All iPads My journey from iPad mini to Air, or why the retina mini didn't win me over

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Tom359, Dec 9, 2013.

  1. Tom359 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2007
    #1
    I'm sure someone will want to flame me for this, but I just wanted to share my experience thinking someone on the fence might find it useful.

    I had every iPad except the 4th generation...didn't see the upgrade to just get a lightning connector. I never thought I would like the original mini since it didn't have a retina screen. Boy, was I wrong. My original mini replaced my iPad and I loved it. I used to say "if this just had a retina screen, it would be perfect.". I was chomping at the bit for a retina mini. I knew that as soon as it was announced, I would stay up to pre-order. Then the Air was announced.

    I was intrigued by how much thinner and lighter it was and decided to give it a try. I have to admit, I have loved it from day one. But back in the recess of my mind was the thought that I preferred the non-retina mini over the full sized iPad 3, maybe I would love the new rMini just the same way, I just needed to give it a chance. After spending time with the new rMini, I just couldn't adjust to the small screen. It never bothered me before, but now it just seemed "too" small. I can't explain why. I also really noticed the color saturation differences. On my Air, things just pop, and on the mini, reds and purples looked noticeably washed out. Previously, holding the iPad 3 vs. the mini was like holding a brick compared to a feather. Now, the difference is very slight.

    I am just as surprised as anyone else of my decision. I was a true blue mini lover, but the Air is just that good. Everyone will have their preference, and the new mini is a fine machine, this is just my situation and I thought someone on the fence about which one to get might benefit from it.
     
  2. Misskitty macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2010
    #2
    No, im the same way, used the first gen mini for a year and fell in love with the size.

    Once you use the air, ya its hard to go back to the mini cause the screen (mainly text) jist feels so small. Small, but i wouldnt say too small, but harder on the eyes. Even though i used it for a year and has no issues.

    The biggest beef with the mini is the poor gamut. Comparing it to the air, is like comparing a steak knife to plastic butterknife. Its that bad.

    But the thing with the air is that, to have it feel like the mini (or as close as you can get it), the device really needs to be used with skins instead of a case. Even the slimmest cases ive seen for it can easily triple the size and weight of the air, therefore totally ruining the experience.
     
  3. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    #3
    Triple the size and weight? Surely that's an exaggeration. In order to triple the weight, a case would have to weigh 2 pounds. As for size, I'd say the Apple smart case maybe adds a third of the thickness of the Air, considering both the front and back.
     
  4. ZBoater macrumors G3

    ZBoater

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    Jul 2, 2007
    Location:
    Sunny Florida
    #4
  5. darngooddesign macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #5
    I'm not flaming you, but you really thought only new thing in the 4 was the connector? Did you not know that both the CPU and GPU were twice as fast amongst other things?
     
  6. mrstefani macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2011
    Location:
    Macomb, Michigan
    #6
    I have seen some people with bulky cases on their iPads which IMHO does defeat the purpose lightness and portability. I always try to go with the lightest cover/case I can. In the past it was always the Smart Cover w/ the color coordinated Switcheasy back. I've since started using the Smart Case with my iPad Air and while it does add weight, it is negligible in my opinion. Pricey, no doubt, but it was created by Apple for the Air and I feel it's the best one out there for my needs.
    The iPad r mini is a beauty of a machine with it's light weight, portability and crisp screen, but I prefer the Air as the colors are more vibrant and it is just easier for my middle aged eyes to read on. I loved my first gen mini, took it everywhere with me, but the extra 138 gr. on the Air is not a big deal to me.
     
  7. Bear macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Sol III - Terra
    #7
    The truth of the matter is that unless you absolutely need the smaller size of the iPad mini, it isn't worth it. The Air is only $100 more.

    With the original mini and the $170 difference, that was more noticeable.
     
  8. v0lume4 macrumors 65816

    v0lume4

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2012
    #8
    The same thing happened to me. I thought absolutely for sure that I was going to upgrade to the rMini once it was released. Then, after seeing the Air announcement and holding both in the Apple Store a few weeks later, all of the "cons" of the full-size iPad were gone with the redesign. Portable, AND a larger screen. Win/win!
     
  9. Dlanod macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #9
    My journey from iPad mini to Air, or why the retina mini didn't win me over

    I was an rMini hater mainly due to the screen quality and colour but now that Apple seem to have their act together at last in terms of screen quality I'm happy with the rMini I think. The Air I find a bit to big when travelling bit it's awesome at home.

