All iPads Touchtyping rMini or Air?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by hajime, Dec 8, 2013.

  1. hajime macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    #1
    Hello, I have some questions for those who type a lot on their iPad. Is the virtual keyboard good enough? Do you end up buying an external keyboard? For typing, which is easier and more comfortable (retina mini or air)? I think you can have a virtual split keyboard under the new OS. Thanks.
     
  2. cababah macrumors 68000

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    Jun 11, 2009
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    SF Bay Area, CA
    #2
    I have an air but I would think touch-typing on a mini would be easier as it is closer in size to an iPhone and I am used to that. I actually don't really enjoy touch-typing on the air and find it takes a lot longer than typing the same message on my iPhone 5. If you plan for a lot of typing on your ipad, I would invest in a Bluetooth keyboard for sure.
     
  3. deeddawg macrumors 604

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    Jun 14, 2010
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    US
    #3
    Thumb-typing of course is easier on the rMini.

    Touch-typing (assuming you mean the classic sense of typing with all fingers without looking at the keyboard) - IMHO not really feasible on the mini. I get by using the first couple of fingers, but the keyboard is just too small for full on Mavis Beacon style typing.

    I do think it's possible on the fullsize ipads (I have an ipad3), but not ideal as there's zero feedback for finger placement. If you're going to be doing a lot of it, plan on an external keyboard. I've never bought one so can't give any guidance there.
     
  4. hajime thread starter macrumors 68030

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    Jul 23, 2007
    #4
    Thanks. So, if I want to do touch typing in a traditional sense, it is better to buy an external keyboard. If I want to type using two thumbs, it is easier on the rmini than on the air even both have split virtual keyboard. Am I right?

    I saw a lady typing on the virtual keyboard using a finger from one hand and a pen from the other hand. What is that?
     
  5. deeddawg macrumors 604

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    Jun 14, 2010
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    #5
    *Probably* -- but this is a very subjective thing and really depends on your own preferences.

    Best thing is to go try out both units and see which you prefer.

    Weird. :D

    The "pen" would likely be a stylus. Whatever works for someone.
     
  6. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    May 3, 2009
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    Boston
    #6
    I don't think a virtual keyboard lends itself too well to touch typing. The lack of tactile feedback is the problem.

    What ever you want to call it, once you get used to the virtual keyboard you can type fairly quickly.
     
  7. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

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    Jan 6, 2005
    #7
    I'm a reasonably fast typist on a regular keyboard - 75wpm or so - and I have gotten used to thumb typing on my full-sized iPad's in portrait orientation to the point that I can reasonably do 45-50wpm with near perfect accuracy. I can touch type if I rely on the auto-correct, which can bring my speed even higher.

    That said, this takes a lot of practice, and I wouldn't expect you to be able to do it right away, just like you weren't able to type on a regular keyboard without a lot of practice. It's really only in the last year or so (been using an iPad since the original model) that I am comfortable typing even long multiple paragraph items on the screen. If you want to do more than that, you'd probably be happier with a stand-alone keyboard. Fortunately any bluetooth keyboard will work.
     
  8. jojoba macrumors 68000

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    Dec 9, 2011
    #8
    I touch type very fast on a regular computer, but I find touch typing on my iPad a pain. Yes, it gets better with practice, but having an external keyboard is just so much more efficient.
     
  9. s2mikey macrumors 68020

    s2mikey

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    Sep 23, 2013
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    Upstate, NY
    #9
    The mini is simply too small for me to type comfortably on. I suppose thumb typing in portrait mode on the mini is pretty good but I like the Air.
     
  10. Toyeboy89 macrumors newbie

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    Nov 19, 2013
    #10
    thumb typing on the iPad mini in portrait orientation is the best touch screen keyboard experience I've ever used. I did a test one time and hit 60 wpm with my thumbs and good accuracy.
     
  11. boobie12 macrumors 6502

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    Sep 20, 2012
    #11
    I have an air. But a mini defiantly wins in ease of typing. Unless you have real big hands and can across easier. For me an air is quick and easy since I have larger then average hands. But a mini is much better for most ppl.
     
  12. v0lume4 macrumors 65816

    v0lume4

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    Jul 28, 2012
    #12
    I can use home row typing on my full-size iPad 2 and type really quickly. However with nowhere to actually rest your hands, you slowly drift off-center. And the hand cramps don't take long to show up. Just some food for thought.

