iPad Mini II or iPad Air?

Hardware & Accessories
Hi! So in light of Apple's announcements, i'd like to see what you all think. If you get a new iPad, will you go with the 2nd gen Mini or an Air? I have an iPad II that I'm considering upgrading. The Mini and the Air have the same internals; looks like the only difference is the screen size. I was originally considering a Mini because of the smaller screen being closer to my iphone and more portable, but now that decision is difficult. Existing iPad Owners: what do you think? Do you love the mini or full size iPad better? Or am I crazy and should just stick with my II? Never-had-an-iPad-ers? Does anything appeal to you now?



Submitted by Michael Hansen on Saturday, October 26, 2013

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team
Hi Chelsea, I have an iPad Mini and love it. I did not want an iPad before—the screen was just too big and it didn’t appeal to me at all. The iPad Mini is portable—even with an OtterBox Defender case—and it combines the iPad functionality with a manageable screen size. My advice is thus: if you have no useable vision and/or portability is important to you, get a Retina iPad Mini. The Retina iPad Mini and the iPad Air are the same internally, and I see no benefit to exclusive VoiceOver users to getting an iPad Air given the two devices are internally the same. However, if you have some vision and benefit from the full-size iPad screen, get an iPad Air.

Submitted by John Muoio on Saturday, October 26, 2013

Hi Chelsea, You beat me to this ? I don't have either but looking at getting one now. I would like to ask also if currant users that have some vission like myself find that they prefer the larger screen? John

Submitted by AtomicTangerine on Saturday, October 26, 2013

In reply to by John Muoio

I am a first iPad buyer, and also wondering which one to get. I'm considering the Air because the keyboard case accessories are larger than the ones for the Mini. I also have some useable vision to use some of those painting apps.

Submitted by DPinWI on Saturday, October 26, 2013

As an iPod Touch 4 user, I'm going through iOS 7 envy and trying to justify replacing my device with something new. I also have experience with the iPad 2 for work, but I haven't upgraded it to 7 yet. I find the iPad to be too big for much of what I do, and for me, being used to the iPod, the fact the iPad doesn't fit in my pocket is a major issue. For about the price of a new ipod, I can get a Mini. I've certainly considered it. I don't need a bigger screen because I can't see it, but I think I would actually use all the music creation apps I've collected with the increased precision and usability of the larger screen. I've tried to imagine how big it would be, and how portable it might be as an iPod replacement. I have yet to seek one out for fear my lust for new hardware will grow to undeniable porportions. I keep telling myself to wait for next fall when there most likely will be an iPod Touch 6 released. Waiting a year on an orphaned piece of hardware is tough for a gadget junkie, and if anything could sway me, it may be an iPad mini.

Submitted by Michael Hansen on Saturday, October 26, 2013

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

In reply to by DPinWI

Hi there, Like you, I just found the iPad to be too big. I can't see the screen, and coming from an iPhone...I just thought the iPad was way too big. I don't have overly large hands, and I can easily hold an iPad Mini in one hand--and do so with the OtterBox Defender on the unit if I stretch my hand a bit. I wanted a Mini because the iPad craze got to me and because the Mini seemed like the best of both worlds.

Submitted by Nicholas Parsons on Saturday, October 26, 2013

In reply to by Michael Hansen

I'm Also Looking to Buy My First iPad. My vision isn't good enough to see anything on the screen, however big. NOt even on my iMac. :) But I thought the larger screen size of the iPad Air could be good for GarageBand and perhaps text editing or reading apps as it would just give more room for gestures and require less precision. But then the iPad Mini with Retina has the same resolution and is even more portable. Thoughts? Of those of you who have a full size iPad, which would you go for?

Submitted by John newton on Saturday, October 26, 2013

Hi Chelsea, I have owned a full size iPad and loved it but the only problem was the size of it , so i got an iPad Mini and it is so much more better. I don't really mind the screen is smaller it's not so much a big deal for me but it is in general a lot easier to handle. The full size iPad is light but after a while you will notice that it aches your wrists if you hold it like a book, but the iPad Mini is a joy and it's still big enough to be more useable than an iPhone or iPod Touch.

Submitted by Travis Roth on Saturday, October 26, 2013

Club AppleVis Member

In reply to by John newton

Hi, For a full-time VoiceOver user who can't see the screen, what is the advantage of having an iPad when one has an iPhone? What do you find easier to do on the iPad? The only thing I can think of it is gives you two batteries to deplete, but this is hardly worth $399 and up. Thoughts? Thanks.