    But I have a MacBook Air 13" for home so for me the Air is a bit of a luxury and will be going back.
     
  10. darngooddesign macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #10
    The other side of the coin:

    Unless you absolutely need the larger size of the Air, it isn't worth. The Air costs $100 more.
     
  11. Bear macrumors G3

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    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Sol III - Terra
    #11
    True. Basically with only a $100 price difference, it depends on which one fits your needs better. A larger price difference would affect the decision more.
     
  12. Misskitty macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2010
    #12
    +1

    If youre a couch potato, get the air.

    If youre in shape and actually take the ipad outside your house, get the mini.

    ----------

    Bear, theres a reason why the rmini is sold out everywhere here and the air can be found anywhere. The fact is, more people want the smaller ipad, why? Its portable.

    Its been proven that 8" tabs is the sweet spot.
     
  13. ZBoater macrumors G3

    ZBoater

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    Jul 2, 2007
    Location:
    Sunny Florida
    #13
    :eek:

    You know, unless you accompany posts like this with a smiley, people are going to think you are serious.
     
  14. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    #14
    I think it's the other way around. If you are a hunk, you don't mind toting the Air out with you everywhere. The mini is for weaklings who can't bear the weight of the Air, in or out of the house. ;)
     
  15. v0lume4 macrumors 65816

    v0lume4

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2012
    #15
    To be fair, MissKitty, production yields were much better for the Air. That's why you can find it everywhere. However, online, even with the huge supply of Airs Apple had in stock, shipping time slipped back to "Five days" after launch. If that's telling.

    Though this is just one data point, here's a recently featured chart on MacRumors from Fiksu. I'd say the Air is doing just fine.

    Source: Fiksu
    http://www.fiksu.com/iOS-7-iPhone-5s-5c-Usage-Tracker
     

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  16. Macalway macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2013
    #16
    i like the idea of the mini but the formatting for books is too small for me.

    Not by much, but it's pretty small. If i had to choose i'd be forced to choose the larger Air, which is not much of a compromise, considering the substantial improvements in weight.

    I want to use the Mini as it is easier to hold.
     
  17. Misskitty macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2010
    #17
    It has nothing to do with being a hunk or being too weak to carry the air around. Coming from someone, who always thought bigger was better, I used to own 17" laptops, 15" laptops, heck I even had a 18.1" laptop about 9 years ago that weighed 12.3lbs! Absolutely brutal for commuting with. I ended this pretty quick and eventually downsized to 15.4"...then 13" which Ive been using for the past 6 or 7 years now. I would never buy another laptop bigger than 13". Even my 3 yr old, 13" MBP that weighs 5lbs can be a bit of a nousense to lug around. I know many people with 15" MBPs and to me theyre way too big and heavy for me. Once you downsize your laptop, you will appreciate portability that much more.
     
  18. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    #18
    Uh, you are the one who brought up being "in shape" as a factor for choosing the mini over the Air. I was just having a little fun with that, because to me, being in shape seemed like a factor that would allow people to carry around heavier objects with more ease, so it seemed more natural that people in shape would choose the Air, yet you had it the other way around. But joking aside, of course weight and portability is only one factor to consider in choosing a device.

    While I do find the 15 inch notebooks too bulky to carry around, I'm currently using a 13 inch MacBook Air. I considered the 11 inch, but decided that while the smaller size would be easier to carry, the screen size was a bit too small to comfortably do the things I do on a laptop computer. If, in the future, 15 inch notebooks come down enough in weight, I might get one, because larger screens = easier to do work. In fact, I was very tempted by the retina MacBooks, but they are still on the "too heavy" side of the fence. But no doubt there will eventually be a 15 inch notebook that is light enough to entice me, even if it is a little heavier than the current 13 inch MBA.

    Portability is good, but it's not the only factor in picking a device.
     
  19. smirking macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2003
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    #19
    The guy was probably not talking literally, y'know.

    ----------

    My main computer is a 2012 15" MBP after using desktops as my primary computer up until a year ago. I'm in pretty good shape too, but once I started enjoying the portability, I found myself in the same kind of thought process too. I wanted it even MORE portable. I'm still ok with my 15" MBP, but when I can afford it and SSD storage has higher capacities, my ideal would be to have a MacPro with a MBA sidekick. I still need and prefer the extra power you have in a desktop. A robust MBP was a compromise that I thought I'd try since I didn't want to buy into an out of date MacPro tower when it was time for my usually scheduled upgrade.

