Which iPad for movies?

now i see it

macrumors 601
Original poster
Jan 2, 2002
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I've been using my trusty iPhone 6 Plus for everything... Including watching movies when lying down.

I used to have a hand-me-down iPad 2 (with grainy 1040 display) but I gave it away because the screen's low resolution gave me eye strain. It was also slow as a dog.

I'm now thinking of getting a more modern iPad soley for watching movies (while lying down- not sitting) and I lie on my side when watching them, not my back. Also the speaker on my iPhone is distorting the sound. It usually sounds pretty horrible at any volume.

I've been eyeing the new iPad Mini 5 as a possible contender, and it's screen is a bit bigger than my 6 Plus.... but maybe another iPad would be acceptable for my use (watching movies only, nothing else, while lying down).

So for my very limited type of use, what iPad would you recommend? Either new or older models.

I'm not an iPad fan (I don't really want one) but I'd like something better to watch movies with.

Thanks in advance!
 

lyceumHQ

macrumors 65816
Aug 4, 2010
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The 2018 basic iPad will do fine, I use my iPad for pretty much exactly the same thing and it's served me well. I just got the air 3 because I felt like an upgrade, I love my iPad though, after my phone it's my most used device, save yourself the money over the pro.
 
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AutomaticApple

macrumors 68020
Nov 28, 2018
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Massachusetts
I've been using my trusty iPhone 6 Plus for everything... Including watching movies when lying down.

I used to have a hand-me-down iPad 2 (with grainy 1040 display) but I gave it away because the screen's low resolution gave me eye strain. It was also slow as a dog.

I'm now thinking of getting a more modern iPad soley for watching movies (while lying down- not sitting) and I lie on my side when watching them, not my back. Also the speaker on my iPhone is distorting the sound. It usually sounds pretty horrible at any volume.

I've been eyeing the new iPad Mini 5 as a possible contender, and it's screen is a bit bigger than my 6 Plus.... but maybe another iPad would be acceptable for my use (watching movies only, nothing else, while lying down).

So for my very limited type of use, what iPad would you recommend? Either new or older models.

I'm not an iPad fan (I don't really want one) but I'd like something better to watch movies with.

Thanks in advance!
The 2018 iPad should be good enough.
 
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EugW

macrumors 604
Jun 18, 2017
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Basic iPads will do OK but the iPad Pro 10.5” is probably the best for this. As mentioned, the quad speakers really help and in addition it has True Tone and wide colour gamut.

Alternative would be the iPad Air as it has True Tone and WCG as well but it suffers the same problem of other iPads which is that both speakers are on the bottom. This is sometimes annoying on a couch or bed if there is a blanket or pillow at the speaker side as it can muffle the sound. I encountered this problem repeatedly with my iPad Air 2 on the couch if I rested one side on the cushion for example.

Of course, with headphones it is a non-issue.
 
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nicho

macrumors 68030
Feb 15, 2008
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Basic iPads will do OK but the iPad Pro 10.5” is probably the best for this. As mentioned, the quad speakers really help and in addition it has True Tone and wide colour gamut.

Alternative would be the iPad Air as it has True Tone and WCG as well but it suffers the same problem of other iPads which is that both speakers are on the bottom. This is sometimes annoying on a couch or bed if there is a blanket or pillow at the speaker side as it can muffle the sound. I encountered this problem repeatedly with my iPad Air 2 on the couch if I rested one side on the cushion for example.

Of course, with headphones it is a non-issue.
A basic ipad + a pair of airpods that could also be used with OP's 6S could be a practical alternative to a "Pro" ipad at a similar price point.
 
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EugW

macrumors 604
Jun 18, 2017
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A basic ipad + a pair of airpods that could also be used with OP's 6S could be a practical alternative to a "Pro" ipad at a similar price point.
I agree. Caveat is I hate using the AirPods when lying sideways on the couch as they can fall out. Best is sitting up, at least for me. I don’t use cans either when I want to lie down sideways on a pillow. If nobody is around it is nice to have the quad speakers.

But it all depends on the budget and the way it’s used. The quad speakers definitely are better but it may not be worth it for a lot of people.
 
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pika2000

macrumors 603
Jun 22, 2007
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iPad Pro 10.5. It got 4 speakers and better display in compare to iPad mini. Non-pro iPads only got two aspeakers on the same side.
Agreed. I have the 10.5" Pro, and the speakers are just amazing for its size. Whenever I go back to my mini 2, I was reminded how huge the difference in speaker quality.

