iPad mini Is the non-Retina Mini still worth considering?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by rzod, Nov 7, 2013.

  1. rzod macrumors newbie

    Oct 12, 2011
    I did the Target trade-in on my 1st gen iPad last night. I think I'd like to use the gift card on a Mini, but I'm a bit torn between the current model and the upcoming Retina. The advantages of the new version are obvious, but is the older model still worth considering at $299? Target is giving you a $25 gift card with purchase and I have another coupon which is pushing me toward the old one. Usage would consist of reading, web surfing, videos, and light gaming.

    Also, does the Mini come with iOS6? That could be another factor as I've read many reports of iOS7 being not-so-great on the Mini. Is that a real concern or a case of internet exaggeration?
  2. zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    I am considering taking the trade-in on my iPad 1 that my kids use and trading for an old iPad Mini as well, just to get the extended life from a device that is almost EOL. That said, it won't be our primary device. If it was going to be my only iPad, I'd get a new one without thinking twice. The kids will have no idea if the screen is retina or not, and they are just going to drop the thing anyways!
  3. Ledgem macrumors 65816


    Jan 18, 2008
    Hawaii, USA
    Internet exaggeration. I use my iPad mini at work, where program load and screen render delays are quite noticeable. It's anecdotal and subjective, but I didn't feel that going to iOS 7 slowed anything down, nor did it cause programs to be unloaded from RAM more frequently.

    Is the non-retina mini still a good device? Absolutely. It's a competent tablet and it has the best non-retina screen available. However, it's up to you to decide if it's worth it at that price point. I bought mine "used but like new" for less than that and was happy with what I got for the price.
  4. loapp38 macrumors newbie

    Nov 2, 2013
    For personal use and you are only buying one or two devices, no. But for general business investment and larger quantity purchase, non retina mini will same you money.
  5. markintosh macrumors member


    Jul 4, 2004
    Boise, ID
    iPad Mini is great!

    I got one on the Target deal. That one went to my 11 year old son...huge upgrade for him from 4th Gen Touch. My wife currently has our other mini and absolutely loves it, in fact, tells me around every two or three days - "I love my iPad". That one is going to our 8 year old daughter as soon as the Retina Mini comes out.

    Honestly, I think she would be fine with not upgrading, but I just got an Air this week and now she wants an upgrade too.

    (FYI - both Minis running iOS7 and it runs great!)
  6. Zepaw macrumors 65816


    Apr 18, 2010
    For me? Wouldn't consider it for a second. I believe if you use them side by side you'll feel the same but it's completely possible you won't mind the lower res screen. I have a friend who couldn't care less his iPad 2 isn't HD.
  7. andyw715 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 25, 2013
    What I don't like about the current mini (besides non retina) is that multi tasking is lax.

    If you switch apps, the previously use app reloads. So you really don't get to start where you ended.

    That alone is enough for me to upgrade.

    If that doesn't bother you, a refub mini for 249 (16GB wifi) seems like a good deal.
  8. sammy-boy, Nov 7, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2013

    sammy-boy macrumors regular

    Nov 2, 2013
    Staffordshire, UK
    Is the non-Retina Mini still worth considering?

    They're still good tablets, I recently got my Mini as I found my iPad 2 (which I sold to my sister in law) sometimes a bit too big, especially when using it in bed.

    I've had a variety of 7" Android tablets including a Nexus 7 and never been completely happy with any of them and sold them on. If on a budget, the 1st gen Mini still makes sense - I find mine fast enough, the lack of Retina isn't a deal breaker either as the screen is still good enough for me.

    I admit the Retina Mini will be seriously tempting when it comes out but I'll probably wait a good few months before considering one so the supply issues can be sorted out and hopefully the price will drop slightly too. I don't watch too much on it or play any demanding games so the 1st gen should do me fine for a while.
  9. lulla01 macrumors 68020


    Jul 13, 2007
    I don't think so and not just because of the screen. The processor is a big deal.
  10. Korican100 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 9, 2012
    also, understand that the non-retina mini is still at a SLIGHT clarity advantage over a non-retina ipad due to condesnsed pixel screen.
  11. rzod thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 12, 2011
    Thanks for the replies, all. I've never been bothered by the screen on my 1st gen, so I imagine that I would be ok with the non-retina Mini's higher ppi. I think I'm more concerned about how long it will be supported or be able to run the current version of certain apps.
  12. terraphantm macrumors 68040

    Jun 27, 2009
    It's more than slight. Mini has the same pixel density as the original iPhone while the retina mini will be like the iPhone 4. Reading text on the mini felt about the same as the original iPhone to me
  13. rzod thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 12, 2011
    I think Korican was comparing the non-retina mini to the non-retina iPad.
  14. AlecEdworthy macrumors 6502


    May 1, 2007
    Leicestershire, UK
    I have a first gen iPad mini 64GB and have no issues at all with iOS 7. It runs as well as it ever did under iOS 6 as far as I can tell. I am looking forward to getting an iPad mini with retina but for $99* (or less with the additional vouchers) the first gen iPad mini is a fine purchase I'd say.


