All iPads iPad mini vs iPad 4 for reading

Discussion in 'iPad' started by tystonge, Mar 21, 2013.

  1. tystonge macrumors newbie

    Mar 21, 2013
    Hello all. So I am torn between the two devices. Currently I have a iPad mini and I really like the device overall. I'm not completely satisfied with it but it's probably the best tablet that I've tried so far. I like the size and weight of it but i'm not completely sold on the screen, the lower resolution does bother me a little bit. Another thing that I wasn't to fond of on the mini was when I went to watch a movie the letterbox seemed to take up almost half the screen. Also at times I notice some lag and/or unrecognized gesture inputs. It's not terrible just not as smooth as I would have liked it. I haven't spent a lot of time playing with a iPad 4, just a few mins in the store and it looked nice but I didn't want to plop down $500 for it, however if it would be noticeably better then I could justify doing it.

    What I would mainly use the device for would be to read school books, to watch movies on when I travel, web surfing, skype/face time chat, and e-mail. I'm not a big gamer on tablets.

    I've had a hard time finding reviews that go in depth on the use of the mini or iPad 4 for reading textbooks. From what I saw people like the mini because it is lighter and easier to hold for reading, however people liked the iPad 4 for having the better screen and not having to zoom in to read something.

  2. xxxl macrumors newbie

    Jan 6, 2012
    I prefer for reading smoothly iPad 4!Without doubts!
  3. Paulywauly macrumors 6502a


    Sep 26, 2009
    Durham, UK
    From my own experience, the iPad 4 is better for reading if you don't have perfect eyesight, especially with things life text books/pdfs with a lot of detail. The screen also seems to dim lower for low-light reading if you suffer eye strain. However it is considerably heavier and cant really be used with one hand, you may find yourself propping it up against things. It's really a choice between more screen real-estate/clarity vs smaller/lighter. if you can live with the extra size and weight i would recommend an iPad 4.
  4. Panch0 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 23, 2010
    For reading a plain old book, like a novel, smaller and lighter is clearly better. I have an eInk Kindle for that purpose, and would not give it up for an iPad Mini.

    For textbooks and magazines, where images and graphs are an important part of the content and the layout really matters, a real tablet blows away an eInk Kindle. I read magazines on my iPad 2 using the NextIssue App. I have no problem with the clarity of the screen (non Retina), but it is a bit smaller than I would like. I think that for larger format reading - like Textbooks - the mini would be too small. You can always zoom, but then you are loosing the page layout.

    I think there is definitely a place for the Mini, but if you are most interested in larger format reading material, a full size iPad is probably better. I'm sure that you could download a book on both devices at an Apple Store and see if you like how the mini looks.
  5. Luis2004 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 30, 2012
    I have the mini and am trying to sell it because of this problem. I, too, use a lot of textbooks throughout the week and I highlight and type notes in the margin, and for PDFs, the mini is just not good for this, in my opinion.

    Reading iBooks is awesome, it's like reading a paperback; and watching videos is great, and I LOVE the size and weight of this, but for PDF’s, it’s a bit fuzzy, like reading without your glasses on (if you need them).

    So I’m trying to unload it and pay the difference for an iPad 4. My wife has it, and it’s like night and day. She’s actually letting me borrow it for school because all my classes are PDF-intensive.
  6. marc55 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 14, 2011
    My wife has the Mini and prefers it over the iPad3 for reading because of the size; it replaced her Nook.
  7. Luis2004 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 30, 2012
    I just sold my mini to a coworker and am going to pick up the iPad 4 after work.

    I'm thrilled. Simply thrilled.
  8. TaylorMatsu macrumors member

    Nov 8, 2012
    I have good vision so reading on the mini over extended periods of time never really bothered me. No PDFs but some books and always web pages. I currently have the ipad 4 and reading is phenomenal for books, web pages, and PDFs. Personally I think that it's a personal preference depending on eyesight as to which one is better for reading.