Hello, What I like about my full sized iPad, is the fact that I can touch type nearly as fast as if I were typing on a full sized qwerty keyboard. I've been thinking of upgrading. Is the same possible with the Mini? I'm just asking, because the Mini is a bit smaller.

hi guys. a few things to keep in mind here. yes, the iPad 4 and down, were rather heavy. you need to remember though, that the iPad air is very, ... very much lighter. its about the weight of a current mini lighter! LOL. so it's not really something we can figure, based on old models. the mini on the other hand, has in fact gone up in weight. not a lot, but some. grown from 312 grams for a WiFi 4g version, to about 340 grams. but like I say, we can't tell what the air will be like, till we can have one in our hands to test. I to, am going to be a first time buyer of iPad's this year, but I want to get my hands on an air, before I jump on the mini band wagon. and like one commenter, I am interested in a keyboard case, clamshell, for the iPad. and my guess is, in that case, that the keyboard would be slightly bigger for the air. also, for those asking why on earth anybody using voiceover would want a bigger screen? then here is one answer. a friend of mine can type fairly quickly. she has tried both a mini, and full sized iPad now. and ... she found, that she could type almost as fast, on the bigger screen, as her keyboard. where as the mini, is just a little bit too small. that is just one possible reason. there are probably many. just because we are blind, does not mean we will not benefit from a larger display. it depends on how you use your device, and what you are doing with it. for example. do you ever actually browse the screen with a finger? or do you flick everywhere. not being funny, but if you flick everywhere, my guess is, there isn't going to be a huge point in having the iPad. as most of your experience will be similar, excepting the split screen, and multitasking gestures. but like I say. it depends on how you use it, and what you do with it. but for sure, the new line up, is making the choice rather hard. as the internals of them, is much the same, if not exactly the same. just the screen size is different one last thing to note, is that the current mini, has stereo speakers. this makes for a pretty good sound output. it's nice and rich. at least, for a tiny device. LOL. I will be curious to see, if they put the same stereo speakers, in the iPad mini, and even better, the new air.

Submitted by Santiago on Saturday, October 26, 2013

In reply to by Serena

I too, can type faster on my iPad than on my iPhone, even if I'm using an app, such as Fleksy. With Fleksy on the full sized iPad, typing on it is just as easy as typing on a laptop or desktop keyboard. I'll try to go to the Apple Store in a week, (next Saturday) to check out the new iPads. Since they've changed this year, that's the best way to decide which one to buy.

Submitted by Serena on Saturday, October 26, 2013

In reply to by Santiago

hi, well, you should be able to check out the air. but from what they were saying at the keynote, you won't see the mini just yet. later next month is what they said. so you can get a squiz at the air. but you will have to wait for the mini. although, the new mini will basicly look the same as the current one. just a very, very tiny bit thicker, and a little heavyer.

I too was having an internal debate about buying a Ipad over the last month if it is justified in buying one. Since getting my 4s I found that my I touch 16gig is being used more for music than apps I got my 4s 16 gig about a year ago and didn't think I would use the phone for as much as I do. My words to the Verizon rep "I can't see that well so I will never use any apps" well you know what has happened . Over 200 apps who would of known now the phone is up to over 15 gigs. So do I get a new 5s 32 gig but my contract isn't up till next July so wait till than? but a few months later a new model will surely be out. So should I do a major upgrade to the Ipad air 32 gig? back and forth it goes.Finaly I said to myself "Self" this upgrade will keep me up and going for a few years, that is if I stay away from the app store. Now as I asked earlier what size screen to choose. All the comments here are helping alot.Thanks to all for the help. OH S--T 32 gig or 64 gig? P.S. never thought about accessories.

Submitted by Serena on Saturday, October 26, 2013

In reply to by John Muoio

hiya. what ever one i get, will either be a 64 gb, or a 128 gb. i'll spend the extra money, so that i have lots of storage, to put music, books, radio productions, apps, and other various files on. that way, i am sure to not run out. also, my iphone 5 is a 64 gb. i've already used up about half of it.

Submitted by Chelsea on Saturday, October 26, 2013

In reply to by Serena

Hi guys, I've enjoyed reading your responses. I agree that I'll probably have to hold the devices in my hands before making a final decision; that's usually how I do it anyway. It's enlightening to have so many sentiments so close to my own; you guys are on the fence for a lot of the same reasons I am. One reason I've enjoyed my iPad so much is typing, it just begs to be picked up and typed on. I also have small hands, so maybe the Mini won't make that much difference. In regards to screen size: I have a bit of vision but not much usable--I can detect occasional movement in videos. I use VoiceOver all the time and am fighting with the portability and space factor. I like to explore the screen, and this mode has gotten me frustrated on several encounters with a smallish button that is just elusive on that huge screen. I still don't know; keep the comments coming!

