iPad Mini is TOO BIG

Discussion in 'iPad' started by subjonas, Jun 13, 2015.

  1. subjonas, Jun 13, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2015

    subjonas macrumors 65816

    Feb 10, 2014
    Edit- TLDR.. To sum up my post: Minis are great for a lot of people. But for a truly casual consumption device, I want something slightly smaller that I can comfortably palm like the size of an e-reader. And as someone who still likes small phones, a 6 Plus phablet, which is actually half the screen size of a Mini, would be all sorts of compromises. Don't know if there will ever be a good solution for me, but just saying. Anybody out there feel me?

    Anybody else think Apple went too big with the iPad Mini?

    I know the Mini came out awhile ago, but after finally trying it out for awhile, I've concluded this.

    I'm sure many Mini owners are perfectly satisfied with the size of their Mini. But I think some people, including myself [and Steve Wozniak http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/steve-wozniak-woz-iphone-small-ipad-big-516282 ], were hoping for a smaller device. Namely, something that could be easily palmed with one hand, and as a bonus, fit easily into a back pocket.

    The Mini at its current 7.9" screen diagonal and 5.3" device width is too wide to palm comfortably for normal-sized hands and fits in back pockets of only large-sized pants. I read that Apple landed on the Mini's dimensions primarily because of certain conveniences on Apple's/developers' end (eg. being able to use iPad apps as is), and not necessarily because they believed 7.9" was any kind of ideal size for users. The iPad Mini (and its size) was after all an afterthought.

    For a palm-able device, an ideal width would have been around 4"-4.5", giving it a screen diagonal of about 6"-7" depending on the aspect ratio. Not coincidentally, this is about the size of most e-readers.

    I realize, however, a (the?) major issue with a device at this proposed size is apps. Would it run shrunk down iPad apps or blown up iPhone apps or would developers have to create yet another version of their apps? It's hard to see any of these being a reality, which makes this device not likely to come into existence in the foreseeable future.

    With the release of the iPhone 6 Plus, however, at 5.5" screen diagonal and 3" device width, there is now a smaller option to the iPad Mini, albeit significantly smaller than ideal, since it still has to function as a phone. If you look at the iOS device lineup, the sizes increase incrementally, but there is a distinctly large gap between the iPhone 6 Plus and the iPad Mini. There is about a 25% surface area difference between the iPhones, but a 43% surface area difference between the largest iPhone and the smallest iPad. In that gap is where I believe the true balance of size and comfort for a small tablet lies.

    The other issue with the iPhone 6 Plus is that it's really a phone. A gargantuan one. And some people prefer smaller phones. And to spend $750-$950 on a dedicated mini tablet that is actually quite a bit smaller than ideal is a big stretch for the average joe.

    Perhaps if Apple released an iPod Touch Plus... That would be a compromise I'd actually be more willing to make than the iPad Mini, especially since it would be significantly cheaper than the iPad Mini. An iPod Touch Plus, as unlikely as it is, is probably the best Woz and I can hope for at this point in time.

    How do others feel?
  2. RedTomato macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2005
    .. London ..
  3. newellj macrumors 603

    Oct 15, 2014
    Boston, MA, US
    If the display size shrunk any further, the Mini wouldn't have any real advantage over an iPhone 6+ other than the pricing issue between the iPhone and iPad lines. It's unlikely that there is going to be an iPod Touch Gen 6 in any size.
  4. itsOver9000 macrumors 6502


    Mar 29, 2013
    B.F., KS
    I have no problems palming a mini, or even the Air 2 for that matter although Air 2 requires a bit of a stretch. Minis fit easily in the back pockets of the jeans I wear..
  5. ron7624, Jun 14, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2015

    ron7624 macrumors 68020


    Oct 14, 2011
    Houston, Texas area
    Maybe I'm just used to it. To me the current rMini is the sweet spot.
    I used a 7 inch lenovo for a while and found it to be too small for a tablet.
  6. cdm283813 macrumors 6502

