iPad Mini 4 or iPad Air 2

Discussion in 'iPad' started by max2, Nov 2, 2015.

  1. max2 macrumors 68000

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    May 31, 2015
    #1
    I can't decide. Which one is better in your opinion?
     
  2. sonicrobby macrumors 68020

    sonicrobby

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2013
    Location:
    New Orleans
    #2
    I struggle with this all of the time. Love my iPad 3, then bought the mini and sold my iPad because it was much easier to have on me for college. Then bought the air 2 and sold my mini because I enjoyed the larger screen. Now seeing the mini 4 in stores, I'm having my temptations guiding me to buy one.

    The better one is whichever one works for your needs.
     
  3. joeblow7777 macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2010
    #3
    Try them out in store and go with the form factor that works better for you. In terms of performance, the Air 2 is more powerful, but for most tasks the difference probably won't matter.
     
  4. Poochi macrumors 6502a

    Poochi

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2010
    Location:
    Toronto
    #4
    Neither. Wait for iPad Air 3.

    iPad Mini 4 is nice if you really wanted portability. But the GPU is a lot worse than last year's iPad Air 2.

    I have both, and I don't carry iPad Mini out as I thought I would, and the screen is "too small" for home use.
     
  5. Genkakuzai macrumors regular

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    Jun 13, 2013
    #5
    Air 2 all day long, imho. It doesn't feel too big in any way.
     
  6. joeblow7777 macrumors 601

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    Sep 7, 2010
    #6
    What does "too small for home use" mean? Does your home have rules about permitted tablet sizes? Personally, I prefer the size of the Mini, and if the GPU is a lot worse than the Air 2, I so far have not come across any reason why that matters.
     
  7. Genkakuzai macrumors regular

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    Jun 13, 2013
    #7
    Certainly a matter of preference. The mrs was fine with her iPad Mini, size wise, but for me it's too small. Then again I have pretty big hands, that's probably a part of it.
     
  8. joeblow7777 macrumors 601

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    Sep 7, 2010
    #8
    Big hands just make the Mini the perfect size to hold in one hand, in my opinion. If your hands are too large to comfortably manipulate the display, good luck using any smartphone.
     
  9. newellj macrumors 601

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    Oct 15, 2014
    Location:
    Boston, MA, US
    #9
    Neither's better, they're different. What do you want? For portability and thumb-typing the Mini is better. For pure screen size and a small number of applications that really need the trip-core CPU and faster GPU (which wouldn't be much - maybe some games?), the Air 2 is better. It depends what your priorities are.
     
  10. ob81 macrumors 65816

    ob81

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Virginia Beach
    #10
    I just had this battle with myself for the past 2 weeks. Went with the Air 2. The mini is awesome, but too close in size to my iPhone 6+. Plus the mini gets limited when it comes to producing things.
     
  11. af21187 macrumors 6502

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    Sep 15, 2012
    #11
    Air 2. You can find them $120 below MSRP at Staples every now and then.
     
  12. ZebraDude macrumors 6502a

    ZebraDude

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    Sep 7, 2014
    Location:
    Naperville, IL
    #12
    another Factor is the iPad Air 2 is being discounted these days (CostCo, Sams Club,etc...)
     
  13. The Game 161 macrumors G5

    The Game 161

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    Dec 15, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    #13
    I have both

    can't go wrong with either. Depends how big you want it
     
  14. Batavian macrumors 6502

    Batavian

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    Mar 10, 2011
    #14
    Agree. Air 2 for home. Mini 4 LTE for travel.
     
  15. RickTaylor macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2013
    #15
    This question comes up a lot on this forum. Both the Air and the mini have their fans. The bottom line is, it's a matter of what's more important to you, a larger screen or a more compact device? No one can make that decision for you.

    The mini is pretty much a shrunken down Air. It has the same 2048 x 1536 resolution screen, only the pixels are crowded closer together. Software runs on the mini just as it does on the Air, except everything is smaller. In some ways this is good, as you can be confident software written for the Air will automatically work for the mini. The downside is screen buttons, text,and so on will all be shrunken down from what they were originally designed for. You might not like themini if you don't care for smaller text. Also, clicking on smaller screen elements may be a touch more fussy. Most people who use the mini for sheet music seem to much prefer the larger screen. Also, movies and games may be more immersive on a larger screen.

    So why does anyone prefer the mini? The form factor is wonderfully compact! Not that the Air is bulky by any means, but the mini is small enough to fit in a suit jacket pocket or a purse. In my case, the mini goes everywhere with me in my suit jacket pocket. If I'm standing in line bored, no need to fish around in some bag or case, my hand just dips into my pocket and it's there. When I get to the head of the line, it's gone just as easily. The mini can be easier to use in certain circumstances, for example lecturing at a black board with chalk in one hand and copying a problem off of the mini in the other, or carrying a bag in a department store in one hand and the mini for gps in the other (and I use the mini for gps in my car all the time). Some people feel the mini is less obtrusive when using in crowded public areas, like the bus. For some of us, there's something about the size, similar to a paperback book,that feels right for casual use. And while the larger screen of the Air is nice visually for gaming, some prefer the smaller size of the mini because it's easier to reach the buttons on the screen.

