbie

    Oct 10, 2013
    I have had the rMIni since launch, my first iPad. I found out that it is almost unusable for me in portrait mode reading the small text without zooming in or holding it up to my face. I don't think it would be a great 8 hours/ a day reading device. Maybe iPad air or MacBook?
  16. naomired thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 17, 2013
    Thank you for responding to my queries.

    Since some of you wanted to know, I am a university teacher and plan to use the iPad for:

    i. organising my course materials, reading and preparing notes for class lecture
    ii. reading ebooks and pdf journal articles for my research and annotating them and then export the highlighted texts for further analyses and writing research paper (not on iPad)
    iii. reading student assignments and commenting
    iv. reading and marking university's administrative and policy documents
    v. managing article- and ebook- library on iPad
    vi. and of course, emailing from the iPad.
  17. donnaw macrumors 65816

    Apr 19, 2011
    Austin TX
    The mini is so nice to carry around. But you might want to consider eye strain. Using it for as long a day as you intend might cause eye strain. I suppose it depends on your eyesight. If you can read the smaller text comfortably then go for it.

    I would suggest getting a mini and doing a day' tasks and see. If you find it uncomfortable at the end of the day the Air might be a better fit and you can return it.

    Your schedule and daily tasks sound stressful enough without adding the wrong device into the mix.
  18. illmatic41 macrumors regular

    Aug 19, 2012
    For all those uses, both Air or rMini would obviously work. The Air would be a more comfortable pick for your uses it seems. As a university teacher I assume you have some sort of office space and carry a briefcase or bag, thus the increased footprint isn't really an issue for you to carry around.
  19. The.Dude macrumors regular


    Oct 21, 2013
    As an instructor of sorts, I'd love to know what apps you plan on using to get 1 and 3 done.

    That said, I would not use an iPad, primarily, for these purposes.
  20. thelookingglass macrumors 68000

    Apr 27, 2005
    Air seems perfect. As someone else mentioned, you'll probably have a bag anyway, so the portability factor of the mini isn't really an advantage as neither is heavy. The larger screen will be much easier to work on for 8 hours.
  21. ZBoater macrumors G3


    Jul 2, 2007
    Sunny Florida
    This could be done assuming you can manage all your incoming files in a supported format. For example, if all students submitted assignments is PDF, you could use a PDF app to annotate and review and comment. If they send in a Word format, the annotation capabilities would depend on the app. I haven't used Quickoffice or Docs to Go to annotate, so I can't comment. I'd suggest Goodreader as a great app to view and organize files.

    It would be an interesting experiment to attempt to do all this on an iPad. Good luck.
  22. naomired thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 17, 2013
    Thank you all for sharing your opinion and experience.
  23. rockyroad55 macrumors 601


    Jul 14, 2010
    Phila, PA

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