All iPads iPad Air or rMini when I already have 13" rMBP and iPhone 5

Discussion in 'iPad' started by jiE, Dec 29, 2013.

  1. jiE macrumors regular

    Sep 1, 2007

    I have decided that I want to try an iPad. I had the iPad 1 for a few months when it first came out, but the browsing experience was not very well so I decided to sell it again. With the reviews of the two new models I have decided to try the iPad again.

    Like many others I cannot really decide between the Air and the mini. I have the Haswell 13" rMBP and an iPhone 5. The rMBP is being brought to school every time and the iPad is not going to replace it's use for this. However, when I'm at home i connect the MBP to my 27" cinema screen where I tend to leave it until I go to school again.

    I am going to use the iPad for PDF reading from school and work, and in the morning for reading the news (assume that I have to hold the iPad for 10-15 mins for this one). Other use is for occasional traveling (maybe 4-5 times a year) and when I want to couch surf, and use spotify to stream music to the stereo using an Apple TV. also going to be used for watching tv and netflix.
    I will probably get some cloud service for photos that I can view on the iPad too.

    Which would be your pick?
  2. AQ1225 macrumors newbie

    Oct 10, 2013
    rMini is amazing

    I was in a similar situation as you - I have a 13" MB Air and the iPhone 5S and was in the market for an iPad to replace the iPad 3.

    After all the rave reviews about the iPad Air and how light it is compared to previous models, I had every intention to go with the iPad Air . . but I went to the Apple store and played with the rMini for 2 minutes and I was sold; the rMini is amazing.

    Yes it might have a 'washed' out color in comparison to the iPad Air or has a faulty gamut (everyones freakin favorite buzzword for the past few months) but the rMini's form factor is just too perfect to pass up.

    The size of the iPad Air (9.7") is too close to the 13" MB Air; so getting a 7.9" rMini fits perfectly between a 4" iPhone 5S and 13" MB Air.

    I use the rMini at least twice as more often as I did the iPad 3; reading PDFs, iBooks, news articles, watching videos, playing games - the rMini is perfect.
  3. Max(IT) Suspended


    Dec 8, 2009
    In your situation a think a rMini could be better, especially because your are going to use it on the go.
  4. dljor macrumors 6502

    Nov 3, 2013
  5. Dlanod macrumors 6502a

    Jul 11, 2008
    I have a 13" Air and an iPhone 5s and an rMini. Great combo. I agree that the Air is too close to the Macbook Air.
  6. Angler macrumors regular

    Mar 26, 2011
    I'm is the same boat as you. Had the air the bought a 13" MBPr returned the air for the mini as the air and pro were to close imo.
  7. BasicGreatGuy Contributor


    Sep 21, 2012
    In the middle of several books.
    Reading lengthy PDF 's on a mini could be frustrating, compared to the air.

    In my opinion, the answer is determined by deciding which product meets your needs the best. Being in school as well, the answer for me was the air.
  8. ritmomundo macrumors 68000


    Jan 12, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    I was in your same position, and my answer is Neither. I wanted an iPad rMini because I thought I could use it, but I ended up hating carrying around yet another device, so I sold it.
  9. ckeck macrumors 6502a


    Jul 29, 2005
    Struggling with this same decision right now. I have a 5S and 13" MBA. The form-factor of the rMini is hard to beat and it's very versatile, but the iPad Air is much better than previous iPads as well.

    If you plan to do a lot of reading, especially PDF reading, this could be a bit frustrating on the rMini as others have mentioned. The text can be REALLY small. Even with 20/10 eyes I'm constantly pinching/zooming or squinting on the rMini I'm testing with.

    Pros/Cons to each, just have to decide which will be comfortable for that specific use case over the long run.
  10. docal97 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 28, 2006
    I love the small form factor of the rMini. The screen is just amazing. I also have an iPad, but find myself using the mini more than I ever used the bigger iPad. It is so portable, I take it wherever I go.
  11. dljor macrumors 6502

    Nov 3, 2013
    Same here with iPhone 5s and 13 mbpr.

    I don't think you should worry about overlapping between your laptop and the ipad. You only use one at a time. Also, the ipad air is still way more portable than the mbp.

    PDFs will be hard to read on the mini. That's the drawback that you need to consider. I'd recommend testing both out.
  12. DiCaprioAngel macrumors 6502

    Jul 12, 2013
    New York
    I recently purchased a 15 inch rMBP (which I'm waiting impatiently to be delivered) and have been pondering on whether or not I should also buy an ipad. I have an iphone 5 as well so I know that I would have to do a lot of thinking on whether I should, in fact, add an ipad to my apple family. After debating with myself, I finally settled on a retina ipad mini. I have no intention of the ipad to replace my computer (otherwise why would I have spent over $3000 on a laptop I wasn't going to use?). Also, one of the main uses for the ipad would be to use it as an e-reader and surf the web before bed or while lounging on the sofa. Maybe evenlisten to music and play some games on it, but my macbook would be used for the heavy stuff. I wanted something small and easy to handle. I always thought that the bigger tablets weren't really my taste. Might as well just settle for a laptop, in my opinion. In the end, it all depends on the user. We all have our own tastes and opinions on which is better to have based on size, display, specs, etc
  13. junglesnake macrumors 6502


    Oct 17, 2011
    Was in the exact same boat a few weeks ago. The air was way to similar in size and weight compared or the pro so I was always grabbing the pro. So I returned it for a rmini and couldn't be happier. Now I have something portable besides my computer. To me the sir was worthless in my situation.
  14. mripadmini macrumors regular


    Aug 24, 2013
    go buy a ipad if you feel it fits into your work flow. air if you want big screen and ultra clear text. mini the one i have if you want portability. either way you go you can always return the iPad if you get it and find it is not right for you or did not do the things you want it to do. if you like it and decide to keep it you might want to get a bluetooth keyboard.
  15. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    I have similar uses to use, and have a Retina iPad mini, along with an iPhone 5s and 13" rMBP.

