Carrier Which iPad: advice for a pdf reader

Discussion in 'iPad' started by yazounet, Jan 27, 2014.

  1. yazounet macrumors member

    Jan 11, 2014
    Hello everyone,
    First of all, I am sorry for opening a new thread which was already elaborated kabillion times before, but as I couldnt find any good answers I thought it is time for me to open up a new thread. So here I go.

    2 weeks ago I bought myself an ipad mini 1st gen. I fell in love with the size and portability. I could carry all the way around. I downloaded the goodreader for all of my medical ebooks in pdf format. And could annotate easily. As a medical student of last year, I am now focusing on my exams :USMLE books, GRE books , TOEFL books.. Medical apps..

    But my sister made a scene and she wanted my ipad mini for herself, as a result my parents are now willing to buy me another ipad which is kind of cool for me. I can easily buy retina display ipadmini but the question comes here. Now I am considering also ipad air as for pdf reading purposes. I know the screen is bigger etc. but is it really worth buying something that you wont be able to carry around. I am 95% with my backpack. And I already have macbook air 2012 13" so I am kind of in between, because as already I have mba it is highly portable but I dont enjoy reading on computer as it is not easy to highlight or annotate for my taste.
    Is there anyone out there who had the same hesitations I did?
    If I buy an ipad mini retina I will go with 32gb cellular
    If I buy an ipad air i will go with 32gb wifi only.

    One last thing the only problem I had while readingon mini was a very very large book called Harrison's internal medicine. The punto was too small on vertical mode but on horizontal mode it was highly readable..
    Anyways your help and advices are highly appreciated..

    Thank you very very much..

    Ps my heart is always with my mini as I practically fell in love with its form :p
  2. ShakinBake macrumors member

    Oct 20, 2013
    Greeting. I too am a medical student. I'm finishing up my first year and based on my experience with reading my medical books on my iPad mini with retina display I can say that I often long for the larger screen real estate that the majority of my peers enjoy with their full sized iPads. That being said the reason I opted for the mini was cuz I know I soon will b roaming the hospitals with my iPad and would like something that fits easily in my pocket. My suggestion would b is if you are using ur iPad purely for reading purposes and don't necessarily need it in portable situations then get the air. I really wish I got the air but hopefully my future self will thank present me for getting the mini.

    Hope this helps and good luck on ur exams.
  3. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    It really depends on what matters most to you. Screen real estate, i.e., iPad Air or portability. You already have the mini and so you know how portable it is. Perhaps ask some of your other students what they prefer or if they think the larger iPad is cumbersome or not.

    It sounds like you're mostly leaning towards the mini, but since I'm not a medical student, I can't answer which one will be the better tool your circumstance.
  4. Menel macrumors 603


    Aug 4, 2011
    Not medical, but electrical. Datasheets, industry standards and smart evernote sync,

    You definitely want retina.

    I would personally definitely want the air.
    The Air is by no means heavy, but it is a good bit larger. I have unusually ginormous spidery hands... So I have no concept of being burdened by the size much. And since neither are pocketable and would require at minimum a manbag... I go for larger.

    Even the rumored 12.9" Pro iPad has piqued my interest, and will be taking a close look, purely for pdf reading ease.
  5. vijayvasa macrumors member

    May 28, 2010
    I would say go with mini. I have an iPad air and sometimes even that feels heavy. If it's mainly for PDF and work on the go then I would say Retina mini.
  6. yazounet thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 11, 2014
    I personally am in love with the size and portability of mini. It is very easy to annotate, I just grab the ipad mini from its dock and write whatever i want and put back and continue on reading. While highlighting if the punto is too small I sometimes accidentally highlight the other sentence on the mini It pnly happens when it is on vertical mode. I think -not sure tho- annotating will be hard for the ipad air as writing on it requires 2 hands and a separated keyboard. I know it is a personal decision and i can give it back in 14 days. But still being undecisive is killing me :)
  7. mtneer macrumors 68030


