iPad The Case for the iPad Air WiFi

Discussion in 'iPad' started by ggibson913, Nov 17, 2013.

  1. ggibson913 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 11, 2006
    There are many sites and online forums which extoll the virtues of choosing either the iPad Air or Retina Mini now that the mini is in the wild. I would like to start out by saying, you really can't go wrong unless you get the 16 GB version of either model, I do recommend the 32 GB or above on either model. I picked up the 64 GB as it seems to hold what I need it to without an excess of wasted space.

    Screen Size Matters

    The iPad Air has the same 9.7 inch screen as all of its predecessors though the bezel has been reduced greatly. With the larger screen it's easy to watch movies, surf the net, be productive, and not be limited in any way. It is a larger screen and full retina which means at normal viewing distances, the human eye can't distinguish the individual pixels. The screen is beautiful and even though my last iPad (the New iPad) weighed in at a hefty 1.5 pounds the flexibility offered by the larger screen has kept me coming back to the larger size and not ditching it for mini.

    The iPad retina mini has a 7.9 inch screen and is palm-able, the screen is super clear and retina just like its big brother. However, when at the Apple Store last night contemplating a return and exchange, I found that I did prefer the bigger screen. It's just better, well, for everything. Movies seem to render better, there is more room to type, I do have big fingers, and the larger screen is better for photos and movie watching and said surfing. Though many reviewers point to the portability of the iPad Mini Retina, it isn't as if the iPad Air isn't portable it's just the iPad Mini Retina is more portable. One other comment on size, my other computer is a first gen 15" Macbook Retina and I have an iPhone, for me the Air seems to occupy that space between my laptop and iPhone better.

    To LTE or Not to LTE

    I wrangled with this question when I bought my 3rd Generation iPad. I splurged and bought the 4G LTE model and I had 4G available in most places. I almost never used it. I did bring it to work occasionally and it was convenient to just be able to use it at work (no wifi) but not worth the extra $130.00 plus $10.00 per month to add it to my cell plan. I am on a family share plan with my carrier which means I get free tethering. Free tethering means that if I need data I can tether to my phone to get it. My iPhone is a wonderful enough GPS and I don't need the big screen in the car. I simply thought my money was better spent on AppleCare or a nice Smart Cover. Plus when I got my price on my previous iPad, on one of the popular buy back services the difference in the but back price was zilch between the two. If you are a road warrior and need your iPad while traveling, then maybe if go for it, otherwise save yourself some dough and stick to the Wifi version.

    I know this is lengthy but I wanted to offer my perspective and maybe it can help someone who is on the fence. The choices are vast this year and I wanted to post why I chose the iPad Air as opposed to the mini.
  2. bambooshots macrumors 65816

    Jul 25, 2013
    Good review. Of course, YMMV. For example I never used 3G on the first iPad because I felt that the $30 was not worth it for slow speeds on both the iPad and cellular connection.

    However, I did go ahead and get the LTE model again for my mini as 1) I have a 3.5mbps DSL connection at home which the very solid and available LTE network where I live blows away and saving me from throwing another device on the slow wifi network and 2) while I did enjoy the larger screen from the first iPad I found myself wishing more often than not for something that was a little less unwieldy. And yes, I did compare the Air too and the decision was quite hard to make.
  3. gtmac macrumors 6502a

    Jun 25, 2010
    Work provides a LTE mifi works perfectly for my several devices. Surely not as convenient but I like have the ability to connect several devices.
  4. rkuo macrumors 6502a

    Sep 25, 2010
    I use LTE on my iPad all the time. Imagine having to "sign on" with your iPhone every time you wanted to access the internet. Having the cell service means I can just hand the iPad to my girlfriend, look something up instantly, etc. No ceremony or friction ... it just works.
  5. braddick macrumors 68040


    Jun 28, 2009
    Encinitas, CA
    Purchasing an iPad without LTE is simply buying a crippled device.
    The convenience far outweighs any possible added expense. Couple that with working GPS and owning the LTE vs the non-LTE iPad is an easy decision to make.
  6. Primejimbo macrumors 68040

    Aug 10, 2008
    Mine stays at home, it basically replaced my MacBook now because of the set up at home I don't need a computer anymore. Why would I need LTE, why would I spend money for something I will never use? It's not crippled in anyways at all, because I have wifi at home.
  7. sixrom macrumors 6502a

    Nov 13, 2013
    Apples fee to include LTE is no big deal, anyone who's familiar with Apple knows high pricing is normal. It's handy to have and increases the mobility of the device.

    The internet is essential for most of us. The decision is obvious.
  8. gotluck macrumors 603


    Dec 8, 2011
    East Central Florida
    Tmobiles free 200mb pushed me to the cellular model, along with gps.
  9. Good.Shepherd macrumors member

    Mar 8, 2011
    I completely disagree.

    It depends on where you live, but first of all I almost never get "stuck" without wifi for anything that I would need my iPad for over the phone (maps, etc).

    On the rare occasion I do, I find it much easier to just use the phone as a hot spot, which also works for my laptop and so is even more convenient.

    I prefer the wifi and feel anything but "crippled" (hyperbole much?), and actually prefer to not take on the extra weight of the device with the radio.
  10. AppleRobert macrumors 603

    Nov 12, 2012
    I don't need cellular for my iPad, I have a smartphone. The large majority of iPad owners I bet have access with another device as well.
  11. Infinitewisdom macrumors 6502a

    Sep 23, 2012
    For those of us who have great smartphones, buying the "crippled" iPad makes far more sense.
  12. richardbb85 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 9, 2009
    I use it at home, work = both with wifi ready. So why would I pay more for sth I don't need, I have the iPhone when I am on the go.
  13. 3rdiguy macrumors 6502a


    Sep 17, 2012
    I have unlimited LTE & tethering on my iPhone so it's wifi Air for me. Only thing I don't like is iPhone acts up when it's a hotspot. It acts erratically and it's difficult to text. Like it has a mind of its own.
  14. flytrumpet macrumors member

    Jul 9, 2010
    Same here.
  15. donnaw macrumors 65816

    Apr 19, 2011
    Austin TX
    Everyone is different. Case in point:

    1). I recently had to trade my 64g iPad 3 with my husband (I took his 32g iPad 2) because he's on contract overseas for 4 months or so at a time. Where he is he has very limited wifi (download speeds in the ks when it's there at all) and his TV is also limited. So in order to load him up with movies, TV, and podcasts to entertain him for months he needed the storage.

    2). I gave the iPad 2 to our grandson and bought the iPad Air (also with 64g because the 128s were so hard to find). I too need the space for movies etc. because I travel a lot and frankly the 13+ hour flights are boring! Most hotels have bad wifi and is usually expensive for one or two nights. From experience 32g is not enough for my needs.

    3). Because I do travel a lot I need the GPS in the LTE version, especially when I have to rent a car. Plus I don't like tethering because it drains my phone battery and I need my phone to last the day. And most of the time when it storms at home we lose electricity which means no wifi and no TV. I just switch to LTE to check the weather. Comes in very handy in the case of tornados.

    It's all a matter of each person's needs and uses and maybe financial means. Nobody should need to justify why they chose one model over another. The only reason I just listed my reasons is to show that we are all different. And just because one person has no need for more storage, LTE, or a lighter/heavier iPad doesn't mean they are wrong and you're right and vice-versa.

    Thankfully we have choices and don't always have to just 'make do'.
  16. braddick macrumors 68040


    Jun 28, 2009
    Encinitas, CA
    The difference is 9 grams. That's less than three pennies.
    Hyperbole much?

Share This Page