All iPads [Poll] What did / will you buy? Mini 5 / Air 3 / discount 10.5" Pro

What did / will you buy? Mini 5 / Air 3 / discount 10.5" Pro

  • iPad Mini 5

    Votes: 55 64.7%
  • iPad Air 3

    Votes: 13 15.3%
  • iPad Pro 10.5" (discounted)

    Votes: 20 23.5%

  • Total voters
    85

masotime

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Jun 24, 2012
2,313
1,855
San Jose, CA
Just a quick survey of MacRumors members on what they bought in the past 2 weeks, based on the recent discussions.
 

Jimbo Limbo

macrumors regular
Aug 13, 2015
102
107
Toronto
I think the best iPads are the outside edges of size: Mini 5 and 12.9 Pro. They compliment each other well due to differing uses. The 12.9 is for getting stuff done, using music software, editing photos and videos, writing, and more.

The mini is for taking with you, capable of running the same software since it is an iPad. The mini 5 pencil would be great for jotting notes on the run, waiting for transportation, at the doctor office, etc.

If you must have a phone, combine these with a less expensive phone, like a clearance iPhone SE if you must take something smaller than the mini, and consider an LTE watch so that you can leave that iPhone at home completely, when you really need to travel light.

The midsize iPads are preferred by some, but I find the mid ones to be too small and too big all at once. I am awkwardly landscape typing on an iPad Air 2 right now, so I have experience with them.
 

QuietGamer

macrumors member
Nov 23, 2014
62
17
US
Air 3 replacing an Air 2 with Pencil. Really looked at the Mini 5 but for reading the new News+ magazines I liked the larger screen better and maybe Civilization will be more playable for me. My DW has a Mini 4 that I compared to.
 

Saskat

macrumors regular
Mar 27, 2017
107
59
Chances are iPP 10.5 will be the last Pro that has the classic bezel design, which on top of the Pro stuff of ProMotion, four speakers, etc also comes with home button, Touch ID, headphone jack, lightning port and is compatible with Apple Pencil 1.
 
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EssModelsRule

macrumors 6502
Dec 28, 2017
255
179
Mini 5 reserved for in-store pickup today. Took Apple up on a $351 trade-in credit for my 10.5” Pro 64GB Wifi. I seriously hope they use data points like this to see that some of us value size over pro specs.
 
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EugW

macrumors 604
Jun 18, 2017
7,330
4,723
I think the best iPads are the outside edges of size: Mini 5 and 12.9 Pro. They compliment each other well due to differing uses. The 12.9 is for getting stuff done, using music software, editing photos and videos, writing, and more.

The mini is for taking with you, capable of running the same software since it is an iPad. The mini 5 pencil would be great for jotting notes on the run, waiting for transportation, at the doctor office, etc.

If you must have a phone, combine these with a less expensive phone, like a clearance iPhone SE if you must take something smaller than the mini, and consider an LTE watch so that you can leave that iPhone at home completely, when you really need to travel light.

The midsize iPads are preferred by some, but I find the mid ones to be too small and too big all at once. I am awkwardly landscape typing on an iPad Air 2 right now, so I have experience with them.
I find the 12.9" too awkward. I'm not interested in carrying it around or using it on the couch. I'm not really interested in the mini as much either now, in the era of Plus-sized (and Max-sized) iPhones. My current combination is the iPhone 7 Plus, iPad Pro 10.5" with Apple Smart Keyboard, and 12" MacBook. For some other people, they could swap out my 12" MacBook for a 13" MacBook Air/Pro, and it'd still be a great combination.

BTW, the iPad Pro 12.9" is 631 grams, and the 12.9" Smart Keyboard is 407 grams. Total weight (without a back case) is 2.3 lbs, which is heavier than my MacBook, which has a complete keyboard with function keys and is backlit.