    I also had to deal with an extended bout of repetitive stress injury in my hands this year and suddenly every gram of weight started to have amplified importance. Brute strength really doesn't matter that much when it comes to using a laptop. Unless you're the size of a very lean football lineman, the small muscles that guide your usage of computers will be your limiting factor... not the ones you go to the gym to pump up.
     
  20. samiznaetekto macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2009
    #20
    You miss kitty's point. Each class of devices has its usability scenarios which in this era when pretty much no gadget is heavier than 4-5lbs, depends mostly on its form factor, not weight. What if you had a 13", $100 iPhone which has 100hr battery life, 4K screen, and is as thin and light as iPhone 5? Weight is the same, but the size alone will change how you carry it around (now you need a bag) and other usage patterns, let alone if you would buy such a device at all. What if you had a 27", $200 iPad which has 1000hr battery life, 40K screen, and is as thin and light as iPad Air? Weight is the same, but the size alone will change how you carry it around (now you need a large shopping bag :D) and other usage patterns, let alone if you would buy such a device at all.

    iPad Air needs different portability considerations than Mini, and this is what puts them in different classes of devices, even though it's only 2" difference. One needs a bag, the other doesn't. Because of this separation, iPad Air lands in the same category as ultralight laptops: portable, but not wearable computers.
     
  21. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    #21
    I've said this in other threads, but I don't have any clothes with pockets big enough to hold the mini. And based on comments by other posters, I'm not alone in this. So for those of us who don't have clothes with mini-sized pockets, the mini also needs a bag to carry, and is not wearable.

    I have a sling bag I got some years ago. I used this bag to carry the iPad 3, then the first gen mini, and now the iPad Air. So the shape didn't affect what bag I carried, but the weight of the respective iPads affected how tired I felt at the end of a day carrying the iPad around. So I guess I'm a bit biased toward considering weight as one of the bigger factors in deciding which iPad to use. I can understand that for you, shape / size might be a more important factor, especially if you have pockets to put the mini in.

    But for me, the Air and mini remain in the same category of devices. Namely, tablet devices that I need to find a bag for when I'm taking them out of the house. The mini, I admit, is easier to slip out and use while standing or walking. But that kind of usage is probably about 5% or so of the time I spend on the iPad. Most of the time when I use my iPad, I'm stationary, sitting in home, office, or on a bus/train. And with that kind of use, larger screen just feels better. So I'm willing to sacrifice slightly on the portability for the larger screen. Whereas the iPad 3 was heavy enough that I picked the mini to be my on-the-go iPad, even though the smaller screen was less than ideal for many uses.

    Will I love an iPad Air that weighed as little as the current mini? Of course! But no device is ever truly a 100% perfect. There is always a little imperfection here and there. Sometimes more than a little. ;) The trick is to decide which factors are the most important FOR YOU, and which factors you are willing to compromise on.
     
  22. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #22
    Wow. Just wow.

    My guess is she's not kidding. Based on other posts, I doubt we're dealing with a reasonable person.


    OP: the air is wonderful but for travel, the mini is really great. It's hard to not want the air though given the new form factor.
     
  23. Valinor macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2013
    #23
    LoL, I recognise myself in every word you said :p
    Only in my case, the Ipad mini was the first Ipad I bought. But the rest of the story veryyy recognizable.
    Typing from my Air at the moment, but funny thing is, sometimes I still think about switching back to the Mini 1. Used minis are really cheap now, and it was a great device :p i also always said: if the mini had retina it would be perfect. But if I had to switch to the mini or the rMini now,i guess I would choose the regular Mini :p
    But yeah the Air is really great so no i wont be switching back :p
     
  24. darngooddesign macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #24
    Its been proven that saving $170 previously and $100 now is pretty nice.

    ----------

    Plenty of people think that the S iPhone upgrades aren't significant because the shape stays the same, so its entirely possible that the OP thought the only upgrade to the iPad 4 was the connector. Especially since that's the only thing he mentioned.

    There wasn't any reason to mention the connector, he could have just said that he didn't think the upgrade was worth it so to him the iPad 4 only got a new connector when compared to the 3.
     

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