iPad mini Love the Mini

Kostas3000

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 28, 2016
133
137
New York
I am a big iPad fun and I have bought many models over the years. I currently own 2 12.9 (gen 1 and gen3), a 10.5, a 9.7. I also use an XS max and a 12in MacBook. I had very briefly tried a mini for a few days in the past, but I am afraid I didn’t pay the appropriate attention back then to this marvelous device.


Out of my love for anything iPad, I decided to buy the new mini and give it a try. I had very low expectations and I was expecting to reach a decision to return it soon. But my experience made me realize that I have been missing a lot but not owning an iPad mini all these years. So here is my experience.


I like the iPad mini:

  • very light to hold it one handed
  • I like the bezels because they allow easy holding of the iPad
  • in reading text (scientific articles and textbooks) you can see the whole page for an overview and by double tapping you zoom in at a perfect column width (for two column articles). XS max still shows narrow columns, unsustainable for long reading. 12.9 still requires zoom in to get to mini’s width (I.e. you don’t avoid having to zoom in, despite the larger screen).
  • No protruding camera, does not feel that it needs any kind of cover (front or back) and due to the more compact design it feels stronger. The absence of need for a cover makes really easy to just grab it and turn it on, compared with larger iPads that require cases for protection, thus making them more cumbersome
  • Best size for portable thumb typing. There is no other iPad that I can type while holding it.
  • Best pixel density compared to any other iPad. The only iPad I can use close to key eyes without getting annoyed by seeing the pixels. For some reason my worst experience has been with the 10.5
  • It fits in jacket pockets, even in some trouser pockets! No need to carry it on hand or bring a bag for it
Some criticisms I have read about iPad mini 5 and my thoughts

  • First gen pencil. I haven’t noticed any difference in performance between gen 1 and gen2. Gen2 pencil has the double tap feature, but honestly I have not ever used it. The charging method of gen1 does not look aesthetically good, but I have actually used it as an improvised stand for my mini. The only disadvantage is that the pencil does not get attached to the iPad mini, but this is negligible to me.
  • Lack of promotion. I never noticed a difference between 120 and 60Hz iPads.It might be my eyes or my use case, but what matters to me is that it makes 0 difference
  • Lack of good cameras. The iPad mini cameras are ok, but nowhere close the XS’s camera. I rarely take pictures with my iPad, so again it has no impact on my use case
  • Bezels. I thought I would hate them, but actually they have proven very useful in holding the iPad mini. Ideally the side bezels should have been smaller, but they are not annoying at all, on the contrary -as I said- convenient
  • Lack of Face ID. Although I like a lot Face ID, I am not missing it in iPad mini
  • 256 max capacity. I would really prefer a 512GB version. I plan to do a heavier use of my cloud services to compensate for that. 512 would have been a more future proof solution.
As a side note, the iPad mini has been my first iPad with white bezels. I like the white bezels, I have found them to be easy on the eyes for prolonged reading


How does it compare with my XS max?

The XS max is an amazing device, I really love it. I cannot carry both iPhone and iPad at my work, so I still need my XS max. Had I been doing a different job, I might have gone for an LTE watch and iPad mini. When I am at home I never reach for my XS max; it has a big screen, but it is still much smaller compared with mini. For a quick look up it is fine, but for prolonged use the XS max screen size is still small. Of note, I tried recently to replace my iPad use with the XS max, but it was good only for short (in time) uses


How does it compare with 10.5?

The 10.5 might be a middle ground for someone who cannot afford 2 iPads. For me it has the disadvantages of a big iPad (bad portability, poor pixel density) while not being big enough to make any meaningful difference over the mini.


How does it compare with the 12.9? The 12.9 offers a very rich experience as a desktop device, but it lacks portability. Actually my 12in MacBook feels much more portable than the 12.9.


My intention is to keep my XS max for work use, my mini for most of my bed/couch/Starbucks/travel use and the 12.9 for my desktop iPad use.


Had I been a general user on a tight budget and no significant photography aspirations I might have gone for: LTE Apple Watch, iPad mini, and either a Mac mini or a very cheap windows computer that I would remote log in with jumpdesktop app.


In short, I LOVE my new iPad Mini 5!
 

tps3443

macrumors 65816
Jan 24, 2019
1,301
841
NC,USA
I feel like since I own a 11” 1TB iPad Pro, owning a smaller or larger iPad does not benefit me at all. I think the Mini 5 is almost not versatile enough at 7.9”. And a IPhone XS Max would be a better choice for me with a 6.4” size. It uses the same A12, 3GB of ram. Only it is smaller, and you can pocket it too.

Obviously the price point of a Mini 5 is very good and that makes it very appealing. And I wish Apple didn’t charge so much for there phones as a 512GB XS max is crazy high.

If someone owns a XS max, and multiple larger iPad Pro’s Where does the mini 5 even fall in at?
 