    * Yes, yes, I know it's not really "for $99", there is the $200 voucher in the deal too, but handling over a piece of paper plus $99 is very different to handing over $299 or swiping $299 onto your card ;)
  15. wickedwahine11 macrumors 6502


    Nov 2, 2013
    I think it depends on the person. I am selling my mini to my spouse to buy the mini retina because I want the better screen and processor. My spouse is going to just use it to read and does not care about the upgrades.

    My mom sold her iPad 1 to Target and is using her $200 credit to get the regular mini as it is more portable than her old iPad. She neither knows what retina is, or would care if her iPad had it. She would much rather save the $100.
  16. comatose81 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 17, 2009
    If you read a lot, or browse a lot of sites that don't have a mobile version, then no. I love my mini, but small text is very difficult to read and zooming in over and over again gets old fast.

    Other than that, I don't really notice the screen that much. Next to a retina display, it's a very obvious difference, but not enough to completely rule out the original mini.
  17. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Jul 17, 2008
    I wouldn't count on the mini getting an upgrade to iOS 8. It probably would, but it won't be a huge surprise if it didn't, either. And even if it did get iOS 8. it'd likely perform as well as the iPad 1 did on iOS 5, that is, not very well.

    So if you want something that is future proof, go with the new retina mini.
  18. Fernandez21 macrumors 601


    Jun 16, 2010
    I just got an iPad mini for my son, the refurb deal from apple. It will be his Christmas gift so it will be under wraps soon, but in the mean time I have been testing it out to make sure everything is ok.

    I am very surprised by the performance, it feels more responsive and faster than my old iPad 3 (which I gave to my wife), no where near as bad as people are making out to be. The screen is ok, that would be my biggest gripe, but in games and movies it looks great, only when reading do I really notice the difference.
  19. benji888 macrumors 68000


    Sep 27, 2006
    United States
    I did this (with a 1st gen iPad) and I got the non-retina Mini, and it is a significant upgrade to the 1st iPad! It comes with iOS 6, but I put iOS 7 on it right away and set it up as new and it's great, runs it just fine, in fact, I'm having trouble putting the thing down, it's so light, thin and small/portable.

    I disagree that the non-retina mini will not get iOS 8...this thing does all of iOS 7, even AirDrop. Apple does 3 iterations on each device, this one started with iOS 6, so it should be fine w/iOS 8, maybe even do iOS 9 minus a new feature or two.

    The only minus with any Mini iPad is that they take the iPad screen design and make it smaller for the Mini, so, sometimes the text is very small, but, many times you can change the size, or zoom like on the iPhone.
  20. Hey Jude macrumors 6502a

    Hey Jude

    May 9, 2008
    Considered Mini briefly.....

    But came to my senses. I have the iPad 2 and the screen is fine. However, I use my iPad in my photography work, and showcasing my pictures on the best screen is very important to me.

    So, even though I considered the current Mini ever so briefly, I decided to pass and exercise a bit of patience and wait for Mini 2 :)
  21. scupking macrumors 6502a

    Dec 14, 2010
    Let me say besides the screen res going back and forth from my mini and air the speed difference is night and day. I would say wait form the new mini.
  22. flatfoot99 Guest

    Aug 4, 2010
    Same boat....
    I did the target trade in yesterday and picked up the mini. Its now sitting unopened awaiting my decision. This will be difficult...
  23. Jman13 macrumors 68000

    Aug 7, 2011
    Columbus, OH
    Ve had a first gen Mini since December. In fact, I'm typing on it now. I really love the mini, and it's still definitely a competent tablet. I don't plan on upgrading now. I will likely buy next year's new Mini when it comes out.

    However, if I were buying now, I'd definitely spend the extra $100 and get the retina. It's a BIG upgrade. If I could sell my current mini for $299 and pay $100 to swap to the retina, I would, but for me it would be closer to $200-$225 to upgrade, and that's not needed at the moment for me.
  24. Badrottie Suspended


    May 8, 2011
    Los Angeles
    Only if you don't care about retina display and the price is right for you then it is worth. I have both of worlds iPhone 4S with retina and non-retina iPad 2. :apple:
  25. Cool Pup macrumors 6502a

    Cool Pup

    Jun 18, 2010
    Dallas, TX
    If you don't mind the screen and don't play games, then yes. The non-Retina mini will be lighter and thinner than the Retina Mini. However, the guts of the Mini is really only served for streaming video, browsing, or reading, anything too much for it will cause a lot of crashes. The iPad Mini is literally a shrunk down iPad 2, so just keep that in mind when you think about what you want to do.

    The third gen Mini will probably be closer to the first gen in terms of weight and width, so, if you want to use a Mini 1 and wait for Mini 3, that could be a smart move.

    Also, I would be shocked if the current Mini doesn't get an iOS upgrade to 8, the device isn't even a year old yet. I think it'll probably have updates until 10 or so, given Apple's previous updated devices list.

    But... in the end, the screen is the most important part of a tablet, and I think once you see the clarity of a Retina Mini, you'll probably want one. I'd never advise buying into old tech when a new release is just around the corner, so just weight your options accordingly, I suppose.

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