iPad mini vs. iPad 4 with Retina Display Review


Which is better? Let’s find out. I really could not decide between the iPad mini and the iPad with Retina display (also know as the New iPad or iPad 4) so I ended up getting both. Both have definate advantages with little in the way of disadvantages. Both look and perform great. I’ll still keep both, but which one do I use most often?

The iPad with Retina does have some great features that are an advance from the previous model. The new Lightening connector has been added, the stunning 2048 x 1536 screen resolution of the Retina display is the same, a new A6X chip has been added which doubles the CPU and graphics speed, the wi-fi is faster with dual-band (2.4GHz and 5GHz) 802.11n and LTE supporting up to 150 Mbps, the same 10 hour battery life is intact and the cameras are HD on both the front and back. I’ve had every iPad made so far, and this new one is delicious. The screen is so sharp and vibrant, the wi-fi is so fast and the processor makes everything ultra speedy. The Retina model is the top of the line iPad and definatley a keeper.

The iPad mini is a whole different story. A better one. While the specs are more in line with the iPad 2 as far as speed, and the screen is a few notches below the Retina display (but still looks amazing) there is no question in my mind: this is my new go-to iPad. Even though the iPad 4 has it all (and more), the iPad mini is the one I have with me all day, it’s always close by, I take it with me and stuff it in my coat pocket, it is the iPad I always wanted even before I realized I always wanted it.

Skip the bulky cases, the iPad mini demands to be used as is. The iPad mini is so light and easy to hold, it’s much closer to a smartphone than to a tablet. In fact I use it more like a smartphone. It’s always close by and I can easily pick it up with one hand and find what I need. I can use apps, search the web, do my reading, check my email, watch music videos, listen to podcasts, check the news, surf social media, basically do it all effortlessly and so very easily. It’s hard to explain, but the size makes it so much more usable and accessible. Instead of carving out time in my day to sit down with my larger iPad, the mini is much more a part of my day.

When I first saw the screen, I did see a difference from the Retina screens I had been using. Not too much, but obviosuly not as many pixels. But after I sat down with it the first day, and I literally sat down and went several hours in one stretch just playing with the thing, the yearning for a Retina display went away. Sure it would be nice, but I now feel the display looks great. Especially when reading magazines and ebooks, it’s the perfect companion if you love to read.

So my advice would be, without question, if you are looking for an iPad, the mini is the one to get. It is so light and portable, works perfectly via iCloud to sync to other iOS Apple devices, functions just like the bigger iPad and basically is so much fun to use, that I highly recommend it. Now what if you already have a larger iPad? Flip it. Sell it and get the mini. Since the mini costs less, chances are good you can sell a larger iPad and easily cover the price. Gazelle and Nextworth are good places to sell, but ask your friends, most everyone is looking for an iPad to buy these days. If you have a Retina iPad you may have a little adjustment going to the mini screen, I recommend using the mini exclusively for a solid week, put aside the Retina unit. You’ll find at the end of the week you will be loving the smaller mini screen.

I do like the iPad Smart Cover. I use it for carrying my iPad mini but then take it off when I use the device. The iPad mini feels great in the hand. I suggest using it with no case (it’s pretty tough and durable) but if you really want to get a case, I highly recommend the Poetic SLIMLINE Portfolio Case which is great.

I am still keeping both iPads, but there is no doubt, the iPad mini is the keeper. It’s a first class piece of hardware that performs great, runs all iPad and iPhone apps and is a joy to use. It’s one of the best, or maybe the best, devices Apple has ever made.