I’ll admit right off the bat to having no inkling as to which way this will ultimately fall, and I have also asked a few other iPad Pro users who gave me little more than a
¯\_(ツ)_/¯. The question at hand is: if the iPad Pro is staying in your life, is there room for other iPads and if so, which size? Most of the people I asked are iPhone 6 Plus users like I am, so we have a big phone and a big iPad — do we need a device between these two? It doesn’t even matter if the iPad Pro is your main computing device or not, it really only matters if the iPad Pro is something you plan on actively using a lot.
This is a question I have been struggling with a lot myself — I know the iPad Pro is going to be my main computer going forward, so would it make sense to get an upgraded iPad to be a companion to this? I currently have both an original iPad mini and an iPad Air, so I know what the general sizes feel like. And if you are wondering why I would want to upgrade either: once you go split-view there is no going back and neither of those devices support split view.
So the decision comes down to whether or not to add an iPad mini 4, or iPad Air 2 into my setup, or to effectively retire my iPad Air and be content with either using my iPhone or the iPad Pro. I’ll be honest here, unlike others I have talked to, I have still been using my iPad Air a fair amount since getting the iPad Pro — but the lack of split-view and Touch ID are driving me nuts and so I have been looking around.
I will also fully stipulate: this is a problem which is nice to have, so poor me.
What I use it for
Right now I use my iPad Air as a lounging around computer when I am on the couch. It’s where I do most of my book reading, play games, and house hunt on Zillow. I’d leave the last bit out, but I use the shit out of the latter one when I am bored. Either way it is for casual gaming and reading.
I’m not looking for a secondary machine for writing or working — the iPhone will be better suited for that if I am in a situation where the iPad Pro isn’t well suited. I just suspect I need a machine for this casual computing.
iPad Air 2
This would effectively replace what I am using now, but upgrade the performance, and give me all the latest goodies my current iPad doesn’t have. The primary concern I have with going this route is that I already have a pretty large iPad, so it seems to make less sense to go ahead and get another large-ish iPad.
Even though the iPad Air and the iPad Pro are very different devices, I still think they might be too close in size and owning both feels silly.
The one thing in the iPad Air 2s favor, is that I really don’t like the iPad mini — the one I have at least. I bought it for a very specific purpose and it worked ok for that, and I had assumed it would be nice to have around, so far though we only use it for a baby monitor. It’s just not a device I love, but it’s also really old…
iPad mini 4
Oh hi, I was just talking about you — well your great grandfather at least — and how I have never loved your overall size. That said, I have heard from many people the iPad mini 4 is one hell of a good device.
The main draw of this device is that it is both definitively bigger and smaller than the two devices it has to fit between. It is larger than the iPhone 6 Plus by a good margin, and adds enough features, to make sense — all the while still being a lot smaller than the iPad Pro without losing a ton of features.
The iPad mini has always felt like the perfect device to have as a reading device, and that’s the primary draw for me to the iPad mini. Anything which it is too small for could and should really be done on the iPad Pro.
But, I don’t love the iPad Mini I have, and I seriously question then whether it is worth getting a device like this just for reading. Perhaps it is better just adapting to what I have.
iPhone 6s Plus only
By far the cheapest option, since I already have this setup. There are plenty of people who get a lot more done on their iPhones than I do and I have begun to wonder if I shouldn’t start using my iPhone more or stop spending money on new models each year.
Because of this, and since I can actually test this, I am going to go ahead and set the iPad Air aside for the next 2-3 weeks and just use the iPad Pro in conjunction with the iPhone 6s Plus to see if that is a good setup. My fear is it will prove too small for reading, but that’s really my only fear at this point.
Still no idea
I’d love to hear from you if I am missing anything, as I’ll likely wait another couple weeks before deciding if I want to buy something else at all. It’s an interesting problem presented by such a large device. I know I can get by without anything else, but I much prefer to be happy with my computing setups instead of just getting by with them.
Get in touch if you have thoughts.