The iPad air: is the iPad that you should get, but allow me to explain.
I’ve been mulling over which iPad to get, as I suspect many are. Before the event I figured on getting the retina iPad mini, but the Air really changes that. Right now, and I suspect with the faster chip and retina display, the mini is (and will be) primarily fantastic for three reasons:
- It’s easier to stash in a bag, or on your person.
- It’s easier to hold when reading for long periods. (Especially in bed, where I expect many mini lovers are using it.)
- It may be the best wifi hotspot you can buy.
Ok, so number three isn’t really something I would consider when deciding which iPad to purchase, but it is still a fact. What the mini is not better than a full-sized iPad for is:
- Actually reading. Perhaps this changes with the retina screen, but I have a hard time getting the font sizing feeling ideal in any app, and the mini sucks for reading web pages when compared to the full sized iPad.
- Typing. I’m typing this on my iPad, and I type posts often on my iPad, but I actively try to avoid typing on the iPad mini. I even prefer to type on my iPhone over the iPad mini. The mini keyboard isn’t bad, it’s just very awkward to use because of the size of the device.
- Games. Yes a faster mini will help with this, but it’s almost always a lot better to play games on a bigger screen. (I can’t think of a reason a smaller screen is better, but I don’t feel like fielding emails about this, so we will stick with “almost always”.)
- Watching video. If smaller was better, we would have never moved beyond the original video iPod.
- Sharing the screen with someone (i.e. “here, look at this”) is a joke on the mini. You may think this doesn’t happen often, but it does for me at work and I can’t imagine I am alone. I often share the screen when viewing PDFs, and pictures.
So unless you plan to only use your iPad when reading in bed, or a hotspot, and you usually need to quickly be able to stash the iPad — well unless you need it for just that, you will likely enjoy the full sized iPad air much more.
The iPad mini will always feel awesome when you pick it up, but that quickly fades once you start using it and realize that you just wish your large iPad was lighter.
Now it is.
Having both, I can say that I love the way the mini feels, but I almost always want to use the full size iPad if I can. I suspect that, with the iPad Air, I will have little need or want for an iPad mini.