iPad Mini or Air

I have a 12.9" 2017 iPad Pro that I barely use because it’s bulky and the pencil stopped working.

I want to replace a physical book that I use to jot down notes with iPad.

I am looking to sell my current iPad and buy a newer gen one (with the latest Pencil) and narrowed it down to iPad Mini 6 or iPad Air 5. Since newer models are around the corner, I’ve decided to wait.

In the meanwhile want to know if anyone here switched from one of these to the other. I see many positive coverage of iPad Mini but not much talk on the Air. I am leaning towards Air because it has a bigger screen and a keyboard can be attached to it.


At one point I had the 12.9 M1 (that work gave me) an 11 Pro and Mini. I gave the 11 to my daughter and bounce between the 12.9 and the mini. I would say that the Mini is far more manageable and doesn’t take over the desk. I take notes during calls with the pencil. I’ve actually offered the 12.9 to my wife. It’s just too big. 11 was a sweet spot I’d say but that mini rocks

1 Like

I agree with @DannyR. I rarely use my MacBook Air for anything except backing up data with Arq. I prefer my 2020 11” iPad Pro. It’s large enough for real work and small enough to carry whenever I might need something more than my iPhone.


air 5 for external monitor support if you think you might ever connect to an external monitor.

1 Like

I moved from a 12.9” pro to the 11 pro.

I don’t miss the weight of the 12.9, but I do miss the screen real estate. Next time I buy an iPad, I don’t know which I’d choose, the 11 isn’t a slam dunk.

1 Like

I recently decommissioned my 11" Pro in favor of a new Mini 6. I really like the change. Fits in the hand. Easily replaced a Kindle Oasis that was aging. Portable. Fits in a portfolio and bag without being a boat weight.

I also have a 12.9" that is aging, and rarely gets used. The Mini 6 turns out to be the iPad I should have had all along.



Is there a perfect size? As soon as we walk out the front door we have to make a choice. Since I’d need a bag to carry a mini, I might as well carry my 11”. But if Apple made a 15” iPP I think that might be perfect for editing video or working on spreadsheets, etc. but it would never leave my home.

Choices, choices, . . .

My iPhone is the 14 Pro Max, the Mini is close enough to make owning one wasteful.

It’s not the carrying weight that bothers me. A pound or two extra in my backpack is nothing against everything else in there.

It’s the weight to hold it. My iPad is my primary personal machine and I often use it by holding it, that’s where the weight difference between the 11” and the 12.9 is really noticeable.

A Mini would be great for weight but far too small, the Pro 11 is a better for weight but the screen is too small, the 12.9 is better for screen but too heavy to hold for any significant period of time.

Of course the answer is to have a 12.9 for when I am working at a table or a desk and an 11 to hold, but then Money…

There’s never a right answer until Apple makes the M Chips super efficient meaning less battery required and the laminated screens lighter so a 12.9 is holdable for far longer.


Until @geoffaire mentioned having the larger phone, I was enjoying my mini for reading books and magazines. When I was traveling for work, a 12.9” iPad was used as a second monitor and an alternative to brining a computer into every meeting. This was paired with a mini for reading and reviewing shorter documents.

Now, being at home more or in live meetings, I still use the mini for reading, but I have shifted to an 10.9” air for meetings and notes. Some magazines are better on the 10.9” and it seems easier to hold without the keyboard. The 12.9” is nice, but is quite large for anything other than productivity for me.

I think I would wait on the next mini to have an upgraded chip before the buying another one now.

When I am due for another upgrade, I may shift to the larger phone and the 11” Pro. I just hope my pockets can accommodate the larger device.

Your mileage may vary.