To the OP, if you plan to just use the iPad, highly recommend the 10.5" Pro.
If you plan to use external speaker or headphone, then get the iPad Air.
 
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nicho

macrumors 68030
Feb 15, 2008
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This is sometimes annoying on a couch or bed if there is a blanket or pillow at the speaker side as it can muffle the sound. I encountered this problem repeatedly with my iPad Air 2 on the couch if I rested one side on the cushion for example.
Just a thought on this bit... why not just flip the ipad 180 degrees in this situation?
 

nicho

macrumors 68030
Feb 15, 2008
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I feel that the laminated display will offer better viewing experience for just a bit more money.
Isn't the advantage of the laminated display much more obvious in sunlight and outdoors? OP says he'll be watching movies lying down, which i would assume means on a sofa/bed.
 

Jetcat3

macrumors 6502a
May 3, 2015
569
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Get the 11”. You’ll have a 10.35” display for 16:9 content with its new aspect ratio. Also the black levels are much improved compared to the latest Mini.
 
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EugW

macrumors 604
Jun 18, 2017
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Just a thought on this bit... why not just flip the ipad 180 degrees in this situation?
You can. You just have to remember to do this... repeatedly.

Plus, the other issue is even if the speakers are not blocked at all, the sound is never in stereo since both speakers are the same side.

The quality of the sound out of the quad-speaker models really is that much better.

But if that is not a high priority or if the budget doesn't allow it, then the other iPads will do the job too.
 
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mikzn

macrumors 68000
Sep 2, 2013
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I’ve had several different iPads and iPad Air’s but nothing compares to the iPad Pro 12.9 inch IMHO - awesome screen size for movies - and the stereo sound is great - actually loud enough that you have to turn it down sometimes.

on some of the earlier iPads sometimes I couldn’t get enough audio volume on Netflix - YouTube etc.
 
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EugW

macrumors 604
Jun 18, 2017
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I’ve had several different iPads and iPad Air’s but nothing compares to the iPad Pro 12.9 inch IMHO - awesome screen size for movies - and the stereo sound is great - actually loud enough that you have to turn it down sometimes.

on some of the earlier iPads sometimes I couldn’t get enough audio volume on Netflix - YouTube etc.
Do you actually hold the 12.9 in your hands though? I find it too large to hold comfortably for an extended period. And course, that is getting quite spendy for just a bedtime movie watching tablet.
 

mikzn

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Sep 2, 2013
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Do you actually hold the 12.9 in your hands though? I find it too large to hold comfortably for an extended period. And course, that is getting quite spendy for just a bedtime movie watching tablet.
When I first got it I thought it was too big and awkward but that lasted about a week and now when I use my iPad Air it just seems too small - got used to the large screen pretty fast

I don’t find it hard to hold in my hands but it’s great when travelling to use with Netflix in a hotel and I just prop it up against something

use it for a lot more than watching movies - emails, texting, technical documents and videos plus keynote presentations etc. - but it is fantastic for movies especially when travelling
 
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tps3443

macrumors 65816
Jan 24, 2019
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I’d buy a brand new $300 new retail dollar iPad 2018 6th gen model. Reliable, plenty fast, and they just work.

Obviously there is always a better option for more money. But, then the expense kind of outweighs what your primarily using the iPad for. And you mentioned that is for watching movies.

I know the iPad Pro 2nd gen is the best bang for buck, but you’ll still spend double on one, compared to a iPad 2018 6th gen.
 
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Hym tix

macrumors regular
Sep 21, 2012
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If I were shopping for a bedside/ sofa movie device, I would look for a 12.9" original iPad Pro from 2015. That size is just great for 1-person viewing. The speakers are very loud and you'll never say "I wish I had a bigger screen". If you are using it in bed, then the size and weight will never be a problem. You'll get used to propping it up however works for you. The 2015 model is 3.5 years old now, but it still has the power to work great for movie viewing for many more years.

Of course, if you are going to end up using the iPad for other activities, games, photo-video editing, etc then you might want to consider something with a newer, better CPU.
 
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rui no onna

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Oct 25, 2013
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Do you actually hold the 12.9 in your hands though? I find it too large to hold comfortably for an extended period. And course, that is getting quite spendy for just a bedtime movie watching tablet.
I've been checking LTE iPad prices and was surprised to find select configurations of the 2017 Pro 12.9 cheaper than the 2017 Pro 10.5 (both wifi and wifi+lte). Have it in case stand as well as propped up with pillows. That said, it sometimes feels like you're in the theater with a seat too close to the screen.

Mind this is one use-case where I'd opt for a 16:10 Android.