New iPad: To Air or to Mini, that is the question

Posted on by Mike Evans

When I got my hands on last year's iPad mini I swore I would never buy another large tablet. The iPad I was then using was relatively heavy and too big to hold comfortably when reading, especially in bed. The size and weight of the mini was a revelation and and I haven't regretted the choice.

The new mini is seriously attractive, with all the size and weight benefits of the first generation but with a blindingly fast A7 processor and, crucially, the retina display I have been missing for the past twelve months. About the only unticked box on my wishlist was Touch ID. But there is a sufficient improvement to make an ugrade now, rather than next year, a fairly compelling prospect.

The trouble is that the bigger iPad, now called the iPad Air, has shrunk its bezels, reduced its overall dimensions and shaved its weight. Amazingly, the new Air is exactly the same thickness as the mini. It is just 138g heavier, 40mm taller and only 35mm wider. Although I haven't handled one, those who have are telling us that the new Air feels much better and is comfortable when held in one hand.

Upgrading, then, isn't as simple as it sounds. It could all come down to whether or not the Air will fit in the same bag as the mini. With these reduced dimensions and weight, many potential mini buyers will be measuring their options and could come down in favour of the larger model.

I love the form and weight of the mini and the retina display will make it even more delightful to use. I shall probably upgrade to a new mini but not before I have held both new models and done a quick evaluation.

Decisions, decisions.

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