I’ve been on my MacBook Air for the last year and went a long time (for me) without an iPad. A few months ago I picked up the iPad Mini and it’s rapidly become my favourite iPad ever. It’s also moved a lot more of my day to day needs back to the iPad. I’m enjoying having a smaller form factor device that I can do 90% of my tasks on.
I’m not podcasting or making video so I get away with the limitations of iPadOS and can easily blog, mail etc from my mini.
I’m also using an iPhone 13 Mini these days and the iPad Mini has complemented it really well for editing the photos I take on it. I love using the iPad for editing images.
The only thing that hasn’t stuck is using the pencil and using as a digital journal, I just prefer pen and paper.
Lastly changing things up is good for RSI so now I’m spending more time on the iPad my keyboard use (outside of my day job) has reduced significantly.
For me the most interesting update to iPadOS is something that only some can use. This is the new multitasking that is emulating what Apple are also doing on the Mac. If you don’t have a new M1 iPad Pro there is little point in potentially causing yourself problems using the Beta.
I hung onto using the iPad Pro as my main machine for years, being left disappointed pretty much every WWDC but I hung in there. Eventually I gave up and used my iPad for what I thought Apple wanted – a bigger iPhone canvas.
I got rid of my 11” iPad Pro and swapped it out for an M1 MacBook Air and 6th generation iPad Mini and am really happy with the setup. I’m not trying to make my iPad do things it’s not designed for (like podcasting for instance).
When I now see rumours of some attention being given to the iPad this year I just don’t believe it.
I’m sure I’ll be wrong but until I see it, I just can’t believe it.
It’s been another month or so with the new iPad Mini form factor and it’s become even more part of my day to day. I’m now regularly using it for note taking and it’s almost replaced my MacBook Air. It feels to me the perfect form factor for the iPad. Small and portable but still a powerhouse.
I feel that having the MacBook Air alongside this mini is the perfect setup for me at this point in my tech journey.
Where it shines for me also is with photography. I tend to take my DSLR out most places these days and being able to import and edit on a device I can chuck in my camera bag is great. I’m no professional but I love being able to unwind after a day trip by importing, sorting and editing.
I’m hoping these are selling in large numbers so we avoid what looks like is happening with the iPhone Mini going away this year.
I’ve been using an iPad since the original launched and over that time tried to use it as my main machine that does everything. This has always led to frustration but over the last year of owning both a MacBook Air and iPad Mini this has changed.
I’ve come to the conclusion that Apple doesn’t see the iPad as your do everything machine, so I stopped trying.
My iPad Mini is a companion device but in letting it be an iPad I’m actually using it the majority of the time. It’s that device between an iPhone and a Mac. I use it for editing photos, taking notes, checking email and consuming content.
I don’t try to make it do things it’s not good at. If I want to create I use the Mac. If I want to do some Zoom meetings and take notes at the same point I use the Mac.
I’ve found where the iPad fits into my workflow and let it excel at that.
I think that even Apple are figuring out where the iPad fits in. It needs to cater for both a school age kid and a Pro. I don’t see how it can be good at both with iPadOS in it’s current state. But, with iPadOS 16 just around the corner maybe this year the iPad will be lifted up a bit with some updates because I feel it’s in an odd on hold state for many Pro users now.
This is interesting reading as someone that is recently back on the iPad almost full time. I have the A series equipped iPad mini and it flies, no stutter on anything that I do or would imagine doing. With the limitations of iPadOS I see no reason why Apple would put a faster processor in the iPad this year, unless it’s to get sales. iPadOS needs a significant update in my opinion this year, lets keep our fingers crossed we’ll get that in light of this rumour of the iPad getting a faster version of the M1, which isn’t even now being pushed.
I’ve been looking at the reviews of the iPad Air and wondering if I made a mistake by buying the Mini but I’ve realised now that they are for two different use cases.
The iPad Air is a product that is meant as a laptop replacement. Especially with it’s magic keyboard, depending on the type of user you are it can suit all of your computing needs.
The iPad Mini is a complimentary device for someone that already has a laptop and want a portable device that they can take more places and be comfortable using.
For me, I have the MacBook Air and an iPad Mini serving all of my needs. These days I use the Mini 90% of the time. The Air gets used when I need to do Zoom calls or got a more intense bit of work and want a keyboard.
So, if you’re after a laptop alternative get the iPad Air. If you’re looking for something more portable and already have something with a keyboard like a laptop or desktop then get the Mini.
I picked up a new iPad Mini just over a month ago and it’s fitted into my setup really well. This coincided with switching around iPhone models a bit and with my MacBook Air being my main device in the house.
What I’ve found over this month is that it’s almost completely replaced my MacBook Air, not something I was expecting.
I’m doing less creative projects now as I try to sort myself out and the iPad Mini is perfect for everything I’m doing.
It’s my digital notebook, a window into eBay for selling stuff (I’m having a bit of a clear out!), my canvas for sketching, my entertainment device for watching movies and the F1 and overall it’s been good for my ergonomics.
The larger screen is better for my eyes and it’s portable enough to be used in place of my iPhone at home for the majority of the time.