The iPad Air 2 (which we also own) is not a good surrogate to test the usefulness of the iPad Air 10.5" or iPad Pro 10.5". The iPad Air 2 does not support the Apple Smart Keyboard for example, and the keyboards that that fit with them are not full size, whereas the iPad 10.5" models have a keyboard with 18 mm key spacing. That's smaller than MacBook Pro keyboards, but qualifies as full size by US occupational health guidelines. Furthermore, with the full size keyboard, the 10.5" Pro is 714 grams, which is 1.57 lbs, considerably lighter than the 12" MacBook.

The screen on the 10.5" models is wider than the screen on the Air 2 by 176 pixels, which makes a significant difference in real world usage, for surfing and especially for Split View. In the asymetric mode of Split View on the 9.7" and 10.5" iPads, the smaller pane is limited to 640 pixels, regardless over the overall screen width. This means that on the iPad Air 2, the wider pane is 1408 pixels (or 704 in non-Retina terms), whereas on the 10.5" iPads, the wider pane is 1584 pixels (or 792 in non-Retina terms). This 12.5% increase in width makes quite a noticeable difference for Split View. The 11" model is even wider still, by another 164 pixels.

IMO, unless it's going to be your main editing machine or something, I think the iPad 11" is the perfect size for an iPad, and the 11" also has the benefit of Face ID, a faster SoC, and USB-C. However, I bought the 10.5" refurb iPad Pro instead, because overall it's close, and it's considerably cheaper. (The 11" Pro would have cost me 52% more than the 10.5" Pro.)
 
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masotime

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Jun 24, 2012
2,313
1,855
San Jose, CA
I find the 12.9" too awkward. I'm not interested in carrying it around or using it on the couch. I'm not really interested in the mini as much either now, in the era of Plus-sized (and Max-sized) iPhones. My current combination is the iPhone 7 Plus, iPad Pro 10.5" with Apple Smart Keyboard, and 12" MacBook. For some other people, they could swap out my 12" MacBook for a 13" MacBook Air/Pro, and it'd still be a great combination.
This is a decent combination. I really do like the 12" MacBook, which to me gives a fully featured macOS experience in an iPad form factor. I feel it's long overdue for an update though (and I'd really like an extra USB-C port, one is really annoying to juggle)

Regarding 12" MacBook v 12.9" iPad Pro, the 12.9" iPad Pro has both greater resolution and screen area. To compare (area calculated via DisplayWars):

12" MacBook
  • 2304 x 1440
  • 61.5 sq in. area
12.9" iPad Pro
  • 2732 x 2048 (70% more pixels)
  • 80 sq in. area (30% larger screen area)
So you get a sharper, larger screen with the 12.9" iPad Pro. Portability is inferior for sure, but I do appreciate the greater screen area and quality of the 12.9".
 

tps3443

macrumors 65816
Jan 24, 2019
1,301
833
NC,USA
The 120hz panel really spoils you, and I don’t think I’d like the mini 5, or the new Air either.

I think a discontinued 10.5” or 12.9” iPad Pro 2nd gen is the way to go, for price to performance.
 

EugW

macrumors 604
Jun 18, 2017
7,330
4,723
The 120hz panel really spoils you, and I don’t think I’d like the mini 5, or the new Air either.

I think a discontinued 10.5” or 12.9” iPad Pro 2nd gen is the way to go, for price to performance.
I agree.

The main caveat is that I predict that either iOS 13 and iOS 14 will bring proper external storage support... but only for the USB-C models.
 

jermy4

macrumors demi-god
Jun 27, 2010
528
283
None of the above, I just ordered an iPad Pro 11”. I wanted promotion and liked the form factor of the 11” iPad over the 10.5” one.
 

ucfgrad11

macrumors member
Sep 20, 2013
83
4
Man, I played around with the all the different iPad's at the store today and I really want to like the new Air but the thing that bothers me is the tiny bezels on the side. I like reading in portrait mode. And I really like the 12.9 model as it is just the perfect size for web browsing. However it's a bit on the pricy side. Is the 2017 12.9 still a viable option? I see B&H has the 256GB for $750. Are they a good company to buy from? I see Apple has refurbs which is what I would like to do but they only have 64GB which I'm not interested.
 

