• Why I Sold My iPad mini & Went Back to the Retina iPad



    My relationship with new electronic devices is that of a revolving door policy (kinda like the Australian cricket team, hey-ho). I don't purchase anything with the intention that it will be with me for very long, as my needs and my tastes change rapidly. I have owned an iPad since day one and besides the fact Apple has released new ones, it's probably the Michael Clarke of my device line up. It's in the team, pretty much no matter what.

    When Apple released the iPad mini on the 2nd of November 2012, I immediately grabbed one and put my 3rd-generation iPad back in it's box, ready for sale. I never actually sold it, because the iPad mini was always one one of those devices constantly having to prove itself, a bit like Shane Watson.

    My iPad usage breaks down into a few scenarios:

    • On the couch, because it's easier to use than a laptop and there's less distraction.
    • Out and about, because I don't want to lug the laptop around just to read stuff and spout crap on Twitter.
    • Working (writing & researching) whilst out and about, because the laptop is just a pain to carry around all day.

    On the couch, the iPad mini loses out, significantly. I found the screen to be cramped compared to the larger iPad, as most apps are designed for the larger screen, making areas to touch buttons or words difficult. There's also no bezel around the screen to grip on to, making it hard to hold in portrait mode. My fingers would inadvertently touch the screen, or obscure it, making the app currently open do weird stuff, or I'd lose position within a text field. The bezel on the larger iPad makes it great for holding, whatever the orientation.

    When away from home and on the move, the iPad mini is fantastic. It's way lighter, and obviously, smaller. It can fit in the pocket of some cargo pants (fuck you fashion) or a purse and is very practical. The screen size compromise is worth it when on the run. But when using the iPad mini for "work", I find it difficult to touch type on, and to highlight text for copy & paste. Maybe it's just my fat fingers, but the smaller screen on the mini really does make tapping targets more difficult than it should be.

    Then there's the display, which is pretty damn nice, but hasn't got the crispness of the larger Retina iPad. I can live without Retina, but it's just a cherry on top for why the larger iPad is just that much nicer for me.

    The iPad mini is a great product compared to the other small screen tablets out there, but it smells of "me too" from Apple. It's pretty obvious, after using an iPad mini and a larger interchangeably, that the 9.7" iPad is the iPad that was designed and researched as the perfect product and the way tablet computing works best. That isn't to say the iPad mini sucks, but it's a compromise and for me, that compromise (smaller size) isn't worth what I lose from the larger iPad (usability). So I sold the iPad mini and I'm back on to the big iPad, until Apple releases new versions - that I'll buy and sell, just like these ones.
    Comments 30 Comments
    1. susiegb's Avatar
      susiegb -
      Well, thank you for that review! I have been umming and ahhing between a new retina iPad or a mini one for ages (waiting for some cash to appear in the next month!) I'm obviously not like you - I've still got my iPad 1!! But your pros and cons between the two make sense to me, so I think I"ll probably go for the 'regular' sized iPad!
    1. decryption's Avatar
      decryption -
      Quote Originally Posted by susiegb View Post
      Well, thank you for that review! I have been umming and ahhing between a new retina iPad or a mini one for ages (waiting for some cash to appear in the next month!) I'm obviously not like you - I've still got my iPad 1!! But your pros and cons between the two make sense to me, so I think I"ll probably go for the 'regular' sized iPad!
      You could always buy both from an Apple store, then return the one you like least, within 2 weeks, no questions asked. Apple is good like that
    1. alvinng's Avatar
      alvinng -
      Would you change your mind about the iPad mini if it had a retina display?

      Or do you reckon the smaller screen would still hinder with what you wanna do on the iPad because of your huge fingers and not whether the mini has a retina screen or not.
    1. derriere1111's Avatar
      derriere1111 -
      I've just bought an iPad mini, after having used my iPad 1 from day one of release. I haven't seen any need to upgrade the iPad 1 to the 2 the 3 or the 4. The mini is a game-changer for me because of size, weight and a platform for me to keep up with iOS releases (since the iPad 1 is stabilised at some earlier release). I'll see how I go. I too might decide it's a crappy platform, but Ill see.
    1. kristian's Avatar
      kristian -
      I have every iPad since it came out and because I use it the most while on my travels, the iPad Mini is fantastical. But I agree, if there is a Retina model, it will be fantastic.
    1. Peter Wells's Avatar
      Peter Wells -
      I eventually bought a mini once I accepted I'd be selling it again for a loss when a retina mini came out
    1. icant's Avatar
      icant -
      I read a lot of Zinio and other magazines. The mini I found too small for that.

