iPad mini iPad mini 5 - the truest iPad?

jclardy

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Oct 6, 2008
3,398
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I just picked up a mini 5 and I'm loving it - the perfect size for reading books, email, twitter, safari, video...everything an iPad is great at. And I have no desire to attach a keyboard to it, and that got me thinking that this is the purest form of the iPad - the way it was originally intended back in 2010. The "third device" category.

I own an 11" pro and it is an amazing piece of hardware...but it's capabilities mean that I always leave the keyboard and pencil attached, and nearly always I am using it in landscape on a desk surface. Essentially meaning that most of the time, I use it like I do a laptop.

I think that is the issue to me - the Air/Pro lines feel like they can be so much more, but in the end they are limited by their software and Apple's refusal to add touchpad/mouse support to the OS. So you end up hampered by having to carry around the keyboard attached to the thing all the time, but still needing a full laptop alongside it as well. They are a look at what iPad will be in the future, but that future just isn't here yet. In the meantime, the mini to me is the perfect execution of being the "third device" that you use next to your MacBook and iPhone, and not trying to replace one of them as the Pro lines end up doing.

I'm still going to keep the 11" pro, just because I am hoping for some major software improvements this fall. But for now I think the MacBook Air + iPad mini is going to be my preferred mobile setup, and the Pro will stay home, acting as the "casual" laptop role.
 

willmtaylor

macrumors G4
Oct 31, 2009
10,254
7,785
Here(-ish)
I just picked up a mini 5 and I'm loving it - the perfect size for reading books, email, twitter, safari, video...everything an iPad is great at. And I have no desire to attach a keyboard to it, and that got me thinking that this is the purest form of the iPad - the way it was originally intended back in 2010. The "third device" category.

I own an 11" pro and it is an amazing piece of hardware...but it's capabilities mean that I always leave the keyboard and pencil attached, and nearly always I am using it in landscape on a desk surface. Essentially meaning that most of the time, I use it like I do a laptop.

I think that is the issue to me - the Air/Pro lines feel like they can be so much more, but in the end they are limited by their software and Apple's refusal to add touchpad/mouse support to the OS. So you end up hampered by having to carry around the keyboard attached to the thing all the time, but still needing a full laptop alongside it as well. They are a look at what iPad will be in the future, but that future just isn't here yet. In the meantime, the mini to me is the perfect execution of being the "third device" that you use next to your MacBook and iPhone, and not trying to replace one of them as the Pro lines end up doing.

I'm still going to keep the 11" pro, just because I am hoping for some major software improvements this fall. But for now I think the MacBook Air + iPad mini is going to be my preferred mobile setup, and the Pro will stay home, acting as the "casual" laptop role.
While I understand your point, I’d politely disagree.

I’d say that your preference and use case make it a 3rd device for you. Just b/c you prefer to have an 11” iPad and attach peripherals to it, doesn’t make it less of an iPad.

By that description, the fewer capabilities and the more hamstringed the iPad, the more “iPad-like” it is.

I’d actually argue that with the growing size of iPhones, the Mini has an even smaller use case than it used to.

I use iPads Pro daily: my personal device is what I grab for media consumption and web browsing around the house, meetings at various organizations, etc. At work, I use another departmental iPad Pro for teaching, meeting notes, classroom management, grading, etc. I have a detachable keyboard case and Apple Pencil, but those don’t make the iPad less...iPad...ish; it’s still more flexible and portable than a laptop and larger and more usable than a smartphone.

For me, that capability and flexibility and portability are what make my 10.5” iPads Pro...well...iPads.
 
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kristalsoldier

macrumors 6502
Aug 10, 2013
382
108
I just picked up a mini 5 and I'm loving it - the perfect size for reading books, email, twitter, safari, video...everything an iPad is great at. And I have no desire to attach a keyboard to it, and that got me thinking that this is the purest form of the iPad - the way it was originally intended back in 2010. The "third device" category.