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tps3443

macrumors 65816
Jan 24, 2019
1,301
841
NC,USA
The iPhone XS Max has 4GB of RAM.
Even more of a reason to not require a iPad mini 5 then.

It just feels like, most people own a XS Max 6.4” and a iPad Pro 11”

Why would you want a 7.9”? I’m asking out of curiosity for my own uses lol.

I feel like the XS max could perform the role of a mini.
 

everythingapplerainbow

macrumors regular
Sep 28, 2017
138
120
I love to use the iPad all the time at home, but a lot of iPad apps do not have enough features like iPhone ones, Messenger (Stories), Instagram, Snapchat, WhatsApp,...
 

acorntoy

macrumors 68000
May 25, 2010
1,565
1,519
I feel like since I own a 11” 1TB iPad Pro, owning a smaller or larger iPad does not benefit me at all. I think the Mini 5 is almost not versatile enough at 7.9”. And a IPhone XS Max would be a better choice for me with a 6.4” size. It uses the same A12, 3GB of ram. Only it is smaller, and you can pocket it too.

Obviously the price point of a Mini 5 is very good and that makes it very appealing. And I wish Apple didn’t charge so much for there phones as a 512GB XS max is crazy high.

If someone owns a XS max, and multiple larger iPad Pro’s Where does the mini 5 even fall in at?
The XR is the phone with 3GB.

I own the XS max and I’ve looked at the new mini, but in the rare cases I don’t have my 12.9 pro the 6.5 screen is perfectly fine, I can’t justify the purchase.
 
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Kostas3000

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 28, 2016
133
137
New York
I own the XS max, amazing phone.
However, when I have access to both the XS max and the mini, I reach for the Mini. The Mini's form factor is the best balance between being large enough to allow for convenient reading, but also being small and light enough to allow holding it with one hand.
 

Mackinjosh

Suspended
Aug 21, 2014
1,181
1,697
Even more of a reason to not require a iPad mini 5 then.

It just feels like, most people own a XS Max 6.4” and a iPad Pro 11”

Why would you want a 7.9”? I’m asking out of curiosity for my own uses lol.

I feel like the XS max could perform the role of a mini.
The XS Max could never perform the role of the mini due to the fact that the mini has a better aspect ratio, larger screen, and supports the pen. The aspect ratio and significantly larger screen makes it more conducive to reading books or the web as well as playing games.
 

haruhiko

macrumors 603
Sep 29, 2009
5,113
2,846
I love the mini very much! It's very fast and for the first time the physical lightness matches the power inside: this thing is light and fast!

Although on paper it's nearly 1.5 times the weight of the iPhone XS Max I feel the mini being quite light and on the other hand quite heavy for the XS Max probably due to weight distribution.

If the top and bottom bezels can be reduced just a little bit then it'll be perfect. The bezels look very thick when it's held in portrait mode.
 

bluespark

macrumors 68020
Jul 11, 2009
2,051
2,291
Chicago
I picked up my mini this weekend. Long story short, it's great and I'm happy.

I've always been a fan of the mini form factor, but in this case I was torn going in because my prior mini (a mini 2 with a third-party screen replacement) and my larger iPad (iPad Air 2) are both pretty old, but I nevertheless was determined to buy only one device at this time. In the store, the iPad Pro tends to steal the attention, and the mini can look cramped by comparison. While some of the things I use a tablet for would be amazing on the Pro, I decided largely based on comments in this forum to give the new mini a go. Once I was out of the store without seeing this screen size right next to the Pro, I realized how much I missed the mini. Thanks, everyone!

For me, the mini reminds me of a time not too long ago when Apple actually gave us the products we want. It has a headphone jack (yay!), it doesn't have a camera bump (which I don't mind on a phone but makes little sense on a tablet), the design is comfortable and unassuming, and in this iteration it's fast -- really fast. It's the perfect size for books and newspapers, it makes a great small sketchpad, and it's large enough to be satisfying for photos and video. Want to hand photos of your recent trip around a group? This mini excels at this. Want a media/home remote? Perfect size. Books? Same. Recipes in the kitchen? Again, perfect. For me, it will also replace my large iPad on flights, as I can deal with a somewhat smaller screen if that means a bit more space on the pullout tray, and in this situation it will replace my Kindle as well.

What don't I like? I think Apple should have allowed Pencil 2 to work on the mini, even understanding the charging issue. (This could have been solved in several ways, including a dongle.) The mechanical home button feels like a throwback and could have been omitted entirely or updated to the haptic design of the iPhone 7 series. And the screen size relative to the device size suggests a smaller mini is very possible without sacrificing the excellent screen. But those are minor issues since the device does what it needs to do so effortlessly.

Apple's very limited Smart Cover options for the mini suggests to me that Apple didn't think the mini would be a hit, but it should be. It's one of my most satisfying recent Apple purchases, and it's a reminder to me of how the best Apple designs can be enormously pleasurable to use.
 

