iPad: Air or mini?



Both iPads are an awesome compromise.

One of them (the iPad Air) has the bigger screen, and chances are it’s light enough. While the other (the iPad mini) is hyper-portable and light, and chances are its screen is big enough.

It’s easy to acclimate to either iPad. After a few days you’ll wonder why it was ever such a dilemma of a choice in the first place. When I’ve used just the iPad Air, I acclimated to its size and weight even though the iPad mini is nicer. And, conversely, when I used the iPad mini, I acclimated to its smaller screen even though the iPad Air’s bigger screen is nicer for some tasks.

I bought both an iPad Air and an iPad mini when they came out. I planned to use them side by side for about one month to see if I could come to a clear conclusion about “which was really the best”. I assumed it would take just a few weeks to see the obvious choice of which one I was partial to.

Boy was I wrong.

I’ve been using both iPads side-by-side for three months now and, well, I prefer them both. They are both favorites.

When I switch back and forth, after using the iPad mini for a while, the iPad Air feels almost comically large. But then, after using the iPad Air for a while, picking up the iPad mini feels almost tiny.

But, most of the time I find myself preferring the iPad mini. When reaching for an iPad around the house, I grab the mini. The mini goes with me when I’m traveling with my laptop. And I bring the mini when I don’t expect to need an iPad for anything but want to bring one anyway just in case.

There is only one cut and dry scenario in which I prefer the iPad Air: and that is for writing (with or without a bluetooth keyboard). But, yet, writing accounts for maybe 10-percent of my iPad usage. And using the iPad mini for writing is not exactly a horrible experience.

I have no reason to keep them both. (Well, I guess it’d be nice to have a day iPad and a night iPad.) And so I’m going with the iPad mini. And thus my recommendation to anyone on the fence: get the iPad mini, you’ll love it.