iPad mini Is the Mini Still Relevant/A Good Buy?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by JerTheGeek, Feb 7, 2015.

  1. JerTheGeek macrumors 68000

    JerTheGeek

    Joined:
    May 15, 2014
    #1
    I have been thinking about this lately. After the Apple watch comes out I am planning on upgrading my iPad mini first generation. I think I prefer the iPad mini size, though I still wonder if I would like the bigger iPad air, but I think the biggest thing making me consider the iPad air is that the mini sort of seems "irrelevant" now that there are big phones and phabelts and tablets, especially mini ones, aren't as popular. Im not on the big phone bandwagon and never will be; I have a 5s and love it.
    Anyway, does anyone else feel this way? That the mini possibly isn't even a good buy anymore? Is the popularity of huge phones kind of phasing out small tablets like the mini?
     
  2. Ledgem macrumors 65816

    Ledgem

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    #2
    For me, personally? Yes, the Mini is still a good buy, and no, the Plus-sized iPhone can't replace it. The larger iPhone is still a good deal smaller than the iPad Mini, but the Mini is still a lot more portable than the full-sized iPad.

    For the majority of people? Maybe. It's still not clear to me how the majority use their iPads. Most of the iPads I've seen have been used at work, similar to how I use mine. Those tend to be iPad Minis (or for Android, what I think is the Nexus 7, the Mini equivalent). Out and about, I'll occasionally see a variety of tablets but they're still fairly rare... I'm under the impression that most people's tablets don't leave their homes. If that's the case, then the mini's added mobility isn't a huge bonus over the full-sized iPad. If people were using the Mini as a low-cost iPad before, the larger phones might just be large enough that they'd decide to skip the Mini altogether.
     
  3. mikemj23 macrumors 6502

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    Jul 27, 2010
    #3
    Ledgem brings up excellent points.

    As most would say I think it's all a matter of preference. For me, the Mini is my go to device for media consumption. I use it mainly to surf, read magazines, occasionally play some games etc. I had an Air 2 as well, but it was just too big for what I wanted it for so I gave it to the wife and got the Mini 3 (yes, Touch ID is worth the extra cash for me). I love the thing and it's extremely light and portable (so is the Air 2).

    Also of note - I use the 6 plus and I cannot see it ever replacing my Mini for the stuff I've mentioned above.

    Good luck.
     
  4. hrMACnstuff macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2009
    #4
    each device has its on benefits (and limitations)

    i have a 6+, an ipad mini 2 retina, and a macbook pro. i use all 3 at work. there's no way the 6+ can replace the ipad mini for me. i use a portable filemaker pro 13 database running on filemaker go. the 6+ filemaker go cannot run the full database as the ipad mini. it only runs the contacts database. it would be stressful to try and do the data entry on the 6+. on the ipad mini there are options within the fmp program to change the screens to match the desktop version/layout of fmp so those two devices can be identical. now add in the ease of use and portability of the ipad mini and in my industrial environment its a great fit. its a trio of devices for me but i'm amused when i read about a 6+ replacing a mini. wish it could only in that i could save $70/mo to dump my at&t mobile internet service.
     
  5. Jessica Lares macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

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    Oct 31, 2009
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    #5
    I think it still has its place. I could never use a bigger iPhone without an external keyboard, so it makes more sense for me to stick to the 5S and iPad Mini for now. But I'm at the point where I want both a new computer and my Mini is lagging on me, and they're both going to end up being at the same price points because I need at least a 64GB iPad and a good Mac.
     
  6. Traverse, Feb 7, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2015

    Traverse macrumors 603

    Traverse

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    #6
    I like the full sized iPads, but I've seen the Minis enough to comment.

    The iPad Mini 2 is still a good deal and is relevant. An iPad is still and iPad and an iPhone is still and iPhone. Like Ledgem said, there is still a good size difference between a 5.5" 16:9 display and a 7.9" 4:3 display. In my opinion, the 4:3 is far more suitable for most work and reading related tasks on a screen that size. Also, there are still some iPad-only and iPad-optimized apps that make a distinction.


    Subjective: It also depends on the environment in which you use them. iPads (and tablets in general) and still viewed differently than smartphones in society here in the US. What I mean is it doesn't look as professional or isn't tolerated in many classroom settings to have your phone out to take notes. Society looks down on it like you're not paying attention. Tablets, on the other hand, are usually viewed more as "computers" and are tolerated far more often. I was in an accounting lecture a few years back and the professor called out kid out (far too harsh IMO) for using his phone and he showed her that he was taking notes on it, but she didn't care; she had no issue with tablets. That kind of thing.
     