I own an 11" pro and it is an amazing piece of hardware...but it's capabilities mean that I always leave the keyboard and pencil attached, and nearly always I am using it in landscape on a desk surface. Essentially meaning that most of the time, I use it like I do a laptop.

I think that is the issue to me - the Air/Pro lines feel like they can be so much more, but in the end they are limited by their software and Apple's refusal to add touchpad/mouse support to the OS. So you end up hampered by having to carry around the keyboard attached to the thing all the time, but still needing a full laptop alongside it as well. They are a look at what iPad will be in the future, but that future just isn't here yet. In the meantime, the mini to me is the perfect execution of being the "third device" that you use next to your MacBook and iPhone, and not trying to replace one of them as the Pro lines end up doing.

I'm still going to keep the 11" pro, just because I am hoping for some major software improvements this fall. But for now I think the MacBook Air + iPad mini is going to be my preferred mobile setup, and the Pro will stay home, acting as the "casual" laptop role.
How odd! I swear I could say the same about my 10.5 Pro. I only use the Pencil and the ASC. For me, it is a “pure tablet” (yes, I am taking its dimensions into consideration too!).
 

Fenhalls

macrumors 6502
Mar 20, 2019
282
222
In terms of tablets, the pure experience for me consists of the 10.5 Pro (or 9.7 Pro) as a main device with the new mini as the subsidiary iPad. I see laptops/desktops as something quite different.

Damn, we are so spoiled. I'm not talking just in terms of our great good fortune in residing in wonderful countries where the acquisition of such things is possible for a large number of people, but the fact that we have been granted the privilege of living through these truly amazing times.
 

IJBrekke

macrumors 6502
Oct 24, 2009
387
153
Long Beach, CA
The Mini has a very sneaky advantage compared to other sizes: In portrait, it’s the perfect width for thumb typing. The other sizes are much less easy to do this with and feel clunky in comparison. It’s a surprisingly important little feature that I think some people really prefer.
 

Johnny365

macrumors 6502a
Nov 30, 2015
677
295
Perfect size for video? I disagree as well. You gain so much more detail by simply watching on a larger screened iPad.
 

profmatt

macrumors 68000
Mar 7, 2015
1,605
1,565
UK
the MacBook Air + iPad mini is going to be my preferred
My Mini 5 hasn’t arrived yet, but my hope is that I’ll be transitioning to MacBook Air and iPad Mini, with an iMac as my desktop machine.

This will mean my iPad Pro 10.5 and Apple Smart Keyboard will be retired and sold. Difficult to justify keeping them.

As I’ve said before my only worry is that I’ll hate the Mini’s speakers: I use the 10.5 to watch TV in bed. I could start using my AirPods I guess.

I’ll be more nervous about travelling with the MacBook Air, though. It feels more delicate — and is certainly more expensive to replace — than the 10.5.
 

LDF

macrumors newbie
Mar 29, 2019
1
1
I would say that the Mini is the one in the lineup that feels like it's trying to be an additional device, not a primary one.

I got mine today and I think I'm going to use it much more than than my 12.9" iPad Pro, but in a much more casual way. That is a good thing. I love my large iPad for illustration, but I would never want to casually take it out in while a taxi or in a cafe.

Of course I do hope that my 12.9" gains more capabilities that could make it a device I actually can work on. Those short comings of "iOS iPad Edition" that Apple purposely choose to keep, don't matter as much on the Mini in my eyes.
 
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jclardy

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Oct 6, 2008
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You all have good points, I don't mean to say that other iPad's can't still be "true" iPad's, but more that Apple has pushed them in a direction that they don't quite understand yet. The mini 5, being the size that it is, can't support a full size keyboard so there is never a thought of attaching one to it. If I bring my 11" iPad with me I feel like I'll be missing something if I don't also include the pencil/keyboard in the bag with it. They are optional attachments, but they feel necessary all the time.

For me it is just that the Mini recaptures the original "magic" of the first iPad in a way that the new Pro's don't. They became something more, while the mini stood still.
 

