Shawn Blanc on the iPad Air and mini keyboards:
I don’t do much typing, but when I do it’s usually via the landscape keyboard on the Air or else the portrait keyboard on the mini. Those are the two more comfortable options for each device. Long-form writing with the on-screen keyboard of the mini would stink. But, since I almost always use a bluetooth keyboard when doing long-form typing, it’s virtually a non-issue for me as to which device’s onscreen keyboard is better.
It’s a little odd that someone who writes for a living would start a sentence with “I don’t do much typing,” but I assume he means typing on the iPad. That aside, the keyboard issue is what has left me hesitant to switch to the iPad mini. I enjoy typing on my first-generation iPad — slow as it may be — and can’t imagine being able to comfortably do so on the smaller screened mini.
If I knew that I could easily write on the iPad mini it would be at the top of my Christmas list, but unfortunately I’m still unconvinced. This leaves me wanting the iPad Air because it’s much more suitable for my needs but it’s a little out of the price range that we set when building our Christmas budget this year.
I really enjoyed this bit from Shawn’s comparison of the two iPads:
So far, the iPad mini seems to be becoming my preferred iPad, but the iPad Air feels like my “real” iPad. Let me try to explain. For my needs, there’s nothing about the iPad mini that makes it less capable in any significant way — I can read and write just fine from the mini. However, the iPad mini has a “feeling” of being less capable simply because of its size.
The underlying theme of the article seems to be that writing on the iPad Air is much better than writing on the iPad mini. If that’s important to you than the iPad Air might be the better bet. However, Shawn explains the decision nicely with “Pick the one you think you want and you will acclimate to it just fine.”