    Sep 15, 2012
    I would opt for the iPad Mini with Retina & LTE; given your iDevices portfolio. The cellular connection provides another dimension of connectivity to all your other devices when/ if such a need arises.
  8. yazounet thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 11, 2014
    It just popped up in my mind what about the anatomy apps and other medical apps? Does anyone have one of those?
  9. Rocketpaul, Jan 28, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2014

    Rocketpaul macrumors regular

    Aug 3, 2012
    I am also a med student (UK), i use the iPad mini retina for my hefty textbooks and its excellent, you will find that the retina resolution makes all the difference. When it comes to size, id say the mini is the best imo, its more portable and discreet. I don't have any medical apps at the moment other than oxford handbooks, most of them are for anatomy which is not my interest at the moment.

    I recommend cellular, its great for quickly googling diseases etc on the go. Unfortunately mine isn't cellular so i have to bluetooth tether from my phone.
  10. Barhen macrumors member

    Mar 20, 2013
    I use my R mini for college textbooks and PDFs (Lab tech - which involves a lot of anatomy, and chemical equations stuff) I copy my notes onto the ipad with notability which uses the PDF format. Pretty nifty... point is the mini is a very good reader for books, PDFs and whatnot(landscape mode). I hardly use it in portrait mode... doesn't feel natural LOL
  11. ShakinBake macrumors member

    Oct 20, 2013
    Yeah I got essential anatomy 2. It's not that great. It lacks a lot of important structures and could by no means replace netters. At best it functions as a way for me to relate some structures with one another that is only sometimes more intuitive than what grays, snell or netters does.

    Apps like medscape and micromedex are awesome. I haven't had much use for them yet as a first year but when I was a nursing student it was indispensable. Also flashcard apps can be helpful. Often people post premade flashcards pertaining to medical subjects and the usmle.
  12. ShakinBake macrumors member

    Oct 20, 2013
    Try downloading the free version of essential anatomy skeletal. After playing with that a little you will quickly see how much it lacks. The systems in essential anatomy 2 r presented in the same fashion. Only major gross structures are labeled with hardly any pins for all the important smaller structures, sure you can isolate any organ but when you try to view it's arterial, venous or nerve supply it quickly becomes a mess since doing so causes all arteries veins or nerves to pop up for the entire body. So if you can imagine viewing the liver then wanting to see its specific blood supply all you'd see is a floating liver with a jumbled mess of red and blue surrounding it.
  13. Naramis macrumors member

    Aug 23, 2013
    This is one of the main reasons I went with the Air.
    The Mini isn't any more portable for me, since I'll need a bag anyway..

    I will say that even with the iPad Air, there's some zooming and scrolling when reading 2-column books and articles, so it's not that much better than the Mini for that.

    Also I'd consider cellular connectivity very important, unless your hospital has free wifi everywhere (mine doesn't). So if your only options are rMini with 4G and Air with Wifi, I'd go for the Mini..
  14. RickTaylor macrumors 6502a

    Nov 9, 2013
    For what it's worth, I have a retina mini, and my main use for it is reading pdf documents. I love it, and I wouldn't want a larger device. Sometimes the screen seems a bit small or I end up reading something in landscape mode. But for me, the extraordinary portability and convenience of the device is worth it. This is particularly the case for me as I wear a jacket most of the time (and would even if I didn't own an iPad) and the mini fits perfectly in a jacket pocket.

    But then the iPad Air is also beautiful device, so light and trim for its size, I can certainly understand why other people prefer it for the larger screen. It really is a matter of personal preference.
  15. yazounet thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 11, 2014
    Well if i need to zoom 2 columned pdf on air, then there is really no need to buy the air. I thought i wont need to zoom at all.. So well that is pretty much solving the problem then...
  16. yazounet thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 11, 2014
    And i read on a forum that someone said the colors on rmini are so dull. He returned it back.. Is it that noticeable? I mean i dont care as i will just read and on youtube etc but i saw that colors were slightly different..
  17. addictzz macrumors 6502

    Jun 11, 2012
    iPad Air has the same resolution with iPad mini Retina. How would having iPad Air gives more screen estate?