    Don't forget to factor in the weight and size though. I sold my mini and I definitely miss the light weight
  9. Fattytail macrumors 6502a

    Apr 11, 2012
    The retina display is nothing short of amazing. I love that thing. But for extended periods of reading, the iPad 4 is just too big and bulky. I end up getting too distracted by the size of the thing, as far as how to most comfortably position it and so forth. The iPad mini is far better for reading even though the display isn't as sharp. Although I find it's not really an issue at all in the Kindle app, which is what I use most of the time.
  10. adildacoolset macrumors 65816

    Sep 5, 2011
    Lusaka, Zambia(If you know where it is)
  11. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6


    Aug 17, 2007
    Agreed. However, the smaller size and less weight in the mini might tip the scales for some people.
  12. NutsNGum macrumors 68030


    Jul 30, 2010
    Glasgow, Scotland
    It did for me!
  13. B... macrumors 68000


    Mar 7, 2013
    My vote for Mini due to size and weight. I have tried reading on an iPad 4, and it is just cumbersome. Sure, it is not Retina, but unless you are sitting with your nose really close to the screen, it should not be too much of an issue.
  14. marcoity macrumors newbie

    Dec 13, 2012
    Ipad 4, if you have deal with a lot of PDF/textbooks.
  15. Lunchb0x8 macrumors 6502a

    May 2, 2010
    Aberglasslyn, NSW, AU
    I am also of two minds, for basic reading, regardless of detail, the mini works fine for me, but for anything where you need screen real estate to annotate whilst reading, the Retina does make it easier, not really more real estate, but a larger physical screen makes it more comfortable.

    For what you want, the retina may be the best bet.
  16. tystonge thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 21, 2013
    Thanks for everyone's responses and input. I went to best buy and played around with the mini and the 4 for a while and ended up going home with the 4. The screen was what really sold me on the 4. I couldn't believe how much brighter the 4 seemed than the mini also how much better then resolution was on it. The 4 was just so crisp. I was able to compare side by side time same educational book and the 4 just displayed it so much better. I could see the words so much better and the pictures were of a much better quality.

    I'm glad that I tried out the mini. It really is a great device and i think that if I wasn't mainly using it for reading PDF then I would have went with it over the 4 (or if I had more money I'd have both)
  17. raccoonboy macrumors 6502a

    Oct 22, 2012
    Think outside the box

    Get a Nexus 7 32GB wifi cellular it is about the same price or cheaper. It got great PPI for reading. Nexus screen ratio 16:9 will have no letterbox when watch movie and somewhat will have the same display size of that on the Ipad mini but without the annoying black screen on top and bottom.

    I suggest this because u didn't mention anything about gaming.
  18. tystonge thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 21, 2013
    I've tried a kindle fire hd before 7 and 8.9 and found that the screen was to small at 7 inches for me . Pus it would be worse than the mini for me for reading PDFs. I wasn't very fond of the interface of the kindle either. Wasn't very appealing to me.
  19. robeddie Suspended


    Jul 21, 2003
  20. darngooddesign macrumors G3

    Jul 4, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    Since we're discussing reading, you'll have those annoying black bars above and below anything formatted for print. So that's magazines and PDFs. Not to mention because its narrower the same magazine page is even smaller.
  21. maxosx macrumors 68020

    Dec 13, 2012
    Southern California
    Someone is guessing :)
  22. darngooddesign macrumors G3

    Jul 4, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    So you're saying a magazine page on a narrower screen will be larger?
  23. kevink2 macrumors 65816

    Nov 2, 2008
    I use a Kindle Fire for much of my ebook reading (except for iBooks). I like the size for books.

    For magazines, the size of the iPad 3 I have is better. I haven't tried magazines on the Fire.

    The Fire is smaller than the Mini, so would be worse for magazines.
  24. TyPod macrumors 68000


    Nov 2, 2006
    And Yourself?
    Same here. The non-retina doesn't bother me one bit when reading.
  25. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    The retina screen is better, no doubt about it, but there's a reason why the small 7" tablets are so popular. They're so much easier to hold and read in a number of different circumstances.

    I find the Mini to be more mobile then its larger brother to the point where I wasn't using my old iPad but the mini gets used all the time. I can easily throw the mini in my coat pocket and take it where ever.

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