    So there you have it. They're both great devices, and no one can tell you which is the right device for you. In my opinion, it's best not to over-analyze. If you have a gut preference for one, if you find yourself hoping you'll choose one of the two, if one of them makes you smile, that's the one I'd go with.
     
  16. mr.bee macrumors 6502a

    mr.bee

    Joined:
    May 24, 2007
    Location:
    Brussels, belgium
    #16
    I had an iPad 2 for 4 years, it was ok in the house, but I rarely took it outside.
    Now I have an iPad mini 4 and the form factor is nicer for me, for both in the house as taking it with me outside.

    For me the iPad mini is mainly an information consuming device that is easier to hold, and play games with. Only movies are indeed less immersive. And software is indeed shrunken from the iPad Air which makes it look cramped sometimes. But the advantages outweigh the annoyances by a large margin :)
     
  17. nj-morris macrumors 68000

    nj-morris

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    Nov 30, 2014
    Location:
    UK
    #17
    Both of them are great tablets, and as The Game 161 says, you can't really go wrong with either. I have an Air 2 because it's big enough for productivity and small enough for portability. But the Mini 4 is ultra-light and ultra-portable, and it's very good for taking it with you to places, if that's what you would do with a tablet.
    I would ultimately recommend the Mini because you get more for the money, but if price isn't an issue and/or the advantages of the Air outweigh the advantages of the Mini in your view, go ahead and get the Air.
     
  18. JerTheGeek macrumors 68000

    JerTheGeek

    Joined:
    May 15, 2014
    #18
    I was going through the same thing until I finally decided last week. Maybe this will help those who are trying to decide.
    My first iPad was an iPad 3, which I got after the iPad 4 came out, since it was a good discounted price. But that thing was just too heavy and I need more storage, so my next iPad was the iPad mini 1st gen. It was a great device and I had it from mid-2013 to about mid-2015. By then the iPad Air and air 2 were out and my mini 1 was running slow, and I was looking for an upgrade. I wanted to try the bigger screen again since it had gotten lighter and thinner, so I went for a refurb Air 1, which I'm typing on right now.
    I now have started using my iPad for homeschool as my textbooks and for other school uses, so I'm looking for my iPad to be more current since I use it every day. So I'm gonna upgrade this December, and like many I was stuck on iPad mini 4 vs. iPad Air 2.
    I have decided on the mini 4 for a few reasons.
    (1) It is only .65lbs. That super light weight will be so comfortable for holding and studying for long periods, or when lying in bed like I often do with my iPad. Also holding it one hand, which is uncomfortable for any amount of time longer than a few seconds in my experience with the Air 1, will be much nicer. I can easily slip it into my pocket and carry it around wherever I need to go without problem. I don't take my iPad out too often but when I do, the mini is much better than the Air.
    (2) I already have a MacBook Air 13 inch which means I can use a big screen anytime I need it; that makes the larger iPad Air screen a bit more redundant.
    (3) Apple has a holiday extended return policy which means if I get the mini 4 and find it to be too small, I can always return it for a refurb Air 2. This is what finally pushed me over to the mini 4. It's the one I've been leaning towards all along, but I had a slight bit of doubt about the downsize in screen real estate. The return policy has me covered.
    So, I would say, if you're buying now direct from Apple so you can take advantage of that holiday return policy, figure out which one your leaning towards, get that one, and if you made the wrong choice, you have until (I think) January 8th to return. Hope this helps anyone stuck between the two like I was!
     
  19. Andres Cantu macrumors 68030

    Andres Cantu

    Joined:
    May 31, 2015
    Location:
    Rio Grande Valley in South Texas
    #19
    Sounds like you could benefit from either of these two deals: iPad mini 4 for 10% off using the Target cartwheel app or http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Apple-i...ilver-Gold-Space-Grey/191717392565?rmvSB=true
     
  20. RickTaylor macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2013
    #20
    Sounds good to me. I hope you'll keep us posted and let us no what you ended up finally doing after return period is over.
     
  21. JerTheGeek macrumors 68000

    JerTheGeek

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    May 15, 2014
    #21
    I definitely will!
     
  22. JerTheGeek macrumors 68000

    JerTheGeek

    Joined:
    May 15, 2014
    #22
  23. Andres Cantu macrumors 68030

    Andres Cantu

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    May 31, 2015
    Location:
    Rio Grande Valley in South Texas
    #23
    No problem, glad they could benefit you and others!
     
  24. JerTheGeek macrumors 68000

    JerTheGeek

    Joined:
    May 15, 2014
    #24
    Well I actually have decided to go with the Air 2. I used a family member's iPad mini today and realized that the screen is just too small for me, it would be a hard adjustment from my Air. Turns out I didn't need to buy an iPad mini 4 to realize that.
     
  25. asleep macrumors 68040

    asleep

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2007
    #25
    I love my Mini 4. The screen is so creamy good... the color plus the ppi, I guess. Runs flawlessly for me.

    But if I could get a standard sized iPad that mirrored the Mini 4, I'd have to rethink it. I guess I'll see when they update the Air 2.
     

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