    Jan 10, 2015
    I believe the mini size is just right when it comes to small to mid size tablets. Any smaller side by side multitasking when it comes to future mini's would be diminished. And we don't know if iPhone 7 will increase the screen size even more. I highly doubt the screen will stay untouched.
  7. Badrottie Suspended


    May 8, 2011
    Los Angeles
  8. imanidiot Suspended

    May 1, 2011
    Denver, CO
    You and Woz sound pretty tight. You guys hang out together a lot?
  9. subjonas, Jun 14, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2015

    subjonas thread starter macrumors 65816

    Feb 10, 2014
    I do. Sorry, I'm not following the relevance of the question.

    edit- OH. Hahaha. I get it now.

    That may be true. In any case, my point is mainly that, in my view, Apple missed the ideal size of a true small tablet, and instead made the iPad Mini, which is more of a small/mid-sized tablet, and the iPhone 6 Plus, which is a phablet. Not to say those devices aren't good. They just don't fit my wants/needs.

    Also probably true. But still holding onto a glimmer of hope.

    How big are you? Male/female? Race? Big hands? Big waist? It may be comfortable for you, but probably not for the majority. It's about an inch too big to fit in my back pockets. And I can only palm it for about a minute before I have to readjust my grip.

    Yes, to each their own. For me, comfortable palming is more important than large screen size. Also I'm ok with mobile sites which is key. Some people need their full websites and for that you need a bigger screen. I think it's all frame of reference. I'm coming from mostly using a smartphone.

    I agree that the Mini is a great small to mid size tablet. It's just that I'm in the market for a true small tablet. I agree that side by side multitasking would not be ideal on such a device. It could probably benefit greatly from Slide Over and Picture-in-Picture though. PiP would need to be more like a split screen though, with the video taking up the top 30% in portrait mode.
    If the iPhone 7 gets even bigger, that will be nuts. It would make a better tablet, though, if only it were priced like a tablet.

    It's all how you look at it, I suppose!

    We used to roll in the same gang before we both got jumped out.
  10. Aspasia macrumors 65816

    Jun 9, 2011
    Halfway between the Equator and North Pole
    Nope, I have an iPod Touch 5 and it's too small to really do anything with. My iPad doesn't fit into my purse, but a Mini will - and that's my next purchase.
  11. newellj macrumors 603

    Oct 15, 2014
    Boston, MA, US
    Just re-read your original post - you know what is going to happen when you slip this new tablet into your back pocket, right? I'm not being snarky or humorous.
  12. east85 macrumors 65816


    Jun 24, 2010
    Split keyboard in portrait mode with both hands on the bottom using my thumbs to type and it's comfortable enough.
  13. subjonas thread starter macrumors 65816

    Feb 10, 2014
    Yeah, iPod Touch is much too small for that. I was referring to a Plus-sized Touch, which I think is still on the small side.

    If you mean to say that if you sit on your tablet you may damage it, then I agree with you?

    Sure. Palming is convenient though when you want to read for an extended period of time especially while lying down, which is really what I want to use a small tablet for. Palming is good for typing too if you want to use your other hand to swype.
  14. east85 macrumors 65816


    Jun 24, 2010
    I palm my Mini often but my hands are huge so..
  15. DiCaprioAngel macrumors 6502

    Jul 12, 2013
    New York
    I own the second generation iPad Mini (retina) and it's the perfect sized tablet for me. Enough screen real estate for me to read my books, watch videos/movies, and play games if I wanted to. If I wanted something smaller, I would've just gone for the iPhone 6 Plus which is big enough to hold in one hand but smaller than the Mini. In that case it's easier to have a phone and a tablet in one, makes no sense for a tablet to be that much smaller and just function as a tablet. Don't think there would be much market for a smaller sized tablet - in Apple's case, at least. A tablet is meant to be slightly bigger than an e-reader, hence why it's a tablet. In my personal opinion, Apple did a good job with the Mini's size. I wouldn't have bought an iPad if they didn't have the mini because I feel that the regular sized iPads were far too big for my taste/needs. I just think anything smaller than the Mini wouldn't really classify as a 'tablet'.
  16. subjonas thread starter macrumors 65816

