All iPads Is iPad Mini without retina that bad/noticeable?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by backinblack875, Dec 4, 2013.

  1. backinblack875, Dec 4, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2013

    backinblack875 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 23, 2010
    I'm planning on getting an iPad, I'm having trouble picking cause theres so many choices between 4, air, mini, and Rmini.. but anyways I'm looking at iPad mini's now... and i have a MBP with retina and the 5s with retina so if i get the 1st iPad mini to save money how noticeable will the lack of retina screen be?? will it really be that bad?

    one of the primary purposes I'm getting an iPad is for reading as well, so idk how well the retina helps with that

  2. Fuchal macrumors 68020

    Sep 30, 2003
  3. nlkccom macrumors 6502a

    Sep 18, 2008
  4. AlterZgo macrumors member

    Mar 17, 2011
    I just switched from a non-retina Mini to an iPad Air. I have a retina iPad 3, iPhone 4S and 5 so this is not the first time for me with a retina screen.

    The biggest upgrade for me from the mini to the Air was not the display, but the overall speed. The Air (and the mini which has very close to the same performance) are very noticeably quicker than my old iPad 2, 3 and mini. On large games, the Air starts in literally less than 1/4 of the time than on the mini. The Air loads webpages faster, caches data less, and is just simply more responsive in overall use.

    So, I would avoid the 1st gen mini simply because the retina mini is faster and presents a noticeably better experience. The retina display is simply another benefit but, IMO, not the primary benefit.
  5. SHirsch999 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 19, 2011
    Noticeable? Yes.
    Bad? That's a matter of opinion. Many people are fine with it.
  6. MacDevil7334 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 15, 2011
    Austin TX
    I think the biggest strike against the original mini at this point is that is has a 2 year old processor and only 512 mb of ram. That puts it right on the edge of obsolescence after only a year on the market. You can already tell that it struggles a bit to run iOS 7 and I imagine it will be even worse with iOS 8 next year (if it even gets 8 at all). Honestly that extra $100 is worth it to get a tablet that probably has an additional 2 years of life beyond the original mini due to the much more modern internals. The retina screen is a nice bonus on top of that.

    Just my two cents.
  7. backinblack875, Dec 4, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2013

    backinblack875 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Aug 23, 2010
    thanks for the replies guys. I've decided against the original mini. now i just have to decided between iPad 4 and Rmini lol :confused:
  8. mripadmini macrumors regular


    Aug 24, 2013
    No it is not noticeable at all if you are viewing it at a normal distance.
  9. AppleFanatic10 macrumors 68030


    Nov 2, 2010
    Encino, CA
    This. I just bought one a few days ago, and if I view it at normal distance, I can't even tell. The screen isn't bad if you ask me.
  10. ZBoater macrumors G3


    Jul 2, 2007
    Sunny Florida
    Not very and no. You should see one in person and decide for yourself.
  11. mpantone, Dec 4, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2013

    mpantone macrumors 6502

    Mar 20, 2009
    The differences in screen resolution depend a bit on what you're looking at.

    If you regularly read things written in a logographic character set or something with a lot of detail (Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Arabic, etc.), it is night and day. This can also include Western languages with lots of diacriticals (accents, umlauts, macrons, etc.) as well as other notational systems (e.g., mathematical symbols, music scores).

    If you have a Retina iPad (mini or regular size), and a non-Retina version side by side, go visit (Japanese language Apple support site) and see for yourself. You don't even need to read Japanese to see the visual difference.

    I noticed myself at the Apple Store that if you are looking at a full-page printed PDF (8.5x11") on the original iPad mini, I frequently had to zoom into read things. That's why I didn't buy it.

    Here's another example, a PDF score of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony: (web page)

    or this PDF score of Bach's Goldberg Variations: (PDF file)

    This is not the case with the Retina mini. One can read full-page PDFs on this device without zooming.

    Some -- not all -- games take advantage of the better graphics of the Retina version.

    And yes, photos and videos look way better on the Retina model.