It's impossible. So really plan ahead. For example, I filled up my 32 gb iphone 4 in two years. I was hoping--and right!--that the BARD Mobile app would come out, so got a 64 gb iPhone 5 last year. 128 gb iPad is a bit overkill in my opinion (that's like getting the hard drive of my Macbook Air: scary) but it all depends on how much stuff you want to cary with you at one time. Apps actually don't take up that much space. It's the videos and podcasts and audiobooks and files you put in said apps.

Submitted by Marco on Sunday, October 27, 2013

Club AppleVis Member
I will definitely get the new Mini. Like you and previous commenters, I find the size of a regular iPad too big for my hands. I have a first generation Mini now and love it for its smaller screen size! iPad apps often offer a UI much more convenient than on an iPhone. Take Mail in landscape, for example! The Mini gives me gorgeous iPad app experience at a screen size my not so big hands can manage easily. Hope this helped!

Submitted by Brandt on Sunday, October 27, 2013

Hi there guys, I own an iPad 3, yes, it is a humongous device compared with my iPhone 4, but even though I am completely blind I can do so much more with it. Web browsing on the iPad, there is nothing like it. The same is true for email and Skype. Touch typing on the iPad is a breeze. I only have one hand, and can type as fast on the iPad as on my MacBook. With Fleksy, I can type faster. Okay, I will stop right here for now. I can not go into the particulars of an iPad mini, for I have never used one.

After giving this some more hard thought, I am not as convinced of my own words than I was a few days ago. I took some more time to reevaluate how I use the iPad Mini versus how I used the previous bigger iPads. The truth is that I find myself turning the Mini into portrait mode, because for many tasks, in landscape things are harder to accurately touch. Like I would often accidentally skip over lines in Kindle books when skimming, lose my grip on an e-mail message in the list, etc., and would have to resort to flicking. And yes, for portrait mode, the smaller sized Mini fits my hands better indeed. But that would make its use much similar to that of an iPhone. Tablets really shine most when used in landscape mode. And here's a second factor: On Retina displays, much more detail is shown in many apps, for example Apple Maps. The same area of a city has much more detail and fine-grained street paths than on a non-retina screen. Imagining that much more detail on a much smaller screen sounds like things could become very very fiddly. Or I would have to zoom out by at least one step, significantly reducing the amount of surrounding the current screen shows. One of the things that made me switch from an iPad to an iPad Mini was the weight. That, obviously, will be much reduced in the iPad Air. As well as the volume of the device, with it being almost 2 millimeters flatter than the iPad 3 and 4. So on Friday, I will go to the local Apple Store and take a long hard tactile look at the iPad Air and see what my hands, wrists and fingers tell me. But the points mentioned above definitely speak in the iPad Air's favor.

Submitted by ratqueen on Wednesday, October 30, 2013

I have both an iPhone 4 and an ipad2. I use them both daily but in completely different ways. So much so, there's not much overlap in the apps on my two idevices. On the iPhone, i am all VoiceOver . The screen is much too small for me to see to use and would find the tip of my nose activating things in my feeble attempts to do so. The functionality of my vision is heavily dependent on lighting which I cannot control while using a device out and about. Also using vision demands more attention which can become unsafe if all my attention is only focused on a screen in my hands. I use my iPad exclusively at home, in optimal lighting and use it predominantly visually. In fact, I wish there was an even bigger version. why not 24 inches? With the quality of the retina display, you can get quality magnification, not pixilated unrecognizable garbage. Many, but not all apps allow anyone to zoom in and out rapidly by a pinch gesture, even without turning on Zoom. I really enjoy viewing pictures on the iPad and again can zoom in and actually see something meaningful. I can play games visually on the iPad that I could never play on the iPhone. Personally, productivity wise, I type best on a Bluetooth keyboard better than I do on either device's screens. I do type better on the iPad due to the size of the keyboard allowing more standard placement of the hands. So my humble advice would be to consider what you most want to accomplish from your new device and where you want to accomplish it from.

What is the different for voice over users between the screen size of the iPad mini and the iPad air? What is the different typing on the smaller screen iPad mini and the larger screen iPad air?