    Feb 10, 2014
    Valid thoughts. But why is a tablet meant to be bigger than an e-reader? I don't think there are really rules to any of this. All these device classifications and sizes are largely arbitrary and subjective. Certain device categories are just more popular than others which seems to give it more validation. But even then, the popular vote can change over time, as we have seen with devices like phablets.
    I think the market for this device would be people who want to have a small phone and an e-reader that runs iOS apps (ie. a palm-able mini tablet). I don't claim to know the size of this market. Maybe it's just me and Woz. :)
  17. Gav2k macrumors G3


    Jul 24, 2009
    Having both an iPad mini 3 and a galaxy tab s I have to be honest and say that I prefer the aspect ratio of the mini for websites and reading and general. For video it's subjective.
  18. subjonas thread starter macrumors 65816

    Feb 10, 2014
    I love the 4:3 aspect ratio on the iPad and iPad mini. I think it's ideal for tablets. As devices get smaller than the Mini though (ie. small enough to palm), I think 3:2 becomes slightly better. And then at smartphone size I think 3:2 (iphone 1 - 4s) is ideal. I dislike 16:9/16:10 on any mobile device.
  19. newellj macrumors 603

    Oct 15, 2014
    Boston, MA, US
    Agree. I've owned Android tablets and really dislike the 16:x display ratios. YMMV, though - depends on your preferred content.
  20. tentales macrumors 6502a


    Dec 6, 2010
    It might just be you & Woz. iPad sales in general have been declining, but especially the iPad Mini. Last Oct with the intro of the 3rd iteration the iPad Mini was a footnote in Apple's presentation gaining new colour and fingerprint sensor only.

    With the rumoured 12.9" iPad Pro, the "old" iPad 9.7" might be the new "mini" and by next year the iPhone 7 might grow in size to close the bottom gap. Huawei is already breaking new ground with it's 6.8" phone. http://www.techradar.com/reviews/phones/mobile-phones/huawei-p8-max-1290943/review

    But to answer your orig. question, No the iPad Mini is perfect in size for a "mini" but I am waiting for the larger iPad Pro.

    I prefer my phones smaller, ie. 4" or less, my portable tablets 8" or less, my home/office tablets (when they arrive) 12-14" as notebook replacements.

    No doubt to each their own, but to produce anymore than 3 tablet sizes makes no sense. In fact, I'm guessing Apple will keep 2 iPhone sizes and only 2 iPad sizes in future.
  21. subjonas thread starter macrumors 65816

    Feb 10, 2014
    Holy moly. That's just about the size I'm looking for in a mini tablet, but no way I can handle that as a phone. I too prefer <4" phones.

    And I too am waiting for the 13" iPad Pro. My ideal setup is something like this:
    - 3.5-4" iPhone (I usually carry only this when I go out)
    - 6.5-7" e-reader/tablet device (at home light consumption and phone replacement via Continuity)
    - 13" iPad Pro (for drawing and productivity)
    - 15-16" MacBook Pro (for heavy creation/productivity)
  22. Plutonius macrumors 604


    Feb 22, 2003
    New Hampshire, USA
    They will almost definitely discontinue selling the Touch 5 (A5 devices) this September after IOS 9 is released. We should then see the Touch 6 released.
  23. Celedral macrumors 6502


    May 29, 2008
    Los Angeles
  24. mcdj macrumors G3


    Jul 10, 2007
    Yes! Apple needs to make a Mini- and/or an iPhone 6++.

    Actually what they need is 6 sizes of every device in .5" increments. Then everyone would finally be happy.

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