    In the end, it's up to you. After my iPhone 4S, iPhone 5S, and now my Retina iPad mini, my next computer screen purchase will be Retina-caliber monitor.

    Note: my Retina mini replaced an iPad 2 (non-Retina display); I waved goodbye to that device (Amazon is buying it back).
  12. MacBlackBook22 macrumors 6502


    Jul 1, 2007
    I found it depends on what the level of brightness you have the mini set at. If its at a lower level then no not much difference. At least I didn't see any great difference but once you put the brightness up halfway then bang you start to really notice the difference in clarity, then the r-mini shins and out preforms the non retina version
  13. MisakixMikasa macrumors 6502a


    Aug 21, 2013
    Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
    I have exactly opposite problem. I can not bear reading Chinese text on non retina iPad mini and books in Chinese. I can read English text in Non retina mini well. As PDF...I am using iPad mini to read all my textbooks and lecture notes. It feels better for me than larger iPads
  14. haruhiko macrumors 601


    Sep 29, 2009
    You got his meaning completely wrong. He said exactly that it's hard to read Japanese / Chinese text on non-retina iPad mini.
  15. Dlanod macrumors 6502a

    Jul 11, 2008
    The only note of caution here would be around the screen itself. In my experience, the original Mini screen is brighter and whiter and if you're using it for consuming video content this might be a consideration.
  16. macchiato2009 macrumors 65816

    Aug 14, 2009
    well it's like watching SD again after experiencing Full HD or 720p

    i am a photographer and use online gallery apps, when watching pictures on the iPad Mini 1, i really felt like the quality of the image was deteriorated

    now with the Retina, pictures look nice :)
  17. TheAnvil macrumors regular

    Nov 25, 2013
    I went rMini shopping today. :D

    While I had the chance to see the Mini and rMini side by side, the difference was big; massive. After having used the iPad 3 for the past 18-odd months, I couldn't have lived with the mini.

    But I guess this is very subjective, my brother has had a mini for about a year, and he loves it. People are still happy, and more importantly still buying, the iPad 2. The only way you can really be sure is by looking at it yourself.

    The fact is that the original Mini is inferior in ever way that matters, and while 100$ is a lot, I don't think it justifies purchasing the old mini.

    You don't want to end up regretting your decision in a month or 6 from now.
  18. AppleFanatic10 macrumors 68030


    Nov 2, 2010
    Encino, CA
    I looked at both of those files with my mini and didn't need to zoom in at all.
  19. kazmac macrumors 603


    Mar 24, 2010
    On the silver scream

    You can notice a difference immediately, but if your vision is not that great, the rMini would be a better option.

    I loved the original Mini but with my vision, it was an epic fail. :(
  20. Shanghaichica, Dec 6, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2013

    Shanghaichica macrumors G3


    Apr 8, 2013
    I don't think anyone here can give you a reliable answer. The best thing to do is go to a store and look at the screen yourself and see if you think it's useable.

    For the record I think that the screen on the original mini is perfectly usable. I've even read books on there in short stints. I have the samsung galaxy s4 which has a full HD display and an iPod touch 5th gen with retina display. I've also used the iPhone 4 in the past. All my devices, aside from the iPad mini are at least 720p, so I do appreciate high quality displays. However I don't find the mini difficult to use. It's only when you put it next to a screen with higher quality that you notice the difference in screen quality.
  21. bigboar macrumors 6502

    Oct 26, 2012
    This!! There is a huge difference between the two! Go to the store and check out both before making your decision. It is well worth the extra $100. As much as I loved the form factor of the first mini I couldnt stand the display and ended up returning it for an ipad 4. I then went to the air and now an rmini. The rmini is my favorite of all the apple tablets....
  22. brent1977 macrumors regular

    Sep 24, 2012
    I intended to upgrade from my original Mini to the new Retina. After going through two (one from Apple, one from Sam's) with noticeable color shift (yellow at bottom, blue at top) and uneven backlighting, I just went back to the original Mini.

    The sharper and clearer text was definitely noticeable and very nice, but I decided I could tolerate the low resolution better than I could the color and backlight issues.

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