Thoughts on the NEW iPad mini?

I’m considering getting an iPad mini. Before I do I thought I’d solicit the opinion of those using the new mini. My use case would be reading, annotating PDFs and books, and for my speaking notes. I currently have a 12.9 iPad Pro with Magic Keyboard. I plan to keep the 12.9 for when I travel and don’t want to take the laptop. I am finding that I use my 14" M1 more than the iPad for most things given its battery life, speed and versatility.

Those of you who have the new iPad mini:

  • Are you pleased with it?
  • Is it large enough to annotate PDFs on?
  • Do you believe it is the right size for one’s speaking notes in a typical situation e.g., laying on top of a podium in a conference hall or auditorium?
  • Other thoughts?

I’m not your target audience for this question because I don’t have the new mini…


But that’s only because they’re taking so long to ship. I have the 11" Pro but spent months going back and forth on wanting the new Mini for just the purposes you describe. Sometimes the 11" is just a bit too big to grab and go, or have as a secondary resource on the podium. I’m probably just justifying my wants, but I have in mind the same purposes as you and am really hoping it works out.

Now if it will only ship.

1 Like

I have the new one and am enjoying it but there are some buts…
I bought this after using a 2018 11” pro and there’s no comparison in terms of screen quality. I don’t use it as much as I was hoping to for reading because of that.
I use it to take meeting notes with the Pencil and for that it’s fine. I don’t annotate PDFs very often but I would imagine in landscape mode it would be ok. Just don’t expect to do any split screening.
Can’t beat the size factor that’s for sure! I bought this one since travel is starting up again (he says lying in bed with Covid) and I wanted something more compact.
I went for the purplish one with 256gb wifi.
Hope that’s useful

@DannyR Sorry to hear you are dealing with Covid, that is a bummer. Some how I’ve managed to avoid Covid it but I’m vaccinated and boosted so for all I know I’ve had it and been asymptomatic. Hope you get to feeling better soon.

Thanks for the input. Based on your experience, would you recommend the 11" inch over the mini for the purposes I described?

Get well!

I’ve had 3 doses of Pfizer and my wife has had 4 and we both got it this week (first timers though!).
It’s all good- thanks for the positive energy.
I think I would recommend the 11 because of the screen quality (not many differences left between that and the Air).
Do you have access to an Apple store where you can go play a bit? You can always take advantage of their return policy and try it at home!

1 Like

Good idea! I have two Apple stores within a 20 minute +/- drive from my house so I may just give this a try; thanks for the recommendation. :+1:t2:

1 Like

I’ve got the newest mini and I’m very pleased with it. It’s a great handheld iPad for reading, good for gong out and about, and excellent for taking meeting notes using the Apple Pencil.

For your listed use cases, however, I probably wouldn’t recommend it. I don’t think it’s going to be a great tool for annotating PDFs. That’s something I’d much rather do on my 12.9” iPad Pro. Presenter notes, it probably depends on how big you want the text and how much text you want. If I made the text what I’d regard as a reasonable size for presenter notes, I wouldn’t be able to get many lines of text on there.

Since you’ve got a 12.9” iPad Pro, a pretty good test would be to put two apps in a 50/50 split view. A half-screen app on the 12.9” in landscape will be just slightly larger than the mini’s screen I’m portrait mode (about half an inch in each direction, though with a lower dpi). That might give you an idea of how useful this might be for you (at least in portrait)

1 Like

I won’t get the Mini for various reasons but we got one for my step-son. He’s a Navy helicopter pilot and the Mini is the perfect size for the cockpit. He also has longer fingers and can palm it, something I can’t do so the Mini is no easier for me to hold than my 11”. My eyes have also gotten too old for smaller screens.


I second this. Unless you have really great eyes, you’ll be pinching and zooming a lot to read and annotate PDFs on the iPad Mini. The 10.9/11" and 12.9" iPads are much better for reviewing content that’s formatted for the page. That said, reading eBooks on the iPad Mini is a fantastic experience because its light and is therefore easy to hold in one hand.


I want to make sure I understand, are you saying the iPad mini is ½" narrow on both sides compared to half of the split screen on the iPad 12.9? If so, that is a good bit narrower and would be a problem.

  • iPad Pro 12.9" screen is 10.35x7.75. So in split screen, 5.17x7.75 (ignoring the width of the separator).
  • iPad mini screen is 4.56x6.95

So in portrait the mini is 0.61 narrower and 0.8 shorter than half an iPad Pro 12.9 in landscape (this is total, not each side)

In pixels:

  • The iPad Pro 12.9" is 2732x2048. So in split screen 1366x2048.
  • The iPad mini is 1488x2266.

So the mini has 9% more pixels side to side and 11% more pixels top to bottom.

Hmm, that is quite a difference in size. I’ll still check it out in the Apple store but you may have saved me $700. :slightly_smiling_face: If I could save another $800 or so I’d buy that new fancy monitor. :slightly_smiling_face:

1 Like

I would also agree. I have the iPad mini 6, the latest one. My usual use case is to read tweets, ebooks, YouTube, games, but no serious work on it, except replying short email messages. For content consumption, I think it is ideal

Reading a comic book isn’t fun on the iPad mini. I had to zoom in. I suspect the same will occur when doing pdf work.

It’s easier to read ebooks on the mini because I can resize the text size easily.

1 Like

I wouldn’t use it for PDFs, ever. I have the Pencil, and I can use it for a few things - but PDF annotation isn’t on the list. If I did have to do PDF work for some reason I’d turn it to landscape mode and try to work that way. But if I had to do it often, I’d get a bigger iPad.

Don’t get me wrong - I love the new Mini. As @fuzzygel mentioned above, great for social media, ebooks (it’s almost dead-on the same size as a conventional paperback, plus or minus aspect ratio considerations), great for watching YouTube, browsing, etc. Easy to transport, fits nicely in jacket pockets and small bags, etc.

But for your purposes, I don’t think you’re going to be happy with it.


I have both iPad Mini and 11” iPad Pro. Majority of the time I’m on iPad Mini, mainly because it’s so portable and light. Reading and annotating PDF is not a problem but occasionally need to zoom in for a better view; using it mostly for reading rather than annotating. Typing is much easier on iPad Mini.

Might be small for speaker’s notes though never tried that before. Happy with both devices, except experience with pencil 2 battery is a let down. Will choose iPad Mini over iPad Pro any day. iPad Pro might be better if you’re the type of person who works at a desk most of the time.

1 Like

So what did you decide to do? Any new purchases?

I’m not the OP, but I was following along because I had a Mini on the way. It arrived two weeks ago and I’ve been using it every day. It’s definitely not necessary, but I love having something that small and light. I notice the screen size difference for sure (when reading the newspaper, twitter, etc.) but the screen quality has not been an issue for me.