    You really can't go wrong with either version. I went with the Retina mini since the rMBP takes up enough room in my bag.
  16. rmhop81 macrumors 68020


    Apr 4, 2005
    Dallas, TX
    We'll I've got a variety of machines so hopefully I can help. In our house we have: 11inch MBA, 13inch MBA, 24inch dell LCD, 2 ipad airs, 2 ipad minis, 2 iPhone 5's. So a variety of screen sizes. For several years I always had to have the most portable items. So we only rocked 11inch MBA and ipad minis. Realized that we didn't really take them many places that we wouldn't be able to take an ipad air etc.

    Upgraded to a 13inch MBA as got a deal on it. Waited and waited for a retina mini. The screen was so nice it made me want a bigger screen instead of using the small cramped one. I didn't really have that prob until retina mini came out.

    Bought several rounds of retina thinking this is what I wanted only to wanting more screen and gettin an air. So if u have a 13inch laptop, 27inch LCD, u may want a bigger ipad too. May sell our old minis soon as they don't get used, but I feel the ipad air is the best thing out there. Don't get me wrong, the retina mini is nice, but if u are used to using big screens it may be a weird transition. It may leave u wanting more screen like it did with me.
  17. jiE thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 1, 2007
    Thank you all for the replies.

    I'm leaning towards the Air, but will ultimately decide when I try them out in the shop in the new year. :)
  18. iJeremy macrumors member


    Sep 14, 2007
    San Clemente, California
    15" rMBP and iPad Air

    I have a 15" rMBP and an iPhone 5. I chose the Air because it makes the most sense for me as the perfect fit between the other two devices. The other reason is because I do a lot of ebook reading using iBooks and prefer to read in landscape orientation with two facing pages because it's most like reading a paper book. It's hard to do this on a rMini because the fonts are just too small in that orientation.

    If you measure the size of the electronic page in iBooks on the Air it's almost exactly the same size as a larger paperback or smaller hardback, which for me is the perfect size for a book. The Mini is more like a small paperback, which is no longer a good size for my eyes at age 54.

    I love the rMini and was extremely tempted to get one instead; but that would have been an emotional decision rather than a practical one. Besides, I love the Air too!
  19. dannynjoni macrumors regular

    Oct 14, 2010
    I got the Air since I love photography and purchased a rMini for my wife. After having them both around for the last couple weeks It's still impossible to say which is better. Definitely the Air if you do much photography. The rMini is very nice for reading books and is a more "intimate" experience. I guess basically that if your into your graphic content a little more than your PDFs, books, etc...then You'd likely want to get the Air.
  20. Misskitty macrumors 6502

    Jun 18, 2010
    I have both and theyre not close at all. Plus comparing 5lbs to 1lbs.
  21. warvanov macrumors 6502a

    Oct 13, 2011
    I'm in a similar position. I have a 13" MBP (2011) and an iPhone 5, and I just bought a retina iPad mini. I've only had it for two days and so far I love it.

    I reasoned that if I needed a larger screen or was going somewhere that I could take a larger portable device that I already had a MBP that I could take with me. I've also always thought that the full size iPad models were too bulky (not just too heavy) and that the form factor of the iPad mini was perfect.
  22. Macalicious2011 macrumors 6502a

    May 15, 2011
    I bought the iPad 2 when it came up and last year I upgraded to iPad 3. And later during the year I bought a Macbook Pro Retina 15 inch. Last week I took delivery of an iPhone 5S.

    Does the iPad feel redundant? Not at all. In fact I am more in love with the iPad than before. It offer a desktop browsing experience in a compact package and it's not as claustrophobic as the iPhone.

    Each of the three devices compliment each other well. The iPad isn't as portable as the iPhone, yet gaming on the phone is nowhere as sexy and immersive as on the tablet.
  23. Chevelle macrumors regular

    Sep 9, 2010
    I just bought a mbp 13" today with an iPad air. I knew I was getting the 13". I was stuck between the air and mini as well. after playing with them in the store I knew I wanted the air. websites and text can get cramped on the mini. the air is so light and I had no problem handling it one handed. I got a 128gb ATT.
  24. Badrottie Suspended


    May 8, 2011
    Los Angeles
    rMini is all you need. That is all I can say right now. :apple:
  25. applehead12, Dec 31, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2013

    applehead12 macrumors member

    Nov 2, 2013
    I have an iPhone 5, an iPad Mini and a 13" rMBP but my rMBP normally stays at home and only goes with me when I travel. I'm actually looking into buying up to an iPad Air (with cellular). The mini's too small to use as a laptop replacement.

    ....however it'll have to wait since I got my 13" rMBP and QC15s last year.

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