    You may get bigger texts and thus easier reading at further distance by using ipad Air :).
  18. yazounet thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 11, 2014
    Understood what you said but mini has more resolution than the ipad air concerning the ppi while reading small texts it is more crisp than the air.
  19. RickTaylor macrumors 6502a

    Nov 9, 2013
    Again, people are different. The best thing to do if you can is to find a mini and a full sized Air and compare them yourself.

    I own the retina mini and it looks beautiful to me (and was an improvement over my original mini). The only time I can tell the difference between it and the Air is when I look at examples set up to specifically display it, such as the images in Anandtechs review, but it's something I'd never care about.

    But then again other people say the colors on the mini look washed out and it's a reason they prefer the Air.

    If you're using it primarily for reading pdfs, that might be an indication the difference in colors won't be much of an issue for you; I think it would be more of an issue for someone using it for photographs and such.

    You've already owned the original mini a short while. Have the colors or the smaller size of the screen been an issue for you so far?
  20. gc15 macrumors regular

    Oct 23, 2012
    Im having the same problem as the topic creator. I am currently in pharmacy school and i want an iPad to read pdfs on. I also plan on using the iPad for such things as watching youtube vids, netflix, safari, reading books, and some games here and there. I was set on getting the mini, because of price and something different, but lately I just don't know. I will be using a bag anyways to carry my devices as well; and right now i also have a macbook pro and i want the iPad to accommodate that.


    Im having the same problem as the topic creator. I am currently in pharmacy school and i want an iPad to read pdfs on. I also plan on using the iPad for such things as watching youtube vids, netflix, safari, reading books, and some games here and there. I was set on getting the mini, because of price and something different, but lately I just don't know. I will be using a bag anyways to carry my devices as well; and right now i also have a macbook pro and i want the iPad to accommodate that.
  21. go ipad macrumors member

    go ipad

    Oct 25, 2012
    It really depends on your situation. If you are in NYC area, for example, and commute to the city everyday, Mini should be ideal. The size is very nice for small areas, like in subway etc.

    Otherwise, I would recommend iPad Air.
  22. darknyt, Jan 29, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2014

    darknyt macrumors 6502a

    Sep 17, 2009
    PDFs were one of the top 2 or 3 reasons I opted for an Air. Since PDFs are a fixed size, you can't easily enlarge text without running it off the screen and having to scroll, like you can with iBooks.

    The Air is light enough and thin enough (same thickness as rMini), that it really comes down to screen size vs. portability. As others have mentioned before, the rMini isn't portable enough for me that I would sacrifice the screen real estate. I commute daily on public transport with it and currently have it internationally with me. No issues.

    Watching movies, browsing the web, and reading PDFs were top reasons why the Air was best for me. I haven't regretted it for a minute, and I was initially convinced rMini was going to be a day 1 purchase for me.

    Until I test drove the Air.

    Edit: Also consider rMini utility in light of likely iPhone size increase coming this fall. Depends on how long you keep your rMini.
  23. yazounet thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 11, 2014
    I dont think that new iphone 6 or whatever the name is ever going to be able to replace an ipad mini. A phone is a phone and reading a pdf document on an iphone is just way too hard even they will make a bigger screen lets say 5inches.
    And to conclude the thread I had two devices side by side.. And the ipad air is waaay too big for me. I mean come on it must be a portable device. Of course its a personal opinion but I want to have an intimate reading session and take it from my backpack while waiting subway and air is not designed for that. I noticed that air is good for photography etc. but not for pdf reading as it is way too big to hold way too wide to focus. Anyways thats my opinion hope this helps other confused people :)
  24. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Its funny, I thought the same thing comparing both of them side by side. Owning a rMini and having it with me when I went to a staples, I compared an Air to my rMini and while the screen was gorgeous I couldn't help think how huge the air was

    Good luck with your choice.
  25. medic27 macrumors member

    Dec 18, 2013

    I purchased this app after trying the free version. I regret this purchase. Wish I could get my money back.
    I would recommend Anatomy & Physiology Revealed online access from McGraw-Hill. Don't buy their app in itunes, use online. Its about $45 for two years access. It's better than anything I've seen.

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