iPad Why I bought both (for keeps)

Discussion in 'iPad' started by roberticus70, Nov 26, 2013.

  1. roberticus70, Nov 26, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2013

    roberticus70 macrumors newbie

    Jun 27, 2012
    Since the Air and the rMini first surfaced last month, much of the discussion on these boards has been about why one might choose one over the other.

    There has been little discussion of why a person might choose both.

    I thought I'd share my thoughts on this, and would appreciate other perspectives.

    Like many users, I went from the iPad 3 to the first mini because I was so compelled by the drastic drop in weight and the beautiful form-factor of the first mini. But I was also profoundly disappointed with the screen. So much so that I gave up after about two months and sold it on craigslist without looking back. My assumption was that once the retina screen was added to the mini it would be the ideal device. I counted the days.

    Then the Air appeared. Reading about it and seeing the pictures didn't mean anything to me. I wasn't in the market for another 9.7" iPad. But when I popped by the Apple store the day after the launch and held one in my hands, I was amazed. I knew within a few seconds that I wasn't leaving the store without one. At least to test it.

    And then, of course, I grew completely attached to it -- and agonized over whether it would make sense to have both, since I knew I'd be buying the rMini for sure.

    But then a funny thing happened: over the course of the two weeks I spent with the Air waiting for the rMini, the Air began to change my work habits significantly. I started to do so much more with the Air than I ever did with my iPad 3.

    I teach and write, so I spend most of my day reading docs, editing, and writing (or commuting to and from class). With the new Pages and iCloud, I've begun to do most of my first-draft writing on the Air, and with Siri and the lighter weight of the Air, I'm also doing a lot of the editing.

    With the arrival of the rMini, I've been using both about equally -- some days tending to use one more than the other. I've been able to do everything on the rMini that I do with the Air except type at length using the on-screen keyboard. But at certain times, the lighter weight of the mini seems preferable (if I'm going to focus on reading, doing short edits, annotating a PDF), and at other times, the Air seems best (first drafts, typing on screen while on the metro, posting to my course moodle, etc.).

    But the short of it is this: the new iPads, coupled with Pages, have gone much further than any previous iPad in freeing me up from a mac or desktop computer. They're changing the way I use a computer more noticeably than ever before.

    The iPad is becoming a much more powerful, useful computer -- and on this basis, it makes sense to think of the iPad generally (big or small) as a set of tools to work with in various capacities, rather than having to make a basic decision at the outset about what *kind* of iPad to have ("Am I going to use this for creation or consumption...").

    I do both on both devices. Am I the only one?
  2. bizzy045 macrumors 6502


    Oct 5, 2011
    I have both and agree. At home I use the air almost exclusively except for reading books. On the go I take the rMini everywhere. I was doubting keeping both but now that I've spent time with them, I'm glad I have both.
  3. jason2811 macrumors 6502a

    May 8, 2006
    Nice post, but you didn't explain at all how you use the Retina Mini. You talked a lot about your life with the Air, and jumped briefly mentioning the mini but didn't tell us what you do with it.
  4. dumastudetto macrumors 68030

    Aug 28, 2013
    Excellent post. You've explained precisely why I continue to encourage people to buy both an iPad Air and Retina Mini instead of trying to choose between the two. They both have different purposes and you'll appreciate the added flexibility of owning both.
  5. Misskitty macrumors 6502

    Jun 18, 2010
    I can see the reasoning behind owning both but i still think its a bit redundant.
  6. thelookingglass macrumors 68000

    Apr 27, 2005
    We have had multiple iPads in our house for a couple of years and I have both the Air and the rMini. And I too feel it's largely redundant. The Air went on enough of a diet that I have no problem carrying it around or holding it for extended periods. It's terrific. Using the rMini now feels like a cramped experience in contrast.
  7. roberticus70 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 27, 2012
    Jason2811, thanks for pointing this out. I've edited the post to briefly explain how I use the rMini (near the end of the post).


    Yes, to an extent, it is. But they really are quite different. When I want to focus on reading or light edits -- or when I want to take along an iPad just to tinker with a few files -- the Air seems heavy and cumbersome.

    But if I want to sit on the couch (or head out of the house) with the intention of working on a first draft of something, using the on-screen keyboard, the Air seems more inviting than my 15" rMBP.

    Having both seems to allow for productivity in more situations. Giving one up would entail being productive with an iPad in fewer situations. This is the sense in which (I think) they are not redundant.
  8. rowspaxe macrumors 68000


    Jan 29, 2010
    wow. cringeworthy. even by the standards of these pages. i do applaud you--however--for not returning perfectly good products because you could not make a decision. i also applaud the decision to buy both ipads--personally I have one on my night table and one on my sofa
  9. richardbb85 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 9, 2009
    The air is like 1lb, why are people complaining that it is heavy ffs

  10. prism macrumors 6502a

    Dec 6, 2006
    Oh wait until Apple releases a 12" ipad pro next year, I'm sure you will find a reason to include that one too.
  11. richardbb85 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 9, 2009
    Yup, apple fanboi
  12. Misskitty macrumors 6502

    Jun 18, 2010
    Use the mini for a full year, everyday for hours on end, in all positions, and you will see what i mean.
  13. cababah macrumors 68000

    Jun 11, 2009
    SF Bay Area, CA
    That's a heck of a lot of pinching and zooming!
  14. Misskitty macrumors 6502

    Jun 18, 2010
    I would love to have both but i just feel its a lot of money wasted since one will be always sitting there and the amount of usage on each will be at most half.
    I already have too many gadgets in my house as is, i try to keep extra stuff that i dont need to a minimum.