  7. beachbum45 macrumors newbie

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    Sep 26, 2013
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    Cali and VA
    #7
    Completely agree. I'm a medical student and phones on rounds are definitely frowned upon, even with the best intentions of looking up information. iPads, however, seem to be viewed as more professional and people assume you're looking up real information (whether you are or not).

    To OP: iPad mini seems to be a device for people that can't/don't want to carry around an almost-as-large-as-computer device. Full iPads don't fit well in white coats for doctors/med students, for example. Whereas mini's fit nice and snug but are big enough to get some reasonable work done.
     
  8. JerTheGeek thread starter macrumors 68000

    JerTheGeek

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    May 15, 2014
    #8
    I guess the real thing here is that the mini is an iPad and the iPhone 6 plus, or 5s, or whatever iPhone you're using, is still an iPhone. As long as you want both a phone and a tablet, you just have to decide which size you want for each device. And for people who prefer the mini then it still has its place. However, more and more people are preferring to not have a tablet at all; and if they do have a tablet they seem to prefer the iPad Air more than the mini.
     
  9. AppleRobert macrumors 603

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    Nov 12, 2012
    #9
    are you
    Well how much are you using the Mini? 5S versus your Mini isn't like you have the Plus which some would consider the Mini less relevant.

    I have the Mini 2 and the Plus and still use the Mini alot regardless.
     
  10. JerTheGeek, Feb 7, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2015

    JerTheGeek thread starter macrumors 68000

    JerTheGeek

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    #10
    I use the mini quite a bit; mostly at home for entertainment stuff.
     
  11. AppleRobert macrumors 603

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    Nov 12, 2012
    #11
    I would just wait then to see what the next Gen Mini brings to the tablet, the majority did not feel an upgrade was worth it for the last one.

    The Mini 2 is very good but will be dated that much more though upgrades for software will be supported for awhile.

    If you are antsy after the iWatch is released then get the Mini 2 when it is on sale. Seems you rather the smaller size versus the Air since you have a Mini in the first place and will not get a large phone anyway as well.
     
  12. newellj macrumors 601

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    #12
    It works for me, too. The devices that go with me each morning are my 13" rMBP, rMini and the iPhones. The size of the Mini is a great compromise between being big enough to read things easily and being small enough to be very portable.
     
  13. trevpimp macrumors regular

    trevpimp

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    #13
    I have the retina mini and i really enjoy it. If I could I would buy an Air 2 but right now Im using the mini

    I don't think a mini would not be a good buy but when the ipad pro comes out I'm running lol:p
     
  14. Shanghaichica macrumors 603

    Shanghaichica

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    Apr 8, 2013
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    UK
    #14
    I have the 6 plus, mini 3 and Air 2 and they all get used. My 6 plus is my go to device. I use my mini for my daily commute and sometimes use it in bed. My air is used at home whilst on the couch or whilst cooking, doing chores etc.
     
  15. Harmonious Zen macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    I honestly think Apple gimped the mini 3 because it nudges people towards the Air 2, which in turn increases their margins.
     
  16. XTheLancerX macrumors 68000

    XTheLancerX

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    #16
    I hate how people don't understand the mini and say "Just use an iPhone 6+" they are two completely different things. The mini is only like 2 and a half inches bigger, but still is a world of difference. I think the 4:3 aspect ratio is a big one, for some reason I just love that for browsing, landscape isn't too squished, portrait isn't too skinny. My iPhone is more for social media, texting, phone calls, email checking. My iPad mini is for games, Safari, video. Doing any of the tasks I mentioned on the opposite device is tolerable, but just not nearly as comfortable. Besides, if I only had one device, it would never last through the day in battery. Since I have two devices, usage is more divided between the two.

    And with the iPhone vs iPad in a "classroom setting", it's absolutely ridiculous. You see it in every class room. In English, I "read" and text my friend who sits across the room for the entire class. Last year, "Studying my textbook" was playing Infinity Blade III the whole time. However if I pull out my phone for even a second, I get the stink eye from the teacher, and eventually a warning for having my phone out if I didn't get the message before from the look I was given.
     
  17. Traverse macrumors 603

    Traverse

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    #17
    I loved your Infinity Blade III comment. Especially now that I can use SMS Relay, my iPad is even more of a distraction for certain lectures.

    For example, my strategic management class is basically just an older man "regaling" us with his stories and he usually wastes 30 minutes on unrelated tangents. I have my iPad in an Ultrathin keyboard cover and I've played Solitaire, Monopoly, caught up on work for other classes, browse Macrumors, etc. Yet you take out a phone and even some college professors want to throw their $180 textbook at you.
     
  18. XTheLancerX macrumors 68000

    XTheLancerX

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    NY, USA
    #18
    Yeah, it really is all pretty sad. We eventually received school-issued iPads which were in these nasty cases to protect from drops and stuff. Teachers could now tell whether it was your iPad or a school iPad with restrictions. Well, my friend swapped the cases between his iPad and the schools. Next, he continued on to stealthily rig his EarPods through his sweatshirt so he could watch NHL recaps and YouTube during class. Teacher never had a clue.

