Mini 4 vs 2017 ipad - which is better?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by ssledoux, Apr 3, 2018.

  1. ssledoux macrumors 65816

    ssledoux

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2006
    Location:
    Down south
    #1
    If you were buying a used pad (let’s take the 2018 off the table), would you buy a Mini 4 or a 2017 iPad, and why?
     
  2. bopajuice Suspended

    bopajuice

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Dark side of the moon
    #2
    Biggest difference is size. I like my Mini 4 but I would go with whichever is newer, because with each new iOS update older iPads slow down. I know, I have several going back to an iPad 2. Ended up selling it because it was pretty much unusable with recent iOS updates. My Mini 4 is doing OK, but I experience lag every now and then. It's only a matter of time.
     
  3. joeblow7777 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2010
    #3
    One generation newer chip in the 2017 iPad should mean one more year of usability. Aside from that, the size is the most significant factor.
     
  4. akash.nu macrumors 604

    akash.nu

    Joined:
    May 26, 2016
    #4
    I’d go 2017 iPad for sure. The mini didn’t really work for me ever. It’s an awkward size and doesn’t improve usability much over using a plus size phone.

    Also the 2017 iPad comes with a better / newer processor.
     
  5. Crow_Servo macrumors regular

    Crow_Servo

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    Feb 17, 2018
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    America
    #5
    The 2017 iPad will be a step up in processor (A9 vs A8) and a step down in screen quality (non-laminated display vs laminated display). Those are the major differences.
     
  6. joeblow7777, Apr 4, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2018

    joeblow7777 macrumors 603

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    #6
    Having come from a Mini 4 to the 2018 iPad, I can say that the non-laminated display is not as much an issue as I had feared. It’s still a gorgeous display.
     
  7. Crow_Servo macrumors regular

    Crow_Servo

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    #7
    Absolutely. The resolution is the same, so it’s more about the feel that’s noticeable.
     
  8. ventmore macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    #8
    I would agree with this. I thought it would very noticeable...especially when using the pencil. Im sure some people will dislike it, but for me, it’s a complete non-issue.
     
  9. Acronyc macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2011
    #9
    I have both a mini 4 and 2017 iPad. The two issues for me are size and performance. I updated my mini 4 to iOS 11 and kind of regret it because it lags sometimes. The 2017 iPad is completely smooth. I thought the mini 4 would fare a bit better given they both have 2GB of RAM, but it seems iOS 11 taxes the older processor more. It’s not a huge problem though, but the mini doesn’t perform as well as the iPad 2017.

    Then there is size. I’ve always been a fan of the mini. After selling my iPad 3 I went to the mini line and used a mini 2 very happily for almost four years. The size is great for reading and awesome for traveling. It’s so easy to take around whereas the 2017 is just big enough where I might think twice.

    If I could have only one, though, I’d take the 2017 iPad. There isn’t really much real world difference between the screens in day to day use, the 2017 has newer tech so it will last longer (in terms of updates), and I have come to appreciate the larger screen at times.
     
  10. newellj macrumors 604

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    Oct 15, 2014
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    Boston, MA, US
    #10
    I love the Mini format, but unless you really have a need for that level of portability, I'd go with the 2017 (or better yet, the 2018) iPad.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 5, 2018 ---
    Interesting observation. My Mini 4 and Air 2 are both laminated displays. I'm not sure why, but I don't really see the difference vs. the non-laminated displays compared to the Mini 4. I would say that I do when compared to the Air 2. Maybe I'm very easily misled by what I expect to see. :D
     
  11. joeblow7777 macrumors 603

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    Sep 7, 2010
    #11
    Agreed. I loved my Mini 4, but I just sold it after getting the 2018 iPad. It performs noticeably better and has better battery life.
     
  12. newellj macrumors 604

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    Oct 15, 2014
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    Boston, MA, US
    #12
    So that's another point - I am always shocked by how "bad" (in purely relative terms - compared to my Air 2, not to my iPhone 7) the battery life of my Mini 4 (and before that, my Mini 2) is. It's still great, it's just noticeably shorter.

