iPad mini Retina vs. 1st Gen

Discussion in 'iPad' started by HeyKatie, Dec 6, 2014.

  1. HeyKatie macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2012
    #1
    I am trying to decide which model to buy after Christmas. How long do you think the 1st gen mini would last if I bought it now? I am only hesitant to buy the retina model because I am low vision and cannot tell the difference between the two as far as better screen so I was thinking about just saving myself the $100 but I also want it to last me awhile. I will mainly be using it for reading, playing movies when I travel and a few apps/music.
     
  2. mBurns macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2006
    Location:
    USA
    #2
    I asked myself the same questions. Ultimately went with First Gen, granted right before the "new" iPad Mini was released. I decided on the First Gen because it was cheaper, still had lightning bolt connectivity, and great battery life. Also, from the reviews I read, supposedly the external speaker is louder on the original.... haven't tested the two units side-by-side myself. I decided to buy my Mini second hand and saved a significant amount. I don't foresee Apple discontinuing support for the iPad Mini (non-Retina) anytime soon, and at that point, get a new one. At the price you can snag a non-retina at, it's not a huge financial hit if you keep it for a year or two and are forced to move to a new device....
     
  3. rgarjr macrumors 603

    rgarjr

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    Apr 2, 2009
    Location:
    Southern Cal
    #3
    Grab the rMini 2 if u want to keep it for a while.
     
  4. bushido Suspended

    bushido

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Location:
    Germany
    #4
    I don't think the first gen will even run iOS 9. the mini 2 is already cheap enough now that we got the barely improved 3rd Gen
     
  5. iamMacPerson macrumors 68030

    iamMacPerson

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    Jun 12, 2011
    Location:
    AZ/10.0.1.1
    #5
    Well the extra $100 gets you a lot more then just a Retina Display. The Retina Mini also has the newer A7 processor which is a huge step up from the A5 that's in the original Mini (it's the same jump from the iPhone 4s to the 5s). It's 400MHz faster, 64-bit and has double the RAM. Considering it's the same processor in the current gen mini, it'll probably be supported for quite a while to come.

    Wishful thinking on your part. It's your money and you can do with it what you please, but don't expect your iPad mini to be running the latest OS in a year. When I had my original iPad mini it slowed down on iOS 7, and judging by how slow some of the 4ses I have seen are on iOS 8, the first gen mini's future doesn't look to bright.

    But it's not just the original iPad mini. The current iPod touch and Apple TV both use the A5 as well which leads me to believe all these products will see an update between now and WWDC (when iOS 9 is unveiled) since it won't be supported by the new iOS. This means that the original iPad mini will be dropped and either the Retina will come down in price a bit more or the iPads entry price point will go up to $299.
     
  6. CEmajr macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2012
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    #6
    Unless you're extremely pressed for that $100 then get the Retina Mini. Even beyond the retina display itself the performance increase from the first generation Mini is huge. It should be very capable of running iOS 9 next year while the 1st Gen Mini might not be.
     
  7. mtneer macrumors 68020

    mtneer

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2012
    #7
    Your 1st gen Mini hardware will "last" easily for 3 - 4 years if you buy new today. However, expect app support to drop off dramatically after 2015, once Apple stops selling the 1st generation. So, if you are able to buy all the apps you need now and never ask for more; you could buy the 1st generation and use it. Many times, even if you do manage to score the app before it stops being supported; the app maker may decide to limit access on their end, which will render your already installed app useless.
     
  8. HeyKatie thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2012
    #8
    Thanks everyone! As much as I would love to save a little bit of money I know I will be much more happy with a device that will be able to get the latest software updates and last me a good amount of time.
     
  9. mangomind macrumors 6502a

    mangomind

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2012
    #9
    Good idea if you want to keep installing the latest software; all A5 devices (e.g. the first iPad mini) will be discontinued next spring. For your uses you really can't go wrong with any iPad though, they are all fast enough for reading, movies, apps, and music.
     
  10. TechZeke macrumors 68020

    TechZeke

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    Jul 29, 2012
    Location:
    Rialto, CA
    #10
    Why Apple even keeps around the 1st gen mini baffles me. At $300, you already get an aggressively priced high quality 8" tablet with retina display and an A7 chip that destroys the A5. If you can't wait and saved up the pennies for the extra $50 you probably shouldn't be buying an iPad.
     
  11. AustinIllini macrumors demi-god

    AustinIllini

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2011
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #11
    This is exactly why I went with the iPad Mini 2. It's even sweeter that you can save $100 on a Mini if you can live without TouchID.
     
  12. mangomind macrumors 6502a

    mangomind

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2012
    #12
    Or one can wait until the spring when Apple releases a 30% thinner iPad mini. It will be paper thin. Insane.
     
