All iPads iPad Air vs iPad mini with Retina Review

Discussion in 'iPad' started by ppone, Nov 14, 2013.

  1. ppone, Nov 14, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2013

    ppone macrumors regular

    Sep 1, 2011
    I just got the mini /w Retina display. It not an immersive experience as the Air.
    The mini complements my rMBP productivity wise. The Air would be a big distraction from my work flow.

    Some other thoughts=====>

    • The mini might get a little hotter than the Air because it has less space to dissipate the heat from the A7.
    • The mini though would recharge faster since it has a lower battery capacity.
    • The Air might have better battery life, I am not 100% sure though.
    • The screen on the mini has a more yellowish tone, maybe because it's Samsung?
    • The Air definitely has a better display, but day to day it's not something you would notice unless you have them side by side.
    • The build quality on the mini is just as good as the Air, it doesn't feel cheap at all.

    The performance is virtually the same, although I will add the Air might be better in situations where you push the A7 for longer amounts of time, this is due to the Air being better at dissipating heat. The throttling would take longer to occur for the Air in that situation.

    Steve Jobs and Company nailed the form factor on the 10 inch screen. It is so damn immersive, you just focus on the content. However it can be a distraction if your constantly doing work and need to use the iPad as a reference tool.

    In terms of portability obviously the mini is more portable, but the Air feels pretty damn light. On my desk, I can't place the Air on it, but the mini fits in nicely.

    If you have problems reading small print than don't get the mini. Air is better suited for reading. However, the content appears exactly the same on the Air or mini, meaning the alignment of web pages, and UI of apps are exactly the same on both. The only difference is that on the mini the content is shrunken down :).

    Get the Air if you want an immersive experience. Also if you have trouble reading small print, get the Air.

    Get the mini if you want a productive experience meant to complement your existing workflow on your laptop.
  2. urkel macrumors 68030

    Nov 3, 2008
    The audio quality on the Air is also a gigantic improvement over the Air. Try playing them side by side and the Air almost even has some bass to it ... (almost... but not really. For some reason Apple has never cared about audio quality on ANY of their products so don't expect "great sound". I'm just saying it's nice to actually hear an improvement that goes beyond "it's a little louder than the last one")
  3. RickTaylor macrumors 6502a

    Nov 9, 2013
    That seems to me to be an excellent comparison of the two devices. I wonder if there's some way we could get it to automatically append to every "Should I get an Ipad mini or Air?" thread.
  4. AdonisSMU macrumors 603

    Oct 23, 2010
    This echos my feelings of the two devices. The Air makes me not want to use any other device ever. Whereas the mini is very much a complimentary device in terms of how I used the mini with my other products.
  5. HappyDude20 macrumors 68030


    Jul 13, 2008
    Los Angeles, Ca
    This is a seriously well laid out thread. I'm debating between the 2 now and having owned the iPad 1 & 3, I know how great it is to have a full 10 inch screen, but I totally get that carrying around a full sized Air can make you wanna only use that device.

    I have a 13inch rMBP and would agree in hoping that the retina mini would complement my workflow... my only issue is that i've owned the 1st and 3rd gen and love that full screen experience. An old flame I was once seeing had the 1st gen mini and we would be in bed, her with the mini and mine with the 3rd ten and I always preferred the full screen. I felt more immersed.

    Having been to the apple store 2 days ago and played with the iPad Mini Retina, I feel it may be too small for long term reading and browsing, but I do love the smaller portability factor and that its practically the same.

    I can't believe i'm still on the fence on this. I know the Mini is what I should be getting, so as to complement my workflow, but the Air just seems like the bold definition of having an iPad...

    Another thing is the gamut colors on the mini that bother me somewhat. i wish it didn't bug me but having the 3rd gen iPad i feel like i don't wanna sacrifice anything... and i get that on a daily basis it won't matter unless I'm comparing the air and mini side by side, but thats where I'm currently at with all this.. its pretty stressing actually.
  6. Decimotox macrumors 6502a

    Jul 8, 2013
    Do what's right for you and not what's "seen" by others as right. If the mini is better for your needs, get it. No use in spending more money for an Air just because it's the "definition of an iPad" or any reason like that.
  7. ZBoater macrumors G3


    Jul 2, 2007
    Sunny Florida
    I am going to disagree. Either one will compliment your workflow. The extra couple inches/ounces is not going to have any impact whatsoever on your workflow.

