How sad will I be if I downgrade my 2018 iPad Pro to an iPad Mini 5?

I have a 2018 iPad Pro, cellular, 256 GB, with the 2nd gen Pencil and keyboard case (not the new Magic Keyboard one, the older one that folds back). When I bought this, I went all-out thinking it would be a potentially-useful traveling tablet with a keyboard so I could do server-ish stuff “on the go” if necessary.

Reality didn’t really turn out that way. I dropped my cellular plan long ago, and I really mostly only use it for larger-screen portable web browsing, occasional email, etc.

And now with aging wrists and such I’m finding that the 11" is getting to be a bit clunky. I really, really feel like the 7.9" form factor would be much more comfortable for me to use and lug around as it’s almost 2" smaller in each dimension, and weighs about 2/3 of the Air.

And it feels like this would be the time to do it, while the 2018 still seems to have some value.

I’d obviously go to a store and handle a Mini 5 for a bit, but I’m wondering what y’all think. It looks like an A12X vs. an A12, Pencil Gen 1 vs. Gen 2, probably less audio quality.

Has anybody made this switch, or used both for comparison? Any advice?

Also…I can get $455 from Apple for it. Is it a safe assumption that Craigslisting it will likely yield more than that, especially with the Pencil and keyboard?


What will suffer most is multitasking, more so for 11 → 7.9. You’ll also lose the keyboard. If you’re not using the 11 because of the size and don’t really use the keyboard, consider it. There will be a trade off though. So… a little sad, but if you use it more, you may offset that.

By “multitasking” do you mean the slide-over and split view? I hardly ever use those, but that’s a good thing to consider.

And I’m all-in on a custom mech keyboard for my main usage on the Mac, making standard QWERTY boards a touch irritating to use.

Yes, slide over and split view. If you’re not using that, that’s great.

Sounds like one keyboard is portable and one isn’t. Do you need the keyboard when you’re on-the-go? That said, the mini’s on screen keyboard (in portrait mode) is pretty good to use.

I have a Mini 5 and it goes everywhere with me. It’s a great form factor and makes reading books and is even great for taking notes. I also have the 12.9" iPad Pro and that never gets taken out of the house, even when home I often end up using the Mini as it’s much less bulky and is better for reading and annotating books. I only use the Pro when I need to work with large page documents rather than books, and I won’t be upgrading the larger iPad again as it hardly ever gets used.

I have a MacBook Air when I need a keyboard and find the two fulfils all my needs when out and about.


I used to think I needed the keyboard “on the go”, but that hasn’t turned out to be the case. And if I’m far enough away from home that I can’t get home to do the work there, I almost always have my 15" laptop (old Linux laptop that works fine, and has a full-size keyboard :slight_smile: )

I could also toss a separate Bluetooth keyboard in my bag for emergencies if I absolutely had to.

That’s kind of my thing with the 11". I’ve found myself sometimes using my iPhone because I didn’t want to mess with the bulk of the 11. But I don’t like my iPhone screen size for doing the little bit of stuff I do on it. Although if the iPhone was 4:3 ratio and the same diagonal size it might be a different story. :slight_smile:

That’s another consideration for me. If this is light enough, I might consider ditching my Kindle Oasis in favor of just using the iPad for reading. I know it’s a different experience, but it’s something I might consider. :slight_smile:

1 Like

The Logitech (Logi, sorry) Keys-to-go could be a good option. It’s about the size of the iPad mini (though different dimensions) and the battery lasts forever. I got used to typing on it. The iPad Air 2 and Keys-To-Go was my set up for years going to meetings.

I used an iPad Mini 1 at work and loved it because of the portability. (Now it’s too slow).

Another option worth considering is to keep the 11. If you ever need “multi-tasking” you can put both iPads side by side and use it that way. I bought the iPad 12.9", and much like @Rob_Polding , I will not be upgrading this. I think I would have been better served by an 11 and a mini.

The 12.9" is great for wherever a laptop is great. I use it predominantly for reading papers with split screen. The 11" would probably serve just as well.