    I thumb type enough on my iPhone so my iPad is my escape FROM thumb typing.
     
  13. esskay macrumors 6502

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    Jan 3, 2008
    #13
    According to one of the typing speed apps, I seem to be able to touch type about 70wpm on the Air in landscape mode with the full keyboard. It is one of things where it goes really well, but if I start making mistakes because my hands drift/etc, then it really goes off the rails and I get a bunch of garbage!

    I originally thought it wouldn't be possible but when I started really trying to touch type and forced myself not to look, I discovered it really did work!

    As point of reference, I type about 100-120wpm on a mechanical keyboard.
     
  14. Misskitty, Dec 10, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2013

    Misskitty macrumors 6502

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    Jun 18, 2010
    #14
    Anyone with normal sized hands can only thumb type in landscape on the air with the keys split. Thumb typing on the air in landscape is going to give you arthritis cause it causes you to turn and stretch your hands to a very uncomfortable position. I know it is for me. Unless you have dinosaur hands, the air is jist too damn big.

    On the mini, its so versatile because for me i can type on it in landscape with full or split keyboards, portrait too and all positions are equally as comfortable. I cant say the same for the air. I can and will only type on the air in landscape with a split board. Portrait is terrible as the device is jist too long so the weight is not well balanced.
     
  15. i0Nic macrumors 65816

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    Sydney, Australia
    #15
    Don't you guys set your iPad air down on a table to type in landscape aka the traditional typing method? That is probably the fastest way to type on any iPad.
     
  16. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

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    Jul 17, 2008
    #16
    I agree that is the fastest method, but about 90% of the time when I'm using an iPad, there isn't any table around. I'm in my bed, on the sofa, sitting in a bus/train, etc.
     
  17. mpantone macrumors 6502

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    Mar 20, 2009
    #17
    Sure, but it's still way slower than classic touch typing (not looking at keys) on a physical keyboard with good tactile feedback.

    Worse is typing on the iPad mini (I have the Retina) which has a keyboard that's about 15% narrower than a standard keyboard. I was pretty good at pounding out 2-3 paragraphs on my old full-sized iPad, but those days are over now that I have the Retina iPad mini.

    A decent touch typist should be able to pound out 70-80 wpm with either zero typos or one error.

    As Night Spring mentions, many iPad use cases to not include environments where solid flat surfaces are available. That's part of the usefulness of tablets: they can be used more easily than notebook computers.

    I can't type much on my Retina iPad mini, but it sure is a more convenient device to use on public transit than my 11" MacBook Air.
     
  18. i0Nic macrumors 65816

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    May 17, 2006
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    Sydney, Australia
    #18
    Do you still prefer the mini then, even with the poorer landscape typing?

    I'm trying to decide between the air and mini, I do use an ipad for meeting notes and updating some google docs, but I also use it for a lot of reading. Finding it difficult to decide.
     
  19. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    May 16, 2008
    #19
    I have the original iPad Mini and use the Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard when I need to type a lot. It works very well. I'm much slower using the virtual keyboard.
     
  20. Misskitty macrumors 6502

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    #20
    Then that turns the air into a desktop device than a portable one.
     
  21. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    May 16, 2008
    #21
    No it doesn't. Just because you put your iPhone or iPad on a desk doesn't make it a desktop device. It's still portable. For that matter, a notebook computer is still a portable device, even if it's used on a desk.
     
  22. Misskitty macrumors 6502

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    Jun 18, 2010
    #22
    The mini has far better landscape thymb typing, not worse. I used the mini for a year and its the best form factor, it cant be beat. Ask any mini owner and they will say the same.
     
  23. bizzzar, Dec 11, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2013

    bizzzar macrumors newbie

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    Dec 11, 2013
    #23
    I think iPad mini screen is too small for adult fingers, but for kids it should be great.
    Recent research suggests that typing on virtual iPad keyboard may be as good as on physical.
    The trick to touch typing on iPad is correct hands placement. On physical keyboard the default placement of the right hand is on "jkl;", but on iPad your little finger should be placed on the return key.
    There are apps on the App Store that help you improve your typing, for example Typing Tutor for iPad.
     
  24. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

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    Jul 17, 2008
    #24
    OP is asking about touch typing (using all ten fingers), not thumb typing.
     

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