    And at 9.7", I would hardly call the iPad "immersive". I think this overstates the difference in size. "More immersive" implies one is immersive, and the other is more. Neither of these can be accurately described as immersive. A 75" LED TV is immersive. These are little tablets. One it little, the other is even more little.
  8. AdonisSMU macrumors 603

    Oct 23, 2010
    To me the iPad Air is immersive and the rMini is very complimentary.
  9. ZBoater macrumors G3


    Jul 2, 2007
    Sunny Florida
    Ok, well, I guess we are going to have to disagree on the meaning of the word immersive.
  10. cababah macrumors 68000

    Jun 11, 2009
    SF Bay Area, CA
    2" makes a huge difference!

    Ask your wife
  11. AdonisSMU macrumors 603

    Oct 23, 2010
    I know what immersive means. I still stand by my statements. Air is immersive.
  12. ZBoater macrumors G3


    Jul 2, 2007
    Sunny Florida
    Ok. The iPad Air provides information or stimulation for a number of senses, not only sight and sound, and/or generates a three-dimensional image which appears to surround the user.

    Got it.

    Whatever you are smoking, I want some please.
  13. fronesis macrumors member

    Oct 1, 2012
    I know I'll get mocked for even bringing this up, but the word that all of you are looking for is complement or complementary, with an E.

    You pay someone a compliment because they look nice or have done a good job. When you give something away for free you say it is "complimentary" because you are doing it to be nice.

    But if you want to say that one thing goes with or completes another, the word is complement, and two things that go together or connect or work well together are complementary to one another.
  14. ZBoater macrumors G3


    Jul 2, 2007
    Sunny Florida
    Thank you for the spelling lesson.
  15. plasticmoz macrumors regular

    Sep 15, 2007
  16. dmk1974 macrumors 68020


    Sep 16, 2008
    My wife and I just got an iPad Air and iPad Mini retina. While the iPad Air is a really sweet tablet, is getting amazing battery life, and has a beautiful large screen while being so much lighter than the previous iPad 4, for my use I prefer the iPad Mini retina.

    When I need a larger screen to be more productive, I go to the MacBook anyway. For couch/bed browsing, reading, checking e-mail and taking with me on the go, the Mini is much easier to hold and now with the retina display, just as easy to read. It also fits inside the breast pocket of my jacket. As for dropping to 7.9" vs 9.7", just hold the device a little closer to make them equivalent to your eye.

    The only area that the Mini is sometimes less optimal is for screen taps since each key and icon or text are slightly smaller vs your finger tip. But if you can use an iPhone, then the iPad Mini retina is not a problem.
  17. akdj macrumors 65816


    Mar 10, 2008
    While I typically agree with you on most of your contributions here @ MR, ZBoater...I'm 'with' the fact that the extra almost doubling of real estate of the Air vs the Mini, it in fact does provide a more immersive effect while consuming content or creating it. Watching a movie, manipulating motion or still pics, even gaming in many cases, with a good pair of headphones and at the same distance from your eyes, the doubling of surface are (nearly) does in fact bring in to play your located definition of the word immersive. Just as a large LED/3d/4k/240MHz refresh rate TV does in comparison to an iPad....but when directly compared to an IMAX theater, the 75" TV, regardless of the sound rig you've got set up in any typical living room most of us can bested by the large screen with 32 surround speakers and a dozen subs.
    IE, it's all relative

    Taking your definition literally, other than the 3D aspect (not a fan, nor is this mandatory to be a book can be immersive), I think the comparison actually fits your definition quite well;)

    I live in Alaska, you're welcome to come up anytime and I'll treat ya;). Known as some of the best in the world and IMHO, better than Humboldt county :)

    In all honesty, everyone's correct. What works for you is what is 'right.' For me, as an owner of the first gen mini and the Air, I could easily justify to myself the usage for both. Not quite as easy to provide that justification to my bride, so I'll buy her a rMini to replace her aging iPad 2. Win. Win. I've found honest to goodness usage patterns in my day to day workflow to own and use both. The Air/large iPad and a mini. As well as my laptop, a 15" daily driver rMBP and our Mac Pro for heavy lifting. We run and own a business predicated on efficient, consistent and trouble free computing. Apple provides that cross platform in spades. From phone to tablet to laptop to desktop, it's all there.

