iPad mini Thoughts on my new iPad mini with Retina display

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Beta Particle, Nov 30, 2013.

  1. Beta Particle macrumors 6502a

    Jun 25, 2012
    1. This thing is impressively small and light coming from an iPad 3 - it's thinner and lighter than my Kindle 4 in its case.
    2. This is the kind of resolution that the iPad Air needs - it's the first Retina display where the pixels are not obvious to me at a normal viewing distance. (the iPhone has a similar density, but is held closer) Slightly higher would probably be perfect, but this is mostly good enough now.
    3. Color looks washed out and ugly on this display. I'm not doing side-by-side comparisons with other devices here, just taken on its own and doing things like browsing my music library, it really doesn't look very good at all. People should not be trying to defend this when cheaper devices have much better displays.
    4. Coming from an iPad 3, the new profile of the device and the extremely thin bezel at the sides is very uncomfortable for me to hold. The mini is too wide to hold with one hand across the back, and with the bezels this small, my thumb is always covering up something on the screen. When trying to hold it one-handed at the side, rather than across the back, the edges dig into my hand. So despite being this small and light, it's still a two-handed device for me - due to the shape rather than the weight.
    5. Typing is uncomfortable on this device in most positions. In portrait mode, my thumbs are too close together for the split keyboard, and the "large" keyboard is too small. Landscape typing is better, but I don't find the landscape keyboards comfortable on either iPad when I'm holding it. With the keys being the size they are when the iPad is vertical, it's difficult to see which ones you have pressed - it should display the key above your thumb like the iPhone does.
    6. While most of Apple's apps are fine, text/UI is often too small on the mini in others. I know it seems obvious, but things which were a good size on the larger iPads can be too small here. I have found myself using this iPad horizontally most of the time, when my iPad 3 was almost always a vertical device. It's not that I have difficulty reading on it, it's just not a comfortable experience like it was on the larger iPad. I feel like apps running on the mini should have a separate UI rather than the iPad UI shrunk down.
    7. I'm not particularly fond of the "space gray" back. The silver back of the old iPads was better looking and won't show off scratches as easily.
    I can see why people love their iPad minis if they're always out and can just take it with them in a purse or a jacket pocket, and they're mostly using them for reading content which is well formatted for the screen (books?) but it really feels like I'm sacrificing a lot when using one rather than the big iPad.

    I think it would have been much better if Apple had treated them as separate devices much like the iPhone has its own separate apps/UI from the iPad.

    After having the Retina mini though, I'm not sure whether I want to return it for an Air now, as it's going to have the same problems with the tiny bezel and steep edges.
    It's shame they didn't just make the iPad 4 lighter and faster...
  2. HankHowdy macrumors 68040


    Dec 2, 2012
    Victorville CA
    I'm sorry, but I don't agree with anything you said. I really like my rMini. It's exactly what I wanted. I passed on every single iPad until now. Perhaps you would be happier with an Air.
  3. JonMPLS macrumors 65816

    May 23, 2010
    I appreciate the detailed review, but I do have a question. Did you look at the rMini before you purchased one? I also have a 3 but have been out looking at the rMini.
  4. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

    Oct 9, 2005
    8 miles from the Apple Store at Tysons (VA)
    I was able to snag an AT&T cellular data 128 GB IPad Mini.....right now she is still charging up and adding my movies and music, but just from the brief experience I have had with her, checking her out, I'd say she's a winner. A happy camper here!
  5. RickTaylor macrumors 6502a

    Nov 9, 2013
    I disagree with this point. One of the things I like about the mini is that I can be confident that anything that works on a full size Ipad will work the same way on the mini, except scaled down. Even the resolution is the same. Sure, the ui is a little less natural for the mini as it was designed for a larger device, but in my opinion, the compatibility is worth it.
  6. Misskitty macrumors 6502

    Jun 18, 2010
    The keyboard size on the mini in both portrait and landscape are perfect in terms of key size. It just feels so natural and a joy to type on. Its not suited for people with big hands, the air is. Jist like how many with normal size hands find the air too big to type on and split keyboards isnt for everyone.

    Ask any mini owner to type on the air with split keyboard amd i gaurentee you that they say its not nearly as good. The airs keyboard when one piece is stupidly huge.
  7. gatearray macrumors 65816

    Apr 24, 2010
    Haha, stupidly huge as in about the same striking area as a "real" physical keyboard? I think if one can type on a MacBook they can type on an Air. :)
  8. v0lume4 macrumors 68000


    Jul 28, 2012
    Right on. I can actually use home row typing on the full size iPad, so I'm happy.

    Still gives me cramps though. #touchscreenprobs
  9. Soordhin macrumors member

    Apr 13, 2010
    Berlin, Germany
    Went from the 3 to rMini as well. However i did use the 3 mainly in landscape mode and still do mostly on the rMini, but i am inclined to use it more in vertical mode now. I used an external keyboard on the 3 for more serious typing simply to get more screen estate to use as the onscreen keyboard is too big for me. So far i'm fine on the mini without an external keyboard, but i didn't have to write much lately. Since the mini is so lightweight i might take my MBA with me again and have a "real" computer to write stuff on while doing all the other stuff on my iPad, time will tell how it works out.

    So far i have been more than pleased with my 128GB cell mini. After reading all those threads about the really bad screen i was pleasantly surprised, there is not much of a difference to my 3 in colors and the resolution i just perfect. As is the UI and size of UI elements in all apps i have used so far.