    It was but i tolerated it, just like i did with the non retina screen. There were times where i would type up long documents and emails on it, sometimes typing for 20mins. Other times reading for 1-2 hrs at a time. In long sessions. Ill admit, it wasnt the most pleasant on the eyes. I found at times, it would be nice to have the larger screen, with the larger fonts.

    Picked up the air yesterday, been using it non stop since, and have to say that the first thing i reappreciated again was the bigger screen. Just reading, having the bigger text really helps the eyes, esp in portrait mode. It jist gives you an experience that you dont get from the mini.

    I have a 60" tv in my bedroom, so im a huge watch of bigger screens.

    How i see it is, the rmini will help you cut back on your phone browsing. And the air will help you cut back on your laptop.
  15. AppleRobert macrumors 603

    Nov 12, 2012
  16. RickTaylor macrumors 6502a

    Nov 9, 2013
    I have both a mini retina and macbook Air and use both. It seems your case is similar, except you use the Ipad Air in place of the macbook Air. I wouldn't personally want to do that; for composing complex documents, I prefer something with a full keyboard and a 13 inch screen and a mouse pointer and OS X rather than iOS, but what you're describing sounds reasonable.
  17. ZBoater macrumors G3


    Jul 2, 2007
    Sunny Florida
    I'm finding a home for both. They each have their strengths. I have more than one TV and more than one computer, so I'm not sure why more than one iPad is such a mystery.
  18. Cyloncat macrumors regular


    Oct 26, 2012
    NC, USA
    I have both and use both.

    The rMini lives in my purse, where it has replaced my iPod (yes, that's correct). It has my music, podcasts, and ebook readers, and that's pretty much it. The size is great for portability and being on the move.

    The Air is -- how should I put this -- less portable? I use it on desktops, or on the sofa, or in bed, for videos, browsing, and tools that require more visual thinking.

    I learned from the first iPad that screen size is a huge differentiator. It's very different from the iPhone or iPod touch, even when everything runs the same apps on iOS. I suspected that the mini would be yet another "user experience" and that has proven to be true.

    For anything that requires a lot of typing, though, I want a real keyboard. That means either my MBP or my Surface with a TypeCover.
  19. kap09 macrumors 6502

    Jun 10, 2009
    I've had a somewhat similar experience with the Air. I actually used my iPad 2 quite a bit, but mostly for things it did on top of my Mac workflow. Now I'm finding tons of convenient uses where the iPad is a quicker alternative. I also find myself using pages and iCloud a lot more than I used too. I can quickly duplicate an old invoice, make quick edits, and send it off in an email.

    I also wish I hadn't read this because I'm starting to see compelling reasons to grab a mini now too, haha
  20. RickTaylor macrumors 6502a

    Nov 9, 2013
    I like to use different devices with different strengths for different purposes. That's why I have an Ipad mini in addition to a Macbook Air. But on the other hand, I prefer not to get too many devices. Additional devices means more clutter, more things to keep track of, and I have too much stuff as it is. So while the Ipad Air might have some advantages over both the mini and the macbook for some tasks, I'd prefer not to get it (even ignoring the issue of money). Actually, I should sit down and see if I could get a mini to replace a phone; that would be one less device to keep track of.
  21. nStyle macrumors 65816

    Dec 6, 2009
    A writer requiring portability would be much better off with an 11" MBA for writing and an iPad Mini for reading. Too much overlap between the Mini + Air. If anything, typing on the Mini is far easier.
  22. cambookpro macrumors 603


    Feb 3, 2010
    United Kingdom
    Sure, if you have the money and really want two iPads, go for it.

    The idea, to me, sounds a little absurd. They do exactly the same thing, the specs are nearly identical, yet one is very slightly smaller. It's like buying a 13" and 11" laptop - both are extremely portable and are probably similar in specs, and you can achieve similar results on both.

    I don't know, obviously I can't choose what other people spend their money on, but it seems a tad wasteful. If you have children, then sure, the mini makes a great product for them to use while you enjoy your other iPad. But owning both seems a little redundant.

    Then you have the problem of syncing data, having to charge both all the time, having to upgrade two products when the time comes around...

    I'd just save my money towards whatever else I'd need/want to buy, or save it towards upgrading the iPad at some point.
  23. zbarvian macrumors 68010

    Jul 23, 2011
    Oh yeah that analogy works for me. Like I have more than one mirror, more than one sink, but only one refrigerator. I have one Xbox, one iPod, and one car. But I also have two stationary TVs, one in my bedroom, and one in my family room. Wait, I'm confused now.
  24. ZBoater macrumors G3


    Jul 2, 2007
    Sunny Florida
    Not sure why you are so confused by such a simple concept. Two devices. One bigger, one smaller. Used at different times for different purposes. Could you make do with just one device? Sure. But why would you if you can afford two? I could make do with one TV. But I chose to buy a second one for CONVENIENCE. It had to be smaller because of the application. Thus the analogy.

    I have two fridges. One in the garage and one in the kitchen. Could I make do with just the one? Sure. I don't want to. Get it? :confused:
  25. zbarvian macrumors 68010

    Jul 23, 2011
    I was being facetious. You said it yourself, it's for convenience sake alone. Because of the very minute difference in size and weight (a quarter of a pound and <2 inches in screen diameter), having both seems very superfluous to me and others on here. Better things to spend money on, in my opinion.

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