QCassidy352

macrumors G4
Mar 20, 2003
10,603
2,730
Bay Area
If I give in and upgrade my Air 2, it will be for the new Air.

I find the Mini to be an awkward size: too big for a pocket, so I'm going to be carrying it in a bag, but at that point, why not go bigger and have a more usable screen size?

The 2017 Pro is also a good option, but I am won over by the A12 (and more years of iOS support) and the lack of a camera bump on the back.
 
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kristalsoldier

macrumors 6502
Aug 10, 2013
382
108
I agree.

The main caveat is that I predict that either iOS 13 and iOS 14 will bring proper external storage support... but only for the USB-C models.
True, which is why it is perhaps better to wait and see what the refresh of the 11” is. By then iOS 13 should be out (hopefully). It’s also why I ain’t upgrading from my 10.5” even though I’ve had it since Aug-Sept 2017.
 

MagicTorch

macrumors member
Sep 8, 2007
99
133
UK
Mini5 (typing this post on it now). Replaces my Mini4 & compliments my iPad Pro 11” very nicely

A big shout out & much love to Mini4 though. I will be restoring my Mini4 to factory settings later today & then passing it on to a family member tomorrow. In some ways, I will be sad to see my Mini4 go, as it has been my most used & longest kept iPad yet (owned it since day of release in 2015) & to be fair, it still holds up pretty well in terms of performance, hence, why I am giving it a new home...had the performance been rubbish, I would have just traded it in for an Apple gift card
 

EugW

macrumors 604
Jun 18, 2017
7,330
4,723
True, which is why it is perhaps better to wait and see what the refresh of the 11” is. By then iOS 13 should be out (hopefully). It’s also why I ain’t upgrading from my 10.5” even though I’ve had it since Aug-Sept 2017.
I don’t think the 11” will be refreshed until 2020.
 

jacenskylo

macrumors newbie
Feb 8, 2017
27
10
Yeah I was on the fence myself between the air and the pro. I was leaning towards the air until Best Buy had a special one day sale where they were selling the 512 GB pro for the same amount of money as the air and that was just too good a deal to pass up getting a tablet with twice the amount of memory improved cameras and speakers. Plus my understanding is is that the A10X is going to have a lot of support for the next several years.
 
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EugW

macrumors 604
Jun 18, 2017
7,330
4,723
Yeah I was on the fence myself between the air and the pro. I was leaning towards the air until Best Buy had a special one day sale where they were selling the 512 GB pro for the same amount of money as the air and that was just too good a deal to pass up getting a tablet with twice the amount of memory improved cameras and speakers. Plus my understanding is is that the A10X is going to have a lot of support for the next several years.
Wow. 512 GB Pro for the price of the Air! Why don’t we ever get these deals?!?!
 

Mackinjosh

Suspended
Aug 21, 2014
1,186
1,672
I'm still vacillating between the mini and the Air. Part of me likes the ultra portability of the mini, but the Air's screen is definitely better for media consumption, and on top of that I dont travel outside the home much with my iPads, so portability isn't a huge concern. If Apple Arcade turns out to be great though, I think the Mini will be the best form factor for playing games.
 

EssModelsRule

macrumors 6502
Dec 28, 2017
255
179
All my previous iPads were Mini's (1, 2 & 4) until I gave up on Apple ever updating the 4 and went 10.5" Pro last year. Always looked back at the Mini with fondness but I guess I've come around to appreciate the bigger screen because now that I have the Mini 5 in hand it feels... small. Haven't sent the 10.5" in for trade refund yet so I may have to eat crow here and keep it instead. The Mini is awesome but I don't want two iPads. Maybe I can convince myself that two iPads are necessary.