iPad mini Should I get an iPad mini?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by lina231, Dec 14, 2013.

  1. lina231 macrumors regular

    Aug 7, 2013
    Hi Guys,

    So since i've gotten my MBA i've really been wanting an iPad mini. I have a kindle fire HD which I read books on...and that's about it. I just want other people's opinions on whether I should get one or not. If I were to get one then I would sell or give my kindle to my little brother. I was looking at the mini's because I am a college student and it just seems like a more portable device other than a huge iPad and my MBA (which I carry to class every day).

    What features do you guys like the most on the iPad mini?
    What features do you dislike/wish was on the iPad?
    Would it be better than my kindle fire?
    If I take notes on the iPad (with pages) is it .docx compatible?

  2. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    The size, I love reading on my rMini.

    tbh, I don't have things that I don't like on the rMini. I'm pretty content with what I have.

    Subject call, I'd say yes for a number of reasons, including your ability to integrate with what Apple provides with iCloud, iTunes and the app store.

    You'll need to export the pages files to a word document.
  3. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    I've been using my original iPad mini for several months. I've been so pleased with it that it's replaced about 85-90% of my need for a computer.
    It's portability and quick, silent operation leads me to take it almost everywhere, far more frequently than I would take my MBP.
    I wish it had a more user-accessible file system and a method of getting music onto the music app without syncing with a Mac, such as via Dropbox.
    That depends on what you use it for and your personal preferences.
    Pages can export documents that can be read by Word, but it doesn't use the .docx format natively. I use CloudOn to directly access MS Office documents when needed. As an alternative, you could also use a text app for note taking, such as TextForce (plain text) or Nocs (rich text). There are many note-taking apps available on iOS.
  4. lina231 thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 7, 2013
    iPad mini Refurb?

    Hi Guys,

    Thank you all for your feedback! I am seriously looking at purchasing one and was wondering what your opinions are on the refurb iPad minis. Any good?
  5. SusanK macrumors 68000

    Oct 9, 2012
    I have an iPad mini and an MBA. I like everything about the iPad mini with one small exception. The WiFi is a little flaky. Connections drop. I need to be relatively close to the router. Not an issue at home but can be inconvenient at a hotspot. I'm the one walking around to pick up the signal.

    The size and weight are perfect for me. Nice addition to the MBA.
  6. rgarjr macrumors 603


    Apr 2, 2009
    Southern California
    The mini is a nice little tablet to read e-books/PDFs. Also browsing the web, youtube, instagram.
  7. Misskitty macrumors 6502

    Jun 18, 2010
    Yes get the mini. If I had a MBA, I wouldnt even consider the air as its really not that much smaller. Heck I have a 2011 13" MBP and the air isnt that much smaller.
  8. iAppl3Fan macrumors 6502a


    Sep 8, 2011
    Get the mini. Toys R Us have it for $259 if you prefer new this week.

    I would just gift the item to my little brother, but that's me.
  9. rmhop81 macrumors 68020


    Apr 4, 2005
    Dallas, TX
  10. PDFierro macrumors 68040

    Sep 8, 2009
    Keep in mind those are last year's models.
  11. wmkim macrumors member

    Nov 22, 2010
    Atlanta, GA
    After upgrading my laptop, I went from a full-size iPad 4 to a new rMini...and after having it for almost a week, I don't think I'll ever go back to a full-size tablet again.

    The fact that it's the same screen as the full-size iPad doesn't limit you to your (iOS) app selection/usability is a big plus, in my opinion.

    I'd recommend getting the new Retina Mini, if possible though. Yes, it costs more, but you'll get better mileage from it from future iOS updates/enhancements than the previous Gen1 model.
  12. JackieInCo Suspended

    Jul 18, 2013
    I sold my original Mini and got a Retina Mini on Sunday. Best decision I have ever made. Not only is the screen perfect with no defects, the colors are super bright and everything is super crisp.