Aurora823

macrumors newbie
Nov 16, 2018
27
12
I feel like since I own a 11” 1TB iPad Pro, owning a smaller or larger iPad does not benefit me at all. I think the Mini 5 is almost not versatile enough at 7.9”. And a IPhone XS Max would be a better choice for me with a 6.4” size. It uses the same A12, 3GB of ram. Only it is smaller, and you can pocket it too.

Obviously the price point of a Mini 5 is very good and that makes it very appealing. And I wish Apple didn’t charge so much for there phones as a 512GB XS max is crazy high.

If someone owns a XS max, and multiple larger iPad Pro’s Where does the mini 5 even fall in at?
I wish they would bring back the 9.7 size with a laminated and anti-reflective screen! I think that was the perfect size :) (for me at least).
 
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QCassidy352

macrumors G4
Mar 20, 2003
11,116
3,890
Bay Area
I’m glad you’re enjoying it. For me, the mini falls in a weird place where it’s small but not small enough to be usable with one hand (for long) or pocketable. And if it’s still gonna be a two-handed and carry-a-bag device, I’d rather have a bigger screened iPad.
 

dannyyankou

macrumors G3
Mar 2, 2012
9,421
16,330
Westchester, NY
It really is the perfect size. People with a XS Max saying it’s redundant need to at least try one out side by side. I have an XS Max and web browsing is so much better on the mini. Not only is the screen bigger, but the aspect ratio makes it feel a lot bigger.

This photo from Rene Ritchie illustrates my point perfectly, XS Max and iPad mini side by side

https://twitter.com/reneritchie/status/1108716817634201600?s=21
 

subjonas

macrumors 68030
Feb 10, 2014
2,726
2,466
I’m glad you’re enjoying it. For me, the mini falls in a weird place where it’s small but not small enough to be usable with one hand (for long) or pocketable. And if it’s still gonna be a two-handed and carry-a-bag device, I’d rather have a bigger screened iPad.
I agree, I wish it was smaller for the same reasons. (The nexus 7 was about this size—a much more ideal width for me.) And I see the logic in your conclusion, but I arrive at a different one. It’s still much more wieldable and portable than other ipads, so it’s still the best consumption tablet for me.
 
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Kostas3000

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 28, 2016
133
137
New York
The iPad mini size has two huge advantages:

It is the smallest size that allows you to discern the contents of documents.

It allows easy access to the whole screen with your thumbs, that allows you to work much faster. I tried that with lumafusion, I was able to work faster than on my 12.9 iPad pro
 
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Kostas3000

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 28, 2016
133
137
New York
My review of the mini continues

I am taking a class, yesterday I used my iPad Pro 12.9 3rd gen for note taking.

Today I use my iPad mini 5

The impressions so far: the 12.9 had so much glare from he ceiling lights hat was annoying to the eyes. The iPad mini allows you to hold it with one hand and write with the other, thus it allows you to hold it at an angle where there is no light reflection. I couldn’t do that with the 12.9 yesterday. I know it is a very specific scenario, but it does make a difference in my user case.

Today, I had a disappointment though: Pixelmator photo is not available for the mini. I don’t understand why. The processing speed cannot be the reason (the mini 5 is super fast), why did they place such a limitation? Disappointed
 
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subjonas

macrumors 68030
Feb 10, 2014
2,726
2,466
Today, I had a disappointment though: Pixelmator photo is not available for the mini. I don’t understand why. The processing speed cannot be the reason (the mini 5 is super fast), why did they place such a limitation? Disappointed
Strange. Do you happen to know if it’s available for the 9.7 iPad/Pro? Mini runs the same exact apps shrunken down from 9.7 so if it’s available in 9.7, then it should be available for the mini.
Although someone else was mentioning they weren’t able to download some AR apps from the App Store, getting a message that the device can’t run the app. This was true for the older mini 4, but should be fine for the mini 5. This makes me think some apps aren’t aware of the new mini, and they just lump it in with the old mini. Maybe pixelmator cut off support for A8 devices and is doing the same.
 
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Kostas3000

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 28, 2016
133
137
New York
Strange. Do you happen to know if it’s available for the 9.7 iPad/Pro? Mini runs the same exact apps shrunken down from 9.7 so if it’s available in 9.7, then it should be available for the mini.
Although someone else was mentioning they weren’t able to download some AR apps from the App Store, getting a message that the device can’t run the app. This was true for the older mini 4, but should be fine for the mini 5. This makes me think some apps aren’t aware of the new mini, and they just lump it in with the old mini. Maybe pixelmator cut off support for A8 devices and is doing the same.
Hopefully that is the case, I will email the app developer
 
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*~Kim~*

macrumors 6502a
May 6, 2013
756
165
UK
Surely they wouldn’t make an app that couldn’t run on the Mini 5 because of its higher pixel density in comparison to other iPads? Other than the smaller screen, it’s the only other thing I can think of (besides as someone else said it being lumped in with the old Mini.)
 
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