With Apple's Fourth Generation iPad being announced at the same time as the iPad mini, you might be wondering which one is worth emptying your wallet for. Let’s compare the two and work out which one’s best for you.
iPad: 241 x 186 x 9.4mm, 652g
iPad mini: 200 x 135 x 7.2mm, 308g
The biggest deciding factor for us is portability. As much as we love Apple’s full-sized iPad, it really is a hefty monster of a tablet. That’s fine if you’re just slumped on your sofa browsing the web, but if you want something to entertain you on the move, the iPad mini is massively more portable thanks to its light, slender frame. It’ll slip into even largeish handbags and barely weigh you down, and is much more comfortable to use one-handed.
iPad: 9.7-inch Retina IPS display, 264 pixels per inch
iPad mini: 7.9-inch IPS display, 163 pixels per inch
If you’re a film fan, you’re going to be properly wowed by the iPad’s incredibly crisp Retina display. HD films look outstanding: you can even see every tiny pore, blemish and nose hair during those facial close-ups. The larger screen also makes it more comfortable for sharing a movie with a friend. The iPad Mini’s smaller 7.9-inch display is still a fine way to enjoy a film if you don’t mind things being a bit more cramped, but it’s also low-res compared to its bigger brother as well as rivals such as the Google Nexus 7 by Asus, so won’t make the most of HD movies.
Apps and Games
iPad: A6X processor
iPad mini: A5 processor
Both tablets can play the full range of iOS games and apps, but the iPad mini features an older A5 processor (the same one found in the iPad 2). We still managed to get a good frame rate on the most intensive titles such as Avengers Initiative, but the iPad mini will be out of date a lot sooner than the fourth generation iPad, so gamers should opt for the larger device.
The iPad mini is a lot more comfortable for using on the move, especially when it comes to typing out documents and bashing out a few quick emails on the train. That smaller stature makes it easier to hold two-handed and type with your thumbs, something that’s deeply difficult with the bulkier, heavier fourth-gen iPad.
When you strip it bare, iPad vs iPad mini is a battle of power versus portability. If you’re looking for a gaming tablet or a way to enjoy HD movies while lounging around at home (perhaps if the other half has commandeered the TV to watch football/Downton Abbey), the fourth generation iPad is a great option. On the other hand, if you’re constantly on the move and want a portable entertainment device, the iPad mini is much more travel-friendly.