      My primary tablet is iPad 2. Wish it had retina, but it's all I have.

      The 2 minis I know, were bought by women. Who said the iPad (1 & 2) were too heavy. ¯\(°_o)/¯
    1. decryption's Avatar
      decryption -
      Quote Originally Posted by icant View Post
      I read a lot of Zinio and other magazines. The mini I found too small for that.

      My primary tablet is iPad 2. Wish it had retina, but it's all I have.

      The 2 minis I know, were bought by women. Who said the iPad (1 & 2) were too heavy. ¯\(°_o)/¯
      The iPad 3 is really heavy too. It's the main thing I dislike about the iPad
    1. bartron's Avatar
      bartron -
      Quote Originally Posted by decryption View Post
      The iPad 3 is really heavy too. It's the main thing I dislike about the iPad
      Is it (and the 4) much heavier than the 2? The iPad 1 and 2 are all I know.
    1. decryption's Avatar
      decryption -
      Quote Originally Posted by bartron View Post
      Is it (and the 4) much heavier than the 2? The iPad 1 and 2 are all I know.
      yep, weight (and size) increased from the 2 to 3.

      iPad 1 - 13mm thick, 730g
      iPad 2 - 8.8mm thick, 610g
      iPad 3 - 9.4mm thick, 660g
      iPad 4 - 9.4mm thick, 662g

      an 8mm thick, 600g iPad 5 would be sweet.
    1. bartron's Avatar
      bartron -
      holy crap!...





      actually I have no reference for the weight difference other than "The iPad 1 was a fatso"
    1. Alessiman's Avatar
      Alessiman -
      Anthony,

      I did exactly the same thing. The lack of the Retina Display was what killed it for me. Everything else was great so i'll be waiting for a Retina Model before buying again
    1. Peter Wells's Avatar
      Peter Wells -
      Btw, I stand by this review,

      MacTalk - iPad mini Review

      even more so now I've sold my retina iPad and use my mini all the time (I'm writing this on it now)

      One thing ill add, I really love the mini for tilt control games like real racing and ridiculous fishing. The mini is light enough to play those games while still giving you the full viewing area. Love it!
    1. Goodbye's Avatar
      Goodbye -
      I love my iPad mini - but they really need to make the screen retina for it to be truly great IMO. Once that happens it will be the perfect iPad for me :-)
    1. icant's Avatar
      icant -
      Well. Perfect would be if I could make calls from 3G iPads 😬
    1. Drifter's Avatar
      Drifter -
      Thank you for the review.I was wondering if I made the right decision buying an iPad instead of a mini.You seem to have cleared my doubts.
    1. kevinnugent's Avatar
      kevinnugent -
      I did the same as Anthony. About to go out this morning and upgrade my sons old 1 for a Retina. (Ill give him my wifi 3 and ill get a 4g retina) for me.
    1. davemc's Avatar
      davemc -
      Quote Originally Posted by decryption View Post
      yep, weight (and size) increased from the 2 to 3.

      iPad 1 - 13mm thick, 730g
      iPad 2 - 8.8mm thick, 610g
      iPad 3 - 9.4mm thick, 660g
      iPad 4 - 9.4mm thick, 662g

      an 8mm thick, 600g iPad 5 would be sweet.
      I agree every time I use my wife's ipad 3 for any length of time I really notice the extra weight. I thought they would of fixed this with the iPad 4 although this was to fix the speed problem a the iPad 3 seems slower at times then the iPad2.
      Yes Retina screen is nice I can get by with the iPad2

      yes I have thought of the iPad Mini although really price is not cheap enough for what your missing. low $200's I will have one. Wait for mini 2 and buy secondhand is what I will do
    1. icant's Avatar
      icant -
      If Apple had skipped the iPad 2, the jump from iPad 1 to iPad 3/4 would have been great: lighter, Retina™ screen, new formfactor. Faster.

      Then the iPad 2 could be released as a “big iPad mini”. Or iPad mini mega.
    1. Minkey's Avatar
      Minkey -
      The Nexus 7 was my first foray into the small factor and Android world and I have found it has a place when the iPad is a little to bid in bed for example it something I can just put in glove box if the car.

      I think it represents better value for money that the iPad mini.
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