  13. AustinIllini macrumors demi-god

    AustinIllini

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    Oct 20, 2011
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #13
    One always has the option of waiting, but I figure if someone asks online, they are aware of that option.
     
  14. mangomind macrumors 6502a

    mangomind

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    Mar 15, 2012
    #14
    The OP asked what he should buy in early 2015, I don't know if he knows of this option. Sure, this iPad mini 4 will probably be above the OP's budget. But the other iPad minis might further decrease in price this spring with this release.
     
  15. TacticalDesire macrumors 68020

    TacticalDesire

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    Mar 19, 2012
    Location:
    Michigan
    #15
    A $250 iPad is attractive to a lot of potential buyers hence apple still keeping the first gen around. To nerds it doesn't make sense but from a business perspective it's genius, especially during the holidays. I'd imagine they are moving a lot of them right about now. If I were buying one for a kid who's only going to bang it around and play light games on it, I probably wouldn't bother with the retina. Kids don't care, and neither do value conscious parents. To them they're still getting an iPad so they're getting the name and they're only paying $250 for it.
     
  16. HeyKatie thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Sep 7, 2012
    #16
    I'll be keeping my eyes out for Christmas/Boxing Day deals, can't wait to finally have one in my hands.
     
  17. AppleRobert macrumors 603

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    Nov 12, 2012
    #17
    You don't have to wait. Extended holiday time period return and price guarantee if it goes lower within that period. Best Buy, not sure about getting it from Apple Store.
     
  18. Vudoo macrumors 6502a

    Vudoo

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    Sep 30, 2008
    Location:
    Dallas Metroplex
    #18
    Best Buy has the 16gb iPad Mini 2 for $250 now. Not a bad price.
     
  19. CyberManiaK macrumors newbie

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    Oct 25, 2014
    #19
    And don't forget to use the 10% mover coupon.
     
  20. crvenobradi macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2014
    #20
    Bought an original iPad Mini this Monday, it is actually significantly cheaper now discounted for 50 € and even more if you count in time before new Mini 3 was relased. It comes at 260 € at local book store that sells apple gear.
    For our standard, mid-european, it is actually affordable and at our household it replaces iPod touch 4 gen, iPhone 4 and one old SD camera. So for us it is very usable, airplaying video to Apple TV 3, playing light/kids games, web and pdf reading, photo stream browsing, light photo and video recording...

    Since it replacese an 5 years old iPod touch it is more than an upgrade.

    iOS 8 runs OK, it stutter sometimes but we have "everything turnd on" but siri. So all the effects like paralax are on. And it runs well, battery is ok, 3-4 days of usage. It is not as perfect as high powered iPhone 6 or new Air but it is light, thin and has seen more usage than all three devices it replaced (even in short time we had it)
     
  21. Mainsail macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 19, 2010
    #21
    I just picked up a retina mini 2 at BB with 32GB storage for $299 ($50 discount). This is a xmas present for a family member, and 32GB should be plenty for them. When I checked the specs, the only difference between the 3 and the 2 appears to be the touch ID. I wanted more than 16GB, so the 3 would have cost $499 for 64 GB. The 2 seemed like a better deal.

    I really didn't want to go with the original mini, since I wanted to get one with the retina display.
     
  22. Ledgem macrumors 65816

    Ledgem

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    Jan 18, 2008
    Location:
    Hawaii, USA
    #22
    It's still a rumor at this point. I think that's an important fact to note when factoring in potential purchase plans.
     
  23. Traverse macrumors 603

    Traverse

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2013
    Location:
    Here
    #23
    Get nothing less than the iPad Mini 2. The A5 is on the edge of no support. The A7 will give you a much better experience.
     
  24. Yebubbleman macrumors 68030

    Yebubbleman

    Joined:
    May 20, 2010
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #24
    You want the retina mini (either iPad mini 2 or iPad mini 3, depending on preferred storage capacity [and assuming that you'd go with a 2, if going with a 16GB model]). The reasons why have almost nothing to do with the visuals. The A5 processor in the first generation iPad mini is unfortunately showing its age in iOS 8 and devices with it will probably be disallowed from iOS 9, which, given how Apple incentivizes developers to develop for (and often require) the latest version of iOS, is a major problem down the road.

    You don't buy technology these days. You rent it. Given that, your rental period on the first gen iPad mini will be at least two years shorter than on either the second or third gen iPad mini.
     
  25. poematik13 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2014
    #25
    I have the original Mini and its slow as a dog. Basic stuff like messaging and email are fine, but bigger apps like FB and stuff take a solid 30-35 seconds to load, and the 512mb of ram ruins the browsing experience. It's def on the verge of obsolescence if you intend to actually be productive on it.
     

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