Dave Meadows

macrumors 68040
Nov 10, 2010
3,488
1,615
I have both iPad Pro’s, 11” and 12.9 and have also ordered the mini. For me, the mini will be the perfect iPad to “throw” in your bag when out in town or to take to the office. At present I take my 11” Pro out and about but I do notice the weight. When I had the iPad mini 4 I didn’t notice the4 weight at all. I just became frustrated with it as it became slow.

One thing I am thinking of it to use the mini ceaseless, just using a sleeve to store it in. Anyone recommend a nice sleeve?
 

ElectronGuru

macrumors 65816
Sep 5, 2013
1,493
363
Oregon, USA
All good points above. But choosing the perfect pad is like choosing the perfect car. It depends at least as much on you as any list of features or specs.

I don’t travel so mini is not a travel role. My phones in the phone pocket and when out of doors a pocket device is all I need. But I do care about eye distance and whether I can hold a device.

By the time a screen is large enough to put on a desk or lap, it’s to large to hold anyway. And I got into computers to get away from writing so a stylus is also very optional. So such a device must have a good keyboard.

So phones are for bringing outside, tablets are for holding, and laptops are for typing. For me. Everyone else can have their own roles and their own criteria and their own ways of delivering that criteria.
 
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JagdTiger

macrumors 6502
Dec 20, 2017
333
365
I just picked up a mini 5 and I'm loving it - the perfect size for reading books, email, twitter, safari, video...everything an iPad is great at. And I have no desire to attach a keyboard to it, and that got me thinking that this is the purest form of the iPad - the way it was originally intended back in 2010. The "third device" category.

I own an 11" pro and it is an amazing piece of hardware...but it's capabilities mean that I always leave the keyboard and pencil attached, and nearly always I am using it in landscape on a desk surface. Essentially meaning that most of the time, I use it like I do a laptop.

I think that is the issue to me - the Air/Pro lines feel like they can be so much more, but in the end they are limited by their software and Apple's refusal to add touchpad/mouse support to the OS. So you end up hampered by having to carry around the keyboard attached to the thing all the time, but still needing a full laptop alongside it as well. They are a look at what iPad will be in the future, but that future just isn't here yet. In the meantime, the mini to me is the perfect execution of being the "third device" that you use next to your MacBook and iPhone, and not trying to replace one of them as the Pro lines end up doing.

I'm still going to keep the 11" pro, just because I am hoping for some major software improvements this fall. But for now I think the MacBook Air + iPad mini is going to be my preferred mobile setup, and the Pro will stay home, acting as the "casual" laptop role.
It’s a good travel tablet.
 

Chip NoVaMac

macrumors G3
Dec 25, 2003
8,889
25
Northern Virginia
I’d actually argue that with the growing size of iPhones, the Mini has an even smaller use case than it used to.
To a degree I agree. I loved my iPhone 8 Plus (now an XR) for my every day surfing, and simple travel usage. For my serious travel usage I brought my iPad Pro along for image editing. At times that was too large to enjoy lugging around. The new Mini will fit that need, even with “just” Apple Pencil 1 support.

In terms of tablets, the pure experience for me consists of the 10.5 Pro (or 9.7 Pro) as a main device with the new mini as the subsidiary iPad. I see laptops/desktops as something quite different.

Damn, we are so spoiled. I'm not talking just in terms of our great good fortune in residing in wonderful countries where the acquisition of such things is possible for a large number of people, but the fact that we have been granted the privilege of living through these truly amazing times.
100% in agreement with you there!

I use my MacBook Pro 15 2012 as my desktop for more work related stuff. As a bit of a photographer, I find myself using the iPad Pro for most of my editing. The apps for me are that good!

Not sure if your last comment was sarcasm or not (sorry - but social media has its moments). But it is very true!

Perfect size for video? I disagree as well. You gain so much more detail by simply watching on a larger screened iPad.
But for my traveling it would be a great comprise.
 
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