    I have a Nexus 7 that I haven't touched since getting the new Mini!
  13. RickTaylor macrumors 6502a

    Nov 9, 2013
    It's small. ^^ It fits almost perfectly into a typical sports coat pocket. Of course if you don't wear a jacket or carry a purse, this isn't such a big issue, but for some the portability of the mini can rival that of a cell phone while offering a scaled down experience of a full sized iPad.

    Because it's a scaled down version of an os designed for a larger screen, web pages and pdfs may sometimes require a small amount of tweaking to be readable, and control elements may be a bit harder to operate.

    Better is a subjective term. The mini has a 7.9 inch screen with a 4:3 aspect ratio, which for me makes it perfect for reading pdf's while remaining pocketable. The screen of the kindle fire is both smaller and thinner. I haven't used a kindle, but I understand it's more wedded to the amazon eco-system, which can be a plus or a minus depending on one's uses of the device. There are many applications written and available for the iPad (and anything that runs on a full size iPad will run on a mini).

    I haven't tried this. As you have pages on your macbook, you're already aware one can convert documents back and forth between the two formats; I'm not sure how good the process is.

    The original mini is a great device. I upgraded because I do extensive reading of pdfs, and the retina screen makes that a more pleasant experience for me. I would tend to prefer getting the retina mini over the mini, unless one was strapped for funds. With double the resolution and the speed, it is, in my opinion, a big upgrade for the price.
  14. Misskitty, Dec 17, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2013

    Misskitty macrumors 6502

    Jun 18, 2010
    If the full size actually had benefits other than bigger texts and images, like a higher res and could display more, or if ios had basic multitasking, THEN i could see the advantages of a larger screen. But really aside from just slightly larger text, which is a tiny bit easier on the eyes, there is no advantage. And like its been said many times, you make up for the smaller text by simply holding the device closer to your face. And surprisingly, it actually makes it more comfortable and personal when using it, vs using the air on a lap 10ft away.

    The cons of the extra mass and less portability on the air farly outweigh the advantage of slightly bigger text. Theres a reason why every air owner says that it gives them such a good viewing experience in bed, at home. Ya, because theyre not taking it anywhere! Once you do, you will see that its a major PITA and just too big. Its a desktop sized device to be used at home with very minimal in public, on the go use. Commuting with the air vs rmini is a lot more cumbersome. its not the weight, but the size.
  15. RickTaylor macrumors 6502a

    Nov 9, 2013
    While I personally prefer the iPad mini, if I were you I would at least take a look at an iPad Air. While bigger than the mini, it's still smaller than the iPads that came before it. As a student, you're probably carrying a backpack everywhere anyway, and an iPad Air wouldn't add much to it. You probably want to use it for textbooks, which while certainly readable on the mini might be a little nicer on the larger screen. And I don't think the iPad Air is much bigger than the other textbooks you take out at your desk. I've never used an iPad for taking hand written notes using a stylus, but if that's something you wanted to do, and air might be more suitable (although in that case, something like a galaxy note might be more suitable as well).
  16. braddick macrumors 68040


    Jun 28, 2009
    Encinitas, CA
    Owning both I do find myself more times than not taking the iPad air with me on the go.
    The weight feels about the same (I know it's only a perception- but having lugged around the iPad3, it's refreshingly light) and the slightly larger screen is a joy to use.

    If I had to pick one? The iPad air, hands down (and that is recognizing the pluses the mini offers too).
  17. lina231 thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 7, 2013
    Hi all,

    Thank you guys again for all of your replies. I've been looking at my kindle features today and found that I could not download google docs or dropbox. So I think I will be ordering the iPad mini tonight. It just seems like its more student friendly, and also I can just get the kindle app on the iPad and it will be just like my kindle with all of my books on it! I am very tight on money (being a college student, and seeing as christmas is right around the corner and I have to buy gifts for the fan) so I think I will be getting just the regular iPad mini. A couple of you mentioned the PDF documents not being clear or readable, is there anyway to fix that? I have one of my books next semester in PDF format and was hoping to put it on the iPad and have it in class and such...
  18. RickTaylor macrumors 6502a

    Nov 9, 2013
    While the original iPad mini is not as clear as the retina, that doesn't mean it's not clear. The resolution is higher than a typical crt. I used one myself when it came out primarily for reading books in pdf format. While the difference between the original and the retina is noticeable and I did upgrade because of it (I view documents with mathematical content, including lots of superscripts and subscripts), I got a huge amount of use out of the original and am certainly glad I bought it.

