Should You Buy an iPad Air or Wait for iPad Mini Retina?

Rafia Shaikh

This November Apple will release two new models of its iPad - the iPad Air and the iPad Mini with Retina Display. While the Air will release on Friday, 1st November, iPad Mini 2 with Retina will not be hitting store until later in November. Coming in one month, many wonder if they should go ahead with iPad Air or wait for iPad Mini Retina? To help you decide, here is the iPad Air vs iPad Mini Retina [Read: Apple Tracker site taken down by DMCA notice - worries fans] comparison to help you decide what tablet to buy this holiday season!

Size does matter?

While both these iPad look similar and function almost alike, there is a big difference in size. iPad Air is a full-sized tablet with a bigger screen and larger real estate, whereas iPad Mini looks smaller in the comparison. On one hand, when iPad Air could feel like carrying a little notebook, iPad Mini feels just like a thin book or a planner instead.

If you go for the portability, are the one mostly on road, don't really need a bigger screen, then iPad Mini will be definitely the right choice for you.ipad air reviews

However, if you are planning to replace your laptop with iPad and accompany it with a keyboard to make it as your work machine, Mini will be a wrong choice. iPad Air has the right size to support work needs. Also, the keyboard will feel more comfortable with Air's size not forgetting that keyboards for Air would act more like carrying case and not something separate.

The deal-breaker of iPad Air vs iPad Mini Retina - Price:

If you have to keep your choice in budget then iPad Mini 2 with Retina will be the best buy. The Mini Retina will sell for $399 whereas, iPad Air is going to be sold for $500. For those of you who want to stay in budget but need a bigger screen, iPad 2 is another option. Although, we would recommend you to either save up for iPad Air or get a refurbished iPad 4.

ipad air vs ipad mini retina

Another factor that increases / reduces prices is storage. iPad Air starts from $499 with 16 GB of storage increasing with $130 for each upgrade to 32 GB, 64 GB and the 128 GB. While iPad Mini with Retina starts from $399 with 16 GB and increasing with $100 for each upgrade.


Have to get it now vs can wait:

This is pretty simple. If you can't wait, no brainer, get the iPad Air. For those who can wait for a couple of week, wait to measure up both these tablets against your own criteria to get the best buy! Remember, waiting for a month will be better than complaining about a device for a year or more!

iPad Air vs iPad Mini Retina - common uses:

Still confused? Here are some few specific jobs that you might be troubled about. EASY!

  • Book reading: for text only get an iPad Mini Retina, but for textbooks with charts, images, drawings better invest in an iPad Air.
  • Magazines: works like the above. Since images look better on bigger screen, you might prefer Air unless portability is a concern.
  • Office work: if portability is NOT a major factor playing in your decision then get an iPad Air with a keyboard case for typing comfort.
  • Note taking: iPad Mini paired with a stylus - bingo!
  • Gaming:  gaming has been very popular on the iPad Mini. However, if you prefer bigger screen, iPad Air it is!
  • Art: although iPad Mini will be better for note taking, stylus and iPad Air will do more good with more canvas space for artists out there.
  • Watching videos: better on iPad Mini but consider portability?

Relevant links:

iPad Air Reviews from Some Bigwigs!

Air Display 2: Connect up to 4 iPads – Additional Screens, Best App for Presentations!

Hidden iOS 7 Features II – Because the Surprises Never End!

Apple iPad Air Coming to Various Regional Telcos – GCI, Bluegrass Cellular & C Spire Wireless

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