    Anyway, back onto the primary topic of this thread, I think the mini is still pretty relevant, just not to Apple or the general person who can happily move along with just an iPhone. I sort of described this in my last post, but I still just want to add more to the "Is the mini still relevant?" subject.

    The mini is something I hold near and dear to my heart as the mini 2 was my first iPad, and it definitely won't be my last. I love it to this day, even with the stutters of iOS 8. I see it as a very relevant, great device. However, it seems that Apple disagrees. Constant slagging of the mini, including dated chipsets and poorer displays. Apple, I believe, learned with the mini 2 that they can't have the iPad mini and full size iPad have the same specs. From a profit-based standpoint it simply won't work. Same chipset and everything aside from a less saturated display for 100$ less? That's a lot of profit lost for Apple. So, a mini 2/Air 1 situation is not very likely to happen again, and it's a shame. I love the mini size, I never really wanted an iPad in the past. But way back in 2012, I used an iPad mini in BestBuy for the first time and I fell in love with the thing. Ended up waiting for the mini 2, though. Glad I did, I'd be stuck with a 4 year old chipset in my iPad compared to a 1 year old chipset with a nice, sharp display. I just love that in a pinch, I can stick the iPad mini in my sweatshirt pocket, or in desperate situations, stick it in my back pocket for just a second if I have no free hands to carry it. If I want to show somebody something, I can take the iPad in one hand and easily hold it to face them. It's great. Since I don't foresee the iPad mini getting the same chipset as the regular iPad, I'm pretty much set on a full size iPad in the future when the time comes for an upgrade. I really love the mini size, but I can't take being slagged anymore with the iPad mini 1's non-retina display and 1 year old chipset at the time, the iPad mini 2's much less saturated display, and the iPad mini 3's foolish little addition of Touch ID and gold, only. For $100 more. I'd rather not worry about whether I'm getting all the new stuff or not when the new iPads come out. Sorry for the really long tangent, but that's just my current stance on the mini. It's a love-hate thing that I can't really continue with. Full size iPad is next. Unless Apple miraculously puts the A9X in the iPad Air 3 *and* iPad mini 4, AND makes the screen exactly the same quality as iPad Air 3. Everything else the iPad Air 2 got, I couldn't care less. I just want the better chipset and display.
     
  19. JerTheGeek thread starter macrumors 68000

    JerTheGeek

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    #19
    This is just sad. Education should be taken seriously; we are extremely blessed to have access to so much knowledge; it is sad to see people who don't care about it.
     
  20. sanke1 macrumors 65816

    sanke1

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    #20
    Mini 3 is DOA with last year's hardware.

    Go with Air 2. The extra 2GB RAM, 1.4x CPU and 2.5x GPU power over Mini are worth the extra $100 you pay as a premium.
     
  21. XTheLancerX macrumors 68000

    XTheLancerX

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    #21
    Yeah, I find it sad, too. I'm just using this example to put across the point that teachers never give a second glance at kids who are using an iPad in class, but if you're using a phone, even with the best intentions, God save them. Even though I'm guilty of doing this sort of thing in class, and don't exactly appreciate when others do it, I can't blame people when it happens. Some classes are simply an utter waste of time.
     
  22. powerbook911, Feb 9, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2015

    powerbook911 macrumors 68040

    powerbook911

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    #22
    The Air 2 feels more immersive in my opinion as if you're a part of the content.

    Nevertheless, if you take it out on the go regularly, airplanes, back and forth to work, etc. the mini has a great role in these ways. Plus, it also brings people iPad and iOS at a good entry price especially for the iPad mini 2.

    iPad mini helped slice the iPod sales even more in my opinion because so many kids purchased or were given I should say iPod touch for iOS, games, internet, etc. and now the mini is as affordable as the touches once were.
     
  23. iOS909 macrumors member

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    Nov 14, 2014
    #23
    Of course

    Seeing as how the differences between the 2 & 3 are fairly minimal, I bought a mini 2 a few days ago as the price is better. Running 8.1.3, performance is more then adequate. Battery life is great and all the apps I've tried running work just fine. The screen is fantastic, I haven't really noticed any color gamut issues that a lot of people used to talk about either, and I'm really loving the form factor.

    I have owned multiple iPads (including the first air) and I think the mini 2 is my favourite. So from my experience, the mini, (from second gen upwards) is still an excellent choice.
     
  24. MH01 macrumors G4

    MH01

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    #24
    The mini will really suit some people, only issue is that its keeping up with the Air in terms of hardware etc
     

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