    The main things you can do are obvious. Most pdf readers have a feature that allow you to crop a document, and so you can resize it to remove most of the margins. If that's not enough, viewing in landscape mode gives one plenty of horizontal room.

    There are also programs that can convert a pdf document into something more suitable for a portable reader. I wasn't satisfied with the results, especially with diagram heavy pdfs, but there are others I haven't tried.

    But again, in my opinion just because the retina mini is better doesn't mean the original is bad, and I'm certainly glad I got mine when it was available.
  19. iAppl3Fan macrumors 6502a


    Sep 8, 2011
    If you're going to be studying PDF of a mini it's going to be too small. You'll be doing a lot of zooming in and out which will get annoying fast.
  20. lina231 thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 7, 2013
    I study off of my Kindle, which is pretty much the same size an haven't had a problem. My actual problem is studying on a device and not from an actual paper book. Im trying to get myself use to reading textbooks on my laptop, kindle, and if/when I get my iPad mini, on that too.


    Dumb question, but can you download adobe reader on the device? I think that may make the PDFs a lot easier for me to read if I can do it that way.
  21. deeddawg macrumors 604

    Jun 14, 2010
    Depending on the app, you can typically increase font size or zoom in; you trade off amount of info displayed against clarity. In effect this means more panning/zooming, the amount depending on how good your eyesight is. Some people can't really see a difference between the two, for others it's like night and day.

    If you haven't yet done so, go to a store such as Apple or Best Buy where you can view a Mini1 right next to a retina Mini. load up something like theverge.com or other sites and compare side by side. You MUST see them for yourself before making your decision.

    Also think very carefully on the other aspects of the Mini1 vs rMini question; although the price jump for the base model is significant, you're also buying a model that's technologically close to two years behind. When do you expect to want to replace the device? How close are you to graduation and would you be going off to a job or on to grad school? (rhetorical questions for you to consider)


    Yes - google results quickly led to http://www.adobe.com/products/reader-mobile.html

    But look at apps such as PDF Expert where you can read, highlight, and annotate your PDFs all on screen and save the changes out to iCloud or dropbox to sync to your other computer(s)/devices. I used PDF Expert extensively during my Masters program; it was great not carrying around a 2" binder full of highlighted case-studies, but I could still print them out (on a color laser) if I was going into the occasional open-notes exam. :)
  22. ZBoater macrumors G3


    Jul 2, 2007
    Sunny Florida
    PDF Expert is one of my favorite iOS apps. I use it to annotate and sign PDFs, and it has very strong file storage/sharing options supporting iCloud, DropBox, Google Drive, Box, ftp, Skydrive and a lot more. If you deal a lot in PDFs, it is well worth the few bucks it costs.
  23. lina231 thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 7, 2013
    Bought an iPad mini, waiting to get the Pick up email :) Thank you for all of your help. I'm sure I will be posting back here again to tell you guys how much I like it :):apple:
  24. CandyNJ66 macrumors regular

    Feb 11, 2009
    Congrats :)
  25. AppleFanatic10 macrumors 68030


    Nov 2, 2010
    Hawthorne, CA
    I bought one for the same reason. The thing I like most about the iPad Mini is the form factor. It's small and light. My mom has a kindle fire HD 8.9 and I don't like it too much, maybe it's because I'm not used to it yet, but I just can't see myself using a kindle... And yes pages can be .docx compatible, it would be a lot better if you had pages on your mac, but in case you didn't know you can use pages on icloud dot com. Plus it syncs with your MBA so you can just continue where you left off

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