I’ve taken it out and about a bit and it certainly takes up a lot less room in my camera bag than my MacBook Air.
Since I returned my iPad Mini last year I’ve been iPad-less for the first time since the original launch. I’ve got an iPhone 11 and MacBook Air and for a while it was fine for a bit I’ve missed having an iPad in the line up.
I’ve missed something bigger than my iPhone that I could use for reading magazines on, watch video and have as a notebook sized digital companion that I could take notes with.
Despite my reservations about ‘jelly scroll’ I thought I would dive back in again with my favourite sized iPad – the iPad mini.
This time I picked up a starlight model with a white cover with 256GB of storage. I wanted the larger storage for storing video for when I am out and about. I also like to use it as a place to export images from my DSLR when I’m not at home.
The starlight colour is definitely different to what I’ve experienced when I had an iPhone 13 Mini. It’s more champagne than silver, with the white coloured case I like it. I’m not a fan of gold on my devices but it works here.
On using it I’m immediately back in love with this size. The jelly scroll is still there but I’m able to ignore it and just enjoy the device this time around. Having that more comfortable (than my MacBook Air) experience that I can use sat in bed or on the sofa outweighs this issue.
At the moment my setup is a MacBook Air and and iPhone 13 Mini, which seems to suit me fine but… I’ve been thinking about adding an iPad back into the line up.
I’ve been enjoying using iOS a lot and whilst the MacBook Air is great for my zoom calls and writing it’s not always suited to my needs to be able to sit more comfortably and do some work.
I’m tending to fall back onto the Mini and whilst the screen is great it’s a little small for me to use as much as I’d use a tablet. The iPad is more flexible than the MacBook when it comes to this ergonomic need.
No idea how this’ll work out but I think it might be time to take a look at some cheaper used iPads.
When I returned my iPad Mini 6 I didn’t realise I’d not be picking up another model straight away. Since the introduction of the iPad in 2010 I’ve owned one, I’ve tried to use it as my main device and finally settled on the iPad Mini as my iPad of choice.
Over the last year I’ve replaced my 11” iPad Pro with an M1 MacBook Air and with the jelly scrolling issue I experienced on the iPad Mini 6 I had to return it and no longer have my iPad Mini 5.
In the time since returning it I’ve not had an iPad to use, which definitely had me thinking about whether or not I actually want a tablet in my rotation of devices.
I’m finding that with the bigger iPhone 11 and the portable MacBook Air I’m pretty much covered. I like iOS 15 on the iPhone, macOS on my Air but I’m not a fan of iPadOS 15 with it’s Home Screen changes. I enjoyed the iPad Mini form factor to read, be a music reader for practise and consume but my phone gets me most of the way there. Appreciate it’s probably not the best for my eyes but it’s not that much smaller than the Mini. I think what’s happened is since getting the 6.1” screen on my iPhone it replaced my iPad use.
Am I picking up another iPad? I have been tempted to get an Air or even the basic iPad but for now I’m holding off. There are definitely occasions where I want a bigger touch screened device but I’m so indecisive I don’t want to rush into it. The iPad Mini isn’t getting an update anytime soon now so I either deal with jelly scroll or get a different size.
I’ve been using the new iPad Mini since launch day and I have enough of a feel to share my thoughts on the new device. For me the iPad Mini is my main and only iPad. I don’t have the luxury of owning multiple iPads and I pick the one that fits me best. For years this has been the Mini; it can go everywhere with me, is great for reading, acts as a digital notebook and is good for editing photos.
The Mini has always been my most used and reliable iPad, we still use a 2nd generation at home almost daily.
I picked up the 256GB Wi-Fi model in Space Grey along with the Electric Orange smart folio. The iPad was £619 and the folio was £59. Pretty pricey for a small device but worth it for me, especially at a time that I could do with some tech distractions to take my mind off other things.
Unboxing and initial impressions
Out of the box I loved the form factor immediately. Smaller and lighter than my previous Mini but with a larger 8.3” screen (2266×1488, 326 PPI). I also loved how the smart folio looked and made it even more like a digital notebook.
Setup was easy and setting up TouchID reminded me how much quicker FaceID is to set up. The fingerprint setup took a little longer than expected but worked fine in use. Took a little adjustment as I previously used FaceID on the iPad Pro but all in all I like using TouchID built into the top button.
Seeing a slightly larger screen with smaller bezels was something I looked forward to. It’s pretty much a perfect size for reading and note taking. It’s not OLED but is a high quality LCD and whilst a little dimmer than the previous iPad I’d used was good quality.
My issues with the display weren’t around the display itself but the user interface. On the Home Screen there is a lot of white space to the left and right of the icons in portrait and the icons on the dock are tiny. Neither were massive issues for me but you might want to test it out especially if you need to bump up your system font. I do on my iPhone but on the iPad I’m still at the default normally but on the Mini I bumped it up a step.
Now, this is where for me at least it’s flawed. Don’t read this bit if you haven’t heard about “jelly scrolling”.
