For those buying their first iPad, or looking to upgrade from an older one, they now have to choose between the iPad and the iPad mini. They are very similar, except for differences in size, screen, speed and price. In the end it is a subjective choice with size and price being the deciding factors for most people.
Hi this is Gary with MacMost Now. On today’s episode let’s look at choosing between the iPad and the iPad Mini.
So there are five main differences between the two devices. They are size, screen, speed, price and size. That’s right, size is in there twice.
(Opening box and setting up)
The first size is pretty obvious. I mean, it’s a smaller device. It is both smaller and lighter. It makes it easier to carry around and it makes it easier to hold in your hand, especially if you are reading books or reading articles on websites. So the factor between the two different devices is that this is smaller and lighter. So if you want a smaller and lighter device, if the full size iPad seems too big for you, then the Mini is what you want.
So the screens on the two iPads are different. The full size iPad has what is called a retina display. Look at episode 684 if you want information about what a retina display is. But basically for every one pixel instead of a single pixel, single color you get four, a little grid of four pixels, which means that the photos are clearer, the text is crisper, the display is just a generally better display where things look better and you can’t actually see the dots as much as you can on a standard display.
Now the iPad Mini screen is a lot smaller than the iPad screen of course, so that means that the pixels themselves are not that different than the pixels on a retina display. So things still look pretty good on an iPad Mini but if say you are big on taking photographs then you may look closely at getting a full size iPad because the full size display there will make photos look so much better.
Next we have the processor speed. So the iPad Mini has an A5 processor which basically is similar to what was in the iPad 2; a little bit better. The full size iPad has an A6X processor which basically is two generations above what is in the iPad Mini. So it is going to process things faster; or will it? Well, for most things that people use an iPad for it is not going to make any difference at all. For even things that do, like say some really cool games, you will find that the iPad Mini is not that different in speed. The reason for that is because the standard display has one fourth the number of pixels than a retina display. So for rendering say a 3D environment like a racing game, the full size iPad has to work four times as hard so the faster processor is kind of necessary for that. The iPad Mini doesn’t have to work as hard so the slower processor gets a similar performance.
The biggest, clearest difference between the two iPads is price. You have $329 versus $499. That’s a pretty big price drop for the iPad Mini. So if you are on a budget and you are just not able to afford the five hundred dollar iPad then a Mini is a good option.
Now looking again at size it is kind of interesting that usually bigger is better, right? The 27″ iMac is better than the 21 1/2″ iMac. But recently people have been dying for a smaller screened iPad. So Apple has produced it. But is smaller better or is bigger better. It depends on what you want. If you want to look at photographs, if you want to have apps that you can easily touch the buttons and everything has lots of space, then a full sized iPad is clearly better than an iPad Mini and you may want to spend the extra money.
So for most people the processor difference is not going to be a factor. For a lot of people also the difference in the display is not going to be a factor. There are a ton of people who have iPads don’t really care about the retina display. In that case the iPad Mini is just as good.
Now for those of you who do care about the retina display your choice is pretty clear.
Budget, it’s a matter of your own budget whether or not the hundred and seventy dollar difference is a factor.
So then it really comes down to the size. Whether you want a larger device or a smaller device. Both have advantages and disadvantages. It isn’t clear which one is better because it is nice and easy to hold this tiny, super light iPad. But also it is nice to have the larger screen. So the whole thing is very subjective. I recommend that if you are having trouble making a decision to go to an Apple Store or go to a store that carries both iPads and actually get to play with them. You will probably see very clearly which one is the one for you after you get to hold them and play with them.
Now keep in mind there are a lot of factors that are equal in both iPads. For instance the cameras in both. There is a front and back camera essentially the same. You have also got very similar functionality in terms of the speakers. You’ve got same functionality in terms that they both have lightening connectors now. They both have the same controls. The same capabilities in almost every respect except for these factors.
So I hope you found this look at the differences between the iPad Mini and the iPad useful. I’m interested in hearing your opinions about which one you think is right for you. Leave a comment to this post at MacMost.com.
Until next time this is Gary at MacMost Now.