Family Portrait: The iPad Air and Retina iPad mini

One is 9.7-inches, the other is 7.9-inches. That, primarily, is the difference between the iPad Air and the brand new iPad mini with Retina Display. Both pack the A7 chip, the M7 motion co-processor and of course, that glorious 2048x1536 resolution Retina Display. And, since the redesign of the full sized iPad with the new iPad Air, we have two iPads that look the same bar the size.

So, one's big, one small, both full fat iPads. We're in the process of reviewing the Retina iPad mini at the moment, but before all that, we've thrown together a quick family portrait gallery of the new smaller iPad and it's larger sibling. The choice has never been tougher. Which would you go for?

Keep on clicking for some more pictures!

Retina iPad mini

Retina iPad mini
The world's most popular tiny tablet goes Retina. Features include:

Complete review >

Released
November 12, 2013

Alternatives
iPad mini (original), iPad Air, iPad 2

Replacements
iPad Mini 3
Fall, 2014

Resources
Buyers guide
Help forum

Richard Devine

Senior Editor at iMore, part time racing driver, full time British guy

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There are 17 comments. Add yours.

Solamar says:

I've had such a tough time deciding.. finally, the savings of $100 and pocket-ability of the rMini won out and thats what I've ordered.

Anyone notice that the iPad Mini's don't hold their value as the full sized iPads do?

ZeroLeonheart says:

I wondered about that as well, but I've decided that I'm not selling my Apple stuff ever again. I sold my iPad 3 when the new ones were announced back in October to "take advantage" of the iPad market before it took a dump. Never. Again.

Premium1 says:

You have to remember the first mini had pretty dated specs so that may be why they don't hold their value as well. It could also be more people want a larger iPad. Who knows, I guess we will find out once time goes by and more retina minis are being traded in/sold

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skyhawk85u says:

I tried the full size again, but the way I like to hold and use it I just find the Mini much more comfortable and usable. My wife likes the full size better so she can see it.

BenitoC says:

I am loving my iPad Air. I'd like to check out the display on the Retina mini though, it is probably stunning like the one on my iPhone 5. To bad the display LCD and glass aren't laminated together like the iPhone though.

bookimdanno says:

I had to get one of each. It's a sickness..

WowItsHuge says:

Two??, = TOO MUCH MONEY, you go there Rockefeller?

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WowItsHuge says:

Air baby, Air!!!

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Barry Alavi says:

I ordered a 128G Wi-Fi Cellular mini. I've always worked with the full size iPad but I like the lightness and the portability of the mini so I went for it. I hope the small screen size will not disappoint me. When I held it at the Apple store it seemed to be ok but what if after a few days I realize that the screen size is just too small. I hope not because I love the form factor.

GlennRuss says:

My "The New iPad" or 3, is still serving me well, but it is just wifi. So I got the new mini cellular. There have been times when I was not close to a hot spot. Yeah I have an iPhone, but the screen size of the mini, and cell service just works better for many things. It all comes down to the right tool for the right reason. If I did not have an iPad at all, or a 1, or 2, then the iPad Air hands down. The mini will serve a purpose. Wanted the 128G but just a little too much, so 64G, I have a 64G iPhone, and have a ton of stuff on it, and still have 43G left.

corrupted data says:

I love the mini. Wouldn't mind going for a ipad air!

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Jude34 says:

I went iPad Air and love it. If the mini had been out early I may've gone mini. As it is the Air is so comfortable and same specs so bigger screen won out for me.

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Iphone7291 says:

I want them both!!!! It's so hard to pick! I think that I will end up going with the mini because it will fit in my pocket and I will be able to carry it at all times. Do they have the apple full body case for the mini?

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shstapleton says:

I just ordered an Air to upgrade from an iPad 2. Poring through the reviews on this site, I didn't see any mention of how wonderful the iPad is for reading magazines. I like the idea of the mini but worry that it would cut down on readability of magazines. National Geographic on an iPad is a revelation. They take full advantage of the possibilities.

robsavage says:

I'm still deciding. I have the original mini and really like it. It goes everywhere and I don't feel obnoxious getting it out in public. I'd have to hold the air in my hand before I make a choice. I really like the bigger screen, but love the size and portability of the mini. I'd love to have both, but alas, I'm not quite that rich yet :)

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