Among you Mini users, if you do that, how does note taking and reading comics work for you?
(A bit like @webwalrus , I’m wondering if I should downgrade my 11’ “content consumption” iPad to a Mini)

1 Like

One of the things that had me holding off was the rumor of new iPad Minis in the spring. But with those not materializing - and the potential that the new rumored Mini would actually be getting a slightly larger form factor when it drops - I’m thinking this is the time to jump. :slight_smile:

1 Like

I take lots of notes on my iPhone when the iPad isn’t available. These are typed notes in Drafts that I move over later to the my library.

Hand written notes with the pencil would be akin to carrying around a pen and a one of those small steno pads.

1 Like

I wish they end up making a Mini with the same form factor as the Pro with the Pencil 2. I would instantly buy that.

1 Like

And the CURRENT screen size. No need to boost the size - just shrink the bezels they already have. :slight_smile:

1 Like

I have loved my mini 5 with pencil but reading comics and magazines on it has always been a pain. I upgraded to the Pro for just this reason. I would have gone to the Air but only $200 to get the M1 was a no brainer (and the $200 gift card when I activate the cel)

1 Like

I did exactly that. Stopped using the Oasis and went for the current Mini. It excels for reading, especially at night. Dark mode. I found the 11" pad too big. Experimented with an iPhone XS Max. It was too narrow for my tastes.
The Mini is the best for reading. And if you happen to have a lot of stuff from Amazon, well you can read that on the Mini too.
I also have the iPad Pro 12.9" which is my laptop replacement but is excellent for video. Especially with the new headphones.

1 Like

That’s almost exactly where I’m at too. My iPhone 11 screen wouldn’t be as bad if it were wider. :slight_smile:

Do you ever miss the Oasis? Or does the iPad scratch that itch completely?

The screen on the mini is so nice and so adjustable vs the Oasis. I would miss the Oasis for reading outside but to be honest, a paperback would serve the purpose better. Even the Oasis got kind of hot in the sun because of the glass and battery.
So, after many trials and tribulations, not to say expensive devices, I love reading on the iPad mini.

I also do web browsing, video, music, etc. Very much a Swiss army knife on top of being a great reader.

I have both iPad Pro 11 & iPad Mini 5, and most of the time I’m on iPad Mini. iPad Pro mainly for major work sitting down in home office area. iPad Mini is light, very handy for reading, carrying around and for most of the work I do. Bulk of iPad Pro is not that practical but screen size is good for in depth work. Also found that Pencil 1 last longer than Pencil 2 especially lying around not used for few days. Obviously Pencil 2 charging is portable compared to Pencil 1. Good to have both and frankly tough decision to rid of 1 - if have to, I’ll keep iPad Mini sacrificing bigger & better screen and faster processor of iPad Pro.


When I read your original prompt I took away three important things:

  1. The 2018 11" iPad Pro is too large,
  2. You simultaneously do not use “Pro” features while considering the mini a downgrade, and
  3. You appreciate the iPad experience enough to seriously consider selling the 11" and accepting a self-described downgrade to keep it in your life.

I have not used a recent iPad mini, but do have some advice based on reading your original post and your responses.

It is not an upgrade to purchase a computer differentiated by features you won’t use. Sure, a miles credit card could be more cost effective than cash back-- but I didn’t travel last year. I did not ‘upgrade’ to a more valuable card because the ‘value’ was not my own. Sure, any new thing is a potential upgrade for someone, but that someone is not always us. I have to remind myself of this, constantly.
The inverse of this can be applied to your substitution decision. You own a device that is becoming increasingly difficult to use (2018 11") and the substitution for a product that you can use sustainably (iPad mini) is only lacking in features that you did not use in the first place. The lack of features is a moot point. With this out of the way, the iPad mini is an upgrade for you because the 2018 11" is loosing its value in terms of ultimate accessibility. These devices don’t have inherent value, instead they hold the value we assign them.

You value the iPad enough to consider a substitution that would keep it in your life for the long-term. Sure, the Apple Pencil 2 looks great and the larger display can be convenient at times, but that has no value if you can’t use the device it runs on.

Should your wrists grow worse in three years (I hope not, but for the sake of discussion), which iPad is collecting dust in a magazine pile?


You ask: " How sad will I be if I downgrade my 2018 iPad Pro to an iPad Mini 5".

One thing to consider is that you may be very sad indeed if the iPad mini 6 is released soon afterwards. The rumours are strong that the next iPad mini is not far away.