The new Retina iPad Mini is much bigger step forward than I anticipated. As Shawn Blanc points out, the Mini is the same technology as the full size iPad Air but with a smaller size and more dense display. Just look at Apple’s comparison
This is how I imagined the devices would eventual coalesce but it happened much sooner than I imagined. That makes picking the right model a bit more difficult. The mini is 300 g lighter and almost imperceptibly thinner. While 300 g is noticeable, it’s not significant. That means it’s all about the screen size.
My main uses of my iPad 3:
Of all of these activities, iThoughts, reading and sketching are better on a larger screen. Surprisingly, writing is easier on a Mini because I have ape-hands and can thumb type easier on a Mini.
The real conflict is that at the high end there is only about a 10% difference in price between a Mini and Air iPad. The decision, for me, comes down to only screen size. I suspect I’ll choose the iPad Mini and get better at zooming in and out with iThoughts HD.
Interestingly, the Mini probably makes a less ridiculous camera.