    The thing that makes the Mini almost indispensable for me is the size. I commute by foot and commuter rail and I can say from experience that for me there is a big difference between the 9.7" iPad and the 7.9" iPad Mini.

    Another thing I love about the Mini is that for me (and I have very large hands) the Mini keyboard is the perfect size for two-hand thumb typing. It's the Goldilocks iPad from that perspective.

    I tried a Plus-size iPhone a year ago and it really didn't replace the iPad Mini. It wasn't enough bigger, and some of the landscape features of iOS for iPads aren't part of iOS for iPhone Plus phones.
     
  13. Crow_Servo macrumors regular

    Crow_Servo

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    Feb 17, 2018
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    America
    #13
    I love the form factor of the Mini 4, but I can’t stop thinking about how behind it is compared to the other iPads on the market. I would feel the same way about a 2017 iPad (not the 2017 iPad Pros, though). As much as I love the size of the Mini, I recommend going with the next size up for the faster processor (but yeah, I’d do the 2018 iPad for the better processor too).
     
  14. joeblow7777 macrumors 603

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    Sep 7, 2010
    #14
    At 2 years old my Mini 4 was still reaching or exceeding 10 hours of usage, but then came iOS 11, and suddenly battery life was much less consistent and overall worse.

    I agree that the width of the Mini makes for very comfortable thumb-typing though. In landscape it's also a really comfortable size for gaming, if you're into that.
     
  15. cansuds macrumors regular

    cansuds

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    Jan 19, 2018
  16. Beelzbub, Apr 5, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2018

    Beelzbub macrumors 6502

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    Feb 6, 2012
    #16
    AAA391A7-F059-4DC5-A2C9-84AAA6246BF0.png I went from an iPad 2 to a Mini 3 (I think I am the only one who bought a Mini 3 lol) and went back to the bigger display with the iPad 2017. I still have the Mini 3, it is on iOS 10 and gave it to my daughter. To me the iPad 2017 is an excellent tablet. The display is fine by me, and it does everything I need it to do with zero issues.

    During the day at the office I mostly use my iPad 2017 to stream audio, as I have it plugged into some speakers on my desk. When working from home, or in a remote office, I will often plug it into my Surface Pro 4 and use it as a second monitor, using the duet app. When I am at home, I use it for all my web needs, unless I need to do some major work, then I break out my SP4. But I use it for pretty much everything, texting, web surfing, streaming audio and using AirPlay to my Apple TV to have the sound come out of my home theater. I will stream DirecTV on it at times, and the display to me is perfect. I check emails on it, sometimes compose emails, VPN into the office and use Remote Desktop to login to a server or two. I have traveled and used it to watch movies and Netflix on it. To me the iPad 2017 is a fantastic tablet and buttery smooth with iOS 11 on it. And Word and Excel work nice on it. When traveling on vacation I do not even take my SP4 with me anymore, just my iPhone and iPad as I have managed to do all I want and then some on my iPad. There were times last fall during football games that I was out grilling, I took my iPad outside with me and watched a game while grilling and enjoying a cold one. In my opinion the iPad 2017 is a nice tablet and I would choose it over the Mini 4, especially since you get get it now for around $250 at places like Best Buy and Walmart.

    Oh and the battery life is excellent.
     
  17. ssledoux thread starter macrumors 65816

    ssledoux

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2006
    Location:
    Down south
    #17
    Well I bought 2017s, but might wind up getting a couple of 2018s as well. These are for my grandkids, so they don’t really NEED 2018 over 2017, but if I’m buying, why not?!?
     
  18. newellj macrumors 604

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    Oct 15, 2014
    Location:
    Boston, MA, US
    #18
    I think that's right - and having the flexibility for the "pencil" down the road might be worth the spend.
     
  19. ssledoux thread starter macrumors 65816

    ssledoux

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2006
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    Down south
    #19
    That’s what I’m thinking. I’m hoping to get 2018s at least for the older 3 if I can pull it off.
     
  20. spiderman0616 macrumors 68040

    spiderman0616

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2010
    #20
    The non laminated screens drive me bonkers. I’ll never go back unless Apple stops making fully laminated screens.
     

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