    That said, at night when I'm reading, surfing or watching a flick on my iPad, in bed...I DO prefer the more 'immersive' experience of my larger iPad. While resting on the porcelain throne, the the car wash, the mini...on the plane, the big see where I'm going. No one's right, no one's wrong...everyone has different needs and for probably 90-95% of today's population, the Mini or the Air is finally capable of being the ONLY necessary computer they'll need for their daily computing concerns. Facebook. Email. Reading their local paper, magazine, music and movies, surfing the web, sharing their photos, videos and documents...messaging and skype or FaceTime, it's pretty damn cool we are arguing about a one pound tablet vs a 10/11oz tablet....both with the same perceptible power and perfirmance as to which is 'better' or more immersive. For those reading a book, the mini can be just as immersive as the Air. If you're watching a movie or putting one together, the Air will smoke the mini every time. If you're riding the subway and are correcting your colleague's mistakes on the paper you're responsible for when you get to work....the mini will be as or more immersive than the Air because it's smaller, more discreet and easier to thumb type on in smaller areas

    I know it's not what Einstein meant, but the theory of relativity comes to mind;)

    Take care all. As an owner of the Air, experienced 'player-wither' of the rMini, I just don't see how you can go wrong EITHER way!

    As far as complementary, as I said earlier, it's as much so to own an air and a mini as it is a mini or air and laptop....or all three with desktop! Different strokes, first world probs, all those clichés come to mind.

    Good luck OP with your conundrum. I'm certain you'll figure it out. Best case, buy with both and return the one you're not as 'fond' of at the end of the month. The only downside, you may find out you're as bad as I. Can't get rid of either.

    FWIW, I bought the original mini on launch day as I'd just had full shoulder replacement surgery. Couldn't hold the big one. Intention was to return it in 45 days (Best Buy's platinum return policy). A5 chip, half the RAM, ¼ the resolution of the iPad 4 be damned. It was a keeper.....even as my strength started to come back, I've found many unique uses for both. I'm ready to start attending AA meetings. Apple Anonymous. I gave up drinking almost 15 years ago....but I think Apple is a significantly more expensive 'habit' (not going to call it an addiction....but it's close, DAMN close;))

  18. AdonisSMU macrumors 603

    Oct 23, 2010
    Sorry i misspelled it spelling police.
  19. thelookingglass macrumors 68000

    Apr 27, 2005
    I'm not sure where you get the idea that the definition of immersive necessarily requires a 3D image that surrounds the user. More immersive can simply be taken to mean that it's easier to focus on the content. Seeing as how the Air has a bigger screen, I don't see what you're nitpicking at.

    Why don't you be more useful and tell us whether you like the Air or mini better and why. :p
  20. darngooddesign macrumors G3

    Jul 4, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    I'm glad he posted that as I wasn't aware of the difference.
  21. ZBoater macrumors G3


    Jul 2, 2007
    Sunny Florida
    I get it from the dictionary. That's where I usually get the meaning of words when in doubt. You should try it. It works very nice.

    Right now I am liking both. The Air for use at home because of the larger screen and the Mini on the go for portability. I need to use them a few more days to decide if I have a favorite... :cool:


    I just got done watching Star Trek Into Darkness on a 75" LED TV in 3D Active Glasses with Surround Sound. THAT was immersive. The iPad..... ummmm, not so much. I guess we will have to agree to disagree. :D
  22. SA Spyder macrumors regular

    Oct 15, 2012
    By the way there's no such thing as performance throttling because of temperature. It's either within parameters or it gives you a warning message to wait.
  23. AdonisSMU macrumors 603

    Oct 23, 2010
    We are comparing computers not tvs.
  24. ZBoater macrumors G3


    Jul 2, 2007
    Sunny Florida
    I understand. My point was that applying the term "immersive" to a tablet is a bit of a stretch, and that a tablet is too small to be called "immersive". A 75" TV can be called immersive, not a 9.7" tablet.
  25. AdonisSMU macrumors 603

    Oct 23, 2010
    I disagree with that. The mini doesnt make me want to stop having my computer around altogether the way an Air does. To me that is immersive in the context of a computer. Context matters.

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