We all knew the iPad Mini was coming but what nobody (almost) expected was the 4th-gen iPad, which effectively replaces iPad 3rd-gen and brings a whole new set of features to the tablet.

I guess people who bought the new iPad weeks or months ago would be annoyed at Apple for doing this. However, as certain people point out, Apple is probably trying to cash-in on the holiday season and thus changing the release cycles of all future iPads.

But then, now that there are two iPads – the fourth gen and the iPad Mini – which one should you buy?

It all boils down to purpose. Both the iPad Mini and the iPad conform to the tablet spec sheet. Interestingly, the iPad Mini is not as mini as one would expect: it’s 7.9 inches diagonally which gives a lot more space on the display than, say, a Google Nexus 7. In comparison, the 9.7 inch iPad is large enough but not spectacularly so.

iPad Mini Vs. iPad 4

Let’s first take a look at the spec sheet:

Spec iPad Mini iPad 4th gen
Display 7.9” 9.7”
Resolution 1024×768, 163ppi 2048×1536, 264ppi
CPU A5 Dual Core 1GHz A6X Dual Core 1GHz
Memory 16, 32, 64GB 16, 32, 64GB
Camera 5 MP iSight, autofocus 5 MP iSight, autofocus
Front Camera 1.2 MP HD 1.2 MP HD
Connectivity Ultrafast Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 Ultrafast Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0
Thickness 7.2mm 9.4mm
Weight 308 g/312 g 652 g/662 g
Battery 10 hours 10 hours
Ports Lightning Dock, 3.5mm audio Lightning Dock, 3.5mm audio
Price Starts at $329 Starts at $499

Buy The iPad Mini If:

If you’re looking just for a tablet – with the “size doesn’t matter” criteria – and are insistent about getting an Apple product, the iPad Mini should more or less fit your purpose. It’s cheaper than the larger iPad (but in comparison to other mini tablets, it’s costlier than what was expected).

If you’re looking for a mini tablet, but are willing to shell out a considerable chunk of money, just to get that “Apple” experience, the iPad Mini is your answer.

Buy The iPad 4th Gen If:

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a complete tab experience, the iPad 4th-gen is your answer. Many people use their tabs a lot to reduce their reliance on laptops and netbooks. If that sounds like you, the bigger iPad is the best thing you can buy.

  • I just purchased the iPad Mini because it did not get as warm as the iPad 4 with the retina display. The retina display is nice, but it is not worth the extra weight and heat from the larger battery to power the device.