    The size of the mini is perfect for me, i can comfortably hold it in one hand in portrait mode or in two while in landscape mode, the light weight and thinness of the device really suits me and so far it seems the battery is holding up as well as the one in my 3. It seems the perfect device to always carry around (except while out running, but i don't need it there anyway).

    Since it will be paired with an ipad air soon i will have more of an opportunity to compare them, but can easily see me not using the company provided air in preference to my rmini.
  10. Beta Particle thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 25, 2012
    No, I ordered it online and did not have the opportunity to try one before now.

    You have a point, and it's something I considered, but when trying out most of the apps on my device, very few actually felt like the UI had been designed with the mini in mind, so that many elements were just too small on it.

    Perhaps it would be best if there was an option for developers to build a slightly larger UI for their apps on the mini which is separate from the larger iPad, but still let it run regular iPad apps as well - similar to universal apps which switch between an iPhone and iPad UI.
    Or perhaps they just need to optimize their UI so that it works better at both sizes, but it's clear which apps have been optimized for the mini and which are just big iPad apps scaled down.

    That's true, I do have larger hands, but I don't have any problem typing on the iPhone, and on my iPad 3 I preferred to use the split keyboard most of the time, which is why I was surprised at how awkward it was typing on the mini.

    I disagree about the size of the iPad Air's keyboard though. It's almost the size of a "real" keyboard, and when you use the landscape one on a desk I can type very quickly with it.

    The size of the mini's keyboard is fine when it's horizontal - it's actually a bit larger than the vertical keyboard on the larger iPads, but I don't find the device comfortable to hold when typing like that. (one hand to hold it and the other to type) I only use the horizontal keyboard on the larger iPads when I'm at a desk.

    While I do find it uncomfortable to hold one-handed due to the narrow bezel and the steep edge on it, I agree that it's a really nice device. The size and shape of it is perfect for something you could hold for hours reading on. The problem is that I just don't find it comfortable to read most of the time, as things are always just slightly too small.

    I have good eyesight, and I'm still in my 20s, so it's not that I have difficulty reading on it, but when I spend some time reading, my eyes are definitely not relaxed afterwards like they would be on my iPad 3.
  11. shamanstar macrumors newbie

    May 29, 2011

    I don't think the colors seem washed out to me. I am very impressed with everything about the retina Mini. I had the 1st gen Mini and sold it when I heard about the new one. I also have a full size Retina iPad and find myself using the mini way more often because of the portability factor. Just my opinion.
  12. Buck987 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 16, 2010
    Can't say I agree with much you have written. Especially the washed out screen. But thanks for posting.
  13. bigboar macrumors 6502

    Oct 26, 2012
    and yet after owning and using both the air and rmini I ended up keeping the rmini...the screen is no where even close to the big issue some try to make it..As nice as the air display is I ended up feeling the same as the person who wrote the anandtech review....

  14. chongsen macrumors newbie

    Dec 4, 2013
    I agree with all points you list. I have all those small issues with my rmini

    But I can live with it. It is rmini; it is what I want
  15. doasis23 macrumors regular


    Aug 23, 2012

    1. Ive had mine for a week now and disagree with most of what you said but I do agree the edges are sharp and it sometimes can be uncomfortable to hold.
  16. Beta Particle thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 25, 2012
    As I said; I get why people love the mini, but for me, a lot of those are reasons why I did not keep it, and I wish I could have read something similar before I purchased it.

    People seem to get so defensive about their purchases. Just because something is not perfect, does not mean it isn't worth owning. But there is clearly room for improvement, and hopefully Apple will do so with the next revision.

    I still don't think that people should be defending the screen quality though. Perhaps they haven't seen anything better and think it's fine, but when you are used to a better screen than the mini, it's a very obvious regression.
  17. thirdeyeopen666 macrumors 6502


    Sep 16, 2007
    I just can't agree with this. I spend a lot of my day looking at a retina macbook pro screen and other very high quality monitors. I originally owned an iPad Air and then exchanged it for the retina Mini, and I could not be happier. I haven't noticed much in the way of color at all. I was kind of stunned to find out that the gamut wasn't as wide in fact, because I barely saw any difference between the screens of the two devices.
  18. Yptcn macrumors 6502a


    Aug 24, 2012
    So, after my iPad 1 , last year I bought a Mini which I loved. But I always had regrets not to have gotten Cellular as I travel quite a lot. So this year , I sold my Mini and got the Mini Retina+Cellular . It's fantastic !

    A few days ago a friend came over with her new Air ..so I didn't resist and compared them , both on maximum brightness and same screen , the most colorful one .

    There IS a difference , the colors of the Air are brighter ! And you know what ? I like my mini better ,I find the colors are more natural and easy on the eyes . So all in all , I am very happy with my purchase :D Of course , retina is a plus , more than I expected !
  19. Moccasin macrumors 6502a


    Mar 21, 2011
    Newcastle, UK
    Had my retina iPad mini for nearly a week now and don't regret it one bit. Colours seem fine to me and screen has no issues that I can see.

    Only comments are that the touchscreen takes a bit of getting used to compared to the iPhone - mainly because it feels a bit different. I also keep forgetting it doesn't have Touch ID and wonder why it doesn't unlock when I rest my finger on the home button.
  20. Charliebird macrumors 6502a

    Mar 10, 2010
  21. bevsb2 macrumors 65816

    Nov 23, 2012
    Agree. I have a rMBP and an Air and they both have gorgeous screens, but I look at the rMini every time I pass the Apple store (often) and I think the screen is excellent. Not quite as good but still a beautiful screen and I keep trying to justify getting one.

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