Here’s a good post with the latest update, for me it’s a deal breaker unfortunately. I’m pretty sensitive to screen technology and the way that the new iPad Mini renders bothers me. I can see it in pretty much everything I do, from looking at my photos to reading the web. For 80% of what I do on this iPad I’ll be subject to it. This means for me that I’ll be returning it within my return window but it doesn’t mean it’s flawed for everyone. If you’re not sensitive to it or even notice it then move on and enjoy it, don’t go looking for it. For others it’ll be a return, if you see it like me then return it and go back to your other iPad or what I’ll be doing for now, my iPhone.
This isn’t something to jump and scream about, it’s what a lot screens do but Apple has chosen an implementation that is at the detriment of the Mini’s main orientation (portrait). I don’t want to tarnish my review with this issue as most won’t notice it but if you do, don’t buy this device. I certainly didn’t see it on any of my other iPads so I’m at a bit at a loss at how Apple implemented this but it is what it is.
Performance for me on an iPad has never been an issue. The iPad Mini has the same A15 that is in the latest iPhone 13 and I’ve noticed nothing of concern, it flies. I’ve tried video editing and my usual day to day and no issues. It’ll last you for years too, at least 6 or 7 for iOS updates.
This is a feature I hadn’t experienced before and one that I’ll miss. It works amazingly well and makes a big difference to FaceTime calls, it really is a game changer if you do a lot of video calls. There’s a video showing this feature here.
Now the camera on the Mini isn’t going to blow you away but for quick shots around the house it’s a nice step up from the last generation. Now with a 12 megapixel camera (as seen in the iPhone 11) it really is a leap in terms of those indoor shots. Where it shines for photography for me though is in importing and processing. Having something of this size that can be used to import your images from a DSLR when you are out and about is such a time saver and when you get some time on the go just working through edits. It runs all of your favourite apps well and with the pencil for editing it’s a great little mobile photography device.
Having USB-C on this device is amazing, between my MacBook Air and my Nintendo Switch I have more USB-C chargers in the house now so it’s great to be able to charge the iPad Mini on these too.
I’ve been using two accessories that in my view are a must have. First is the smart folio cover that really makes your iPad Mini feel like a little digital book. The colours are great and it folds up really well to allow you to use it as a stand or to raise it at an angle when colouring.
The second accessory I spent a lot of time with was the Apple Pencil. The second generation version attaches magnetically to the side of the Mini and it works really well. I used it for colouring, sketching and as a day to day notebook.
I’ll miss the Mini
So, I’ll be packing mine up and sending it back to Apple and I will really miss having this device around. I’ve tried to use it several times and that scrolling issue is just too big for me to deal with on a daily basis, remember this is what I’ll use as my main iPad. At this point I’m not going to be buying another iPad to replace it and I’ll go between my MacBook Air and iPhone, it’s a shame I can’t take advantage of this new form factor but it’s just how things have worked out.
If you are ok with this screen technology and want a smaller capable iPad, the Mini is the choice for you. I see it being used for anyone wanting a lean back iPad to consume content, do some productivity, use as a digital notepad and enjoy their photography. It’s better than using an iPhone at home, it’ll be better for you ergonomically and give you more real estate to deal with.
So I’m disappointed that I can’t continue with the Mini (like really disappointed) but even with that I can’t recommend this device highly enough if you know you are in the market for a smaller tablet or want to use your phone less at home.
I’m struggling a little with this issue on my iPad Mini that when scrolling text and other apps like photos there is a kind of wavy effect moving across the page. Its most evident when reading lines or text but happens in most places.
I was hoping Apple might address this with software but it’s commented to Ars that it’s normal behaviour.
Because these screens do refresh line-by-line, there is a tiny delay between when the lines at the top of the screen and lines at the bottom are refreshed. This can cause uneven scrolling issues like the ones observed on the iPad.
I’ve now had a weekend using the new iPad Mini (version 6 of this device) and I’ve got some initial impressions I’d like to share.
I’m a huge iPad Mini fan and used every generation, this latest is the best and if you’re a fan it’s a must upgrade.
Here are the key differences in use vs the previous generations.
Using the Apple Pencil is a lot better with the latest iPad Mini. I have more space, feel less cramped and can write to the edges. It doesn’t feel awkward and it’s become my digital notebook. You can also charge and attach to the side like on the bigger Pro.
The screen quality isn’t a big step up from the previous generation but the new size is a massive step. It’s perfect for this size device and you get a bigger screen in a smaller device.
It’s more comfortable to use than previous generations. The squared off sides and slightly narrower form factor make it easier to hold onto and hasn’t given me any RSI issues.
I wish it had FaceID isn’t something I thought I’d be saying but it’s true. I find TouchID weird on the power button when I then also need to swipe up. The iPad doesn’t go to the Home Screen when unlocked but stays on the Lock Screen, you need to manually swipe up.
I wish the iPhone had USB-C now that the mini has it. It’s great to have and now my iPhone and AirPods case are the only things left on lightning.
Battery life isn’t a step up, seems the same as the last generation. Not a problem in my use case, charge maybe every couple of days.
I really like the space grey and orange case combo.