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dk808

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
May 13, 2015
616
364
I have the original ipad air and im planning on buying either the ipad mini 4 or the ipad 9.7 ($329 model). Im not sure which to go with because I dont really like the weight of the Ipad air i have now because i usually use it when laying down on the couch or my bed and my arms end up getting tired after a while. Im surprised the ipad mini is more expensive because its much older. What would you guys recommend? Also is the new 9.7 inch ipad lighter than the ipad air?
 

Loge

macrumors 68030
Jun 24, 2004
2,827
1,310
England
If you don't like the weight of the Air and you want to use it mostly for reading in bed or on the couch, the mini sounds like a better buy. It's only more expensive than the 9.7 because it has 128GB capacity instead of 32GB.
 
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rui no onna

Contributor
Oct 25, 2013
14,781
12,993
$329 iPad 9.7 is same weight as the Air. It's notably faster though and at this point in time, I'd personally rather deal with the weight of the 9.7 iPad than buy a mini 4 with A8 (chipset first released in 2014).
 

borgranta

macrumors 6502
May 9, 2018
304
96
The current 2018 iPad 9.7 released earlier this year for $329 now includes Apple Pencil support. If you desire a cellular capable version it can be had for $429. Both versions offer 32GB of storage. For the 128GB versions it will cost $429 for the regular one and $559 for the cellular capable one. The cellular version may be ideal for people that need a backup internet connection or just in need of being mobile in areas with no free WIFI.
 
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borgranta

macrumors 6502
May 9, 2018
304
96
I have the original ipad air and im planning on buying either the ipad mini 4 or the ipad 9.7 ($329 model). Im not sure which to go with because I dont really like the weight of the Ipad air i have now because i usually use it when laying down on the couch or my bed and my arms end up getting tired after a while. Im surprised the ipad mini is more expensive because its much older. What would you guys recommend? Also is the new 9.7 inch ipad lighter than the ipad air?
I found Apple refurbished iPad minis cheap at this link https://www.apple.com/shop/browse/home/specialdeals/ipad/ipad_mini_4
The best cellular capable one in terms of storage capacity is priced at $449 for the 128GB version. The WIFI only version with 128GB of ram is $339.
 

LibbyLA

macrumors 6502a
Jun 16, 2017
810
844
I have the original ipad air and im planning on buying either the ipad mini 4 or the ipad 9.7 ($329 model). Im not sure which to go with because I dont really like the weight of the Ipad air i have now because i usually use it when laying down on the couch or my bed and my arms end up getting tired after a while. Im surprised the ipad mini is more expensive because its much older. What would you guys recommend? Also is the new 9.7 inch ipad lighter than the ipad air?

If you decide you want the Mini 4 and can wait, you may be able to get one on sale. I think I got mine for about $275 new (wifi only, 128 G) from BestBuy last summer or fall.
 

Greenmeenie

macrumors 68020
Jan 14, 2013
2,084
3,214
I am partial to the mini size...but I would buy the $329 2018 iPad if I were you. It has a super fast chip and can use the Apple Pencil. The iPad mini 4 although still viable, is 3 yrs old already. For longevity alone, i’d Choose the 9.7” iPad.

Having said that, if you can wait, I would wait to see what Apple does with the iPad Pro update that many think is coming in the next few months. Although there have been no credible rumors, I am hoping that Apple may announce an iPad mini update alongside the new iPad pros. Again, a long shot...but for me, it’s worth waiting, because my iPad mini 2 is in desperate need of a replacement. I would definitely nab a new iPad mini if they announced one this fall. Otherwise, I think the rumors about Apple possibly discontinuing the mini may be true.
 
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akash.nu

macrumors G4
May 26, 2016
10,826
16,948
Mini will probably be discontinued at this point. Not an option for me at all. Go for the 2018 iPad.
 

culb0743

macrumors regular
Feb 24, 2013
106
21
I have both and have to say I reach for the mini far more often than I do for her heavier 9.7" sister. The mini had iOS 11 installed when I got it and while having the same reservations regarding the A8 that others have voiced here, I knew I had the 9.7" to fall back on. I take an iPad to work, and usage in this capacity is not processor-intensive (email, web, PDFs, reference apps). Primarily I wanted something lighter in the bag I carry. As soon I set up the mini 4, I noticed myself neglecting the 9.7 iPad due to the weight discrepancy. Both devices have the same storage and RAM specs. I'm sure other forum members will offer a differing appraisal, but since 11.3, I don't notice a dramatic difference in performance. After several months of having both, the 9.7 has been reserved for processor-intensive applications, e.g., editing photos, the occasional game, etc. Narrowing it down to one device would be difficult, but the mini gets more usage day-to-day. Even at home where I could easily reach for the more powerful 9.7. The 9.7 is "future proof" for a few iOS versions, but for me was in many ways less convenient. When it was my only tablet, I simply used a tablet less often (as was also the case for older 9.7" models I've had over the years). If you keep an eye out, you can find reasonable sales on a new mini 4. Factoring in the sale price for the mini, and the storage option (128) of the 9.7, I paid less for the mini. I also prefer the mini's display.
 
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Azeroth1

macrumors 6502
Apr 20, 2010
302
685
I have both as well.

Newer iPad is much snappier, but I like the mini form factor more. Newer iPad would be a better investment, but I still like my mini.
 
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44267547

Cancelled
Jul 12, 2016
37,642
42,492
I have both as well.

Newer iPad is much snappier, but I like the mini form factor more. Newer iPad would be a better investment, but I still like my mini.

I agree with your iPad Mini form factor comment, but I’m doubtful that I would ever consider a tech device to be an ‘investment’, especially it’s deappreciation and eventually it becomes obsolete/unsupported.
 

Azeroth1

macrumors 6502
Apr 20, 2010
302
685
I agree with your iPad Mini form factor comment, but I’m doubtful that I would ever consider a tech device to be an ‘investment’, especially it’s deappreciation and eventually it becomes obsolete/unsupported.

That’s a fair point. In this case I meant it more between just those two devices and that one would likely last “longer” from a usage/performance perspective because of the newer hardware (at least in my opinion).
 
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Boyd01

Moderator
Staff member
Feb 21, 2012
7,781
4,655
New Jersey Pine Barrens
I was faced with this choice a few weeks ago. Really wanted the size of the mini but in the end I just couldn't pull the trigger because of the price and age of the technology. Got the 128gb 2018 9.7" LTE iPad, which was only $30 more than the same spec Mini 4. Happy with my choice, especially because of Apple Pencil support, but it would have been nice to have the Mini to use in the car as a GPS.
 
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