iPad Air vs iPad Mini Retina buying guide

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Everyone is thinking about this around me, so here are some facts I learned on the internet:

  • iPad Air vs. iPad Mini Retina. They weigh about the same now, so the only difference is really the screen. Everyone seems to love the new weight and screen size of the air. As an aside, this fifth generation iPad is 10x faster than the 3rd generation (?!!!)
  • Black vs. White. Some people find white distracting, but it is distinctive. For fashion folks, Jon Ives uses White 🙂
  • Memory. The new retina applications are much bigger, so 16GB can feel small. Pricingwise, the economic sizes are 64GB and 128GB (but who need something that big). Turns out the 16GB are the lowest margin iPads but you get more for your money as you go higher. The main question here is how many apps and moviews are you going to store. An iTunes movie is 3-6GB alone in HD these days. Net, net iMore thinks 16GB is way too small these days and you should get at least 32GB for general and 64GB for power users with lots of apps, games and movies or a big music collection. Or you want to do lots of editing.
  • Cellular vs. Wifi. Wifi is cheaper of course, but doesn’t come with a GPS which is kind of convenient for those of us who like using it for mapping and location services.
  • Carrier choice. If you buy a Verizon iPad, it is unlocked for all GSM carriers. Apple actually got 14 bands of LTE running in the iPad Air (incredible). However, if you buy a GSM iPad from T-Mobile or AT&T, it will not work with any CDMA carrier, so the Verizon iPad is most versatile. This is a shall I say interesting limitation of the CDMA carriers. They don’t have to allow this. AT&T and T-mobile both have zero cost leasing options and interesting plans as well.

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