After using an iPad mini for a week or so, I just received my iPad “4”, and I’m a bit… disappointed. Oh, it’s a great machine; the performance is impressive, and the screen is wonderful. But after using the mini, the full-size iPad just feels big and clunky — clumsy, even. It’s like going from a 13″ MacBook Air to a 17″ MacBook Pro.
Many folks are saying that the lack of Retina screen is regrettable. I agree, but the truth is, the screen on the mini is good enough, and the nicer form factor and more elegant design more than make up for it, in my opinion.
Here’s a photo I took (with my iPhone 5) of the mini and 4 screens size-by-side. Forgive the quality; I’m no photographer. This photo is entirely untouched; I took it on my phone and put it on Flickr. At full size, the difference is striking, though in actual use it doesn’t seem that bad, unless you really put the thing 3 inches from your face.
I need to have a Retina iPad for development, and my plan had been to use the mini as my “around the house” iPad, while the 4 was going to be my main daily use iPad that I use most of the time, and drag around with me everywhere. Now after using both, I’m seriously considering making the mini my main iPad.