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Subject: [iOS] Board Gaming experience iPad v. iPad mini rss

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David Travis
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I am in the market for a new iPad and I am considering the new mini. I like the smaller size for many reasons, not to mention the $100 cheaper than the new air, but I was wondering what people think about the mini's size and how it affects the board gaming experience.

How do things like Ticket to Ride or Ascension or Pandemic fit on the iPad mini's screen? I am having a hard time visualizing the difference.

Do the games automatically work or are there sizing issues like there are from touch to iPad?

Is there something else I'm not thinking of?

Thanks!
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I hope you get an answer to this question because I'm in the same boat.

In a similar vein: does the screen size make a huge difference in terms of reading rules PDFs and other game aids?
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Matt Epp
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I've been gaming on my mini for 4 months now, ticket to ride is no problem, ascencion can be a little hard to read until you get used to what the cards are, however all you have to do is tap a card once and it enlarges, so that's very easy as well.

Haven't tried Pandemic.

Most good games have zoom in features for the map and/or cards to mitigate issues like these. I'm very happy with the mini and the money I saved. It's half the weight of it's big brother and way more portable. It even fits in some larger cargo-pant sized pockets.
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David Etherton
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Keep in mind the (retina) mini is $100 cheaper, but the screen *is* smaller, and it's only a quarter of a pound lighter than the "full" iPad Air.

Honestly I'm a bit cheesed at Apple -- this is the first time in the iPad line at least they've raised the price while improving it. For example, the iPad 3 added Retina without affecting the base price. iPad 4 added a much better CPU/GPU without affecting the base price.

For some reason, the Mini is different (probably because they improved two things at once, I guess).

-Dave
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Julio

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I own both and always will prefer to play on the bigger one, the retina display is great and you have abetted look of everything. The mini is too small for my tastes. Yes you can still play fine there but if money is not an issue I'd go for the big one with retina display.
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David McCartney
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I own an iPad 2, a mini, and work provides a 4s. They each have their purposes. I prefer reading ebooks on the mini, and because I have it with me as a result of that most of my games get played there too. Haven't had an issue yet with clarity or legibility.

The iPad 2 is used more for movies/tv, PDF that have a preset size, and comics. I also consider it more disposable at this point so if I'm going to use something around water or in a riskier situation (conference, etc.), I usually use the 2.

The 4s is the least enjoyable for gaming, but in a pinch I can play Ascension, Carc, or Stone Age w/o issue. It isn't something I like to do long term though.
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E D
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I have no issue with ascension on my phone nor my wife with smaller 4s ... Can't see why bigger ipad mini would have issues.
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Max Maloney
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I notice most people peg the resolution as the main drawback of the mini, but the new one has increased resolution. So it is now down to raw screen area.
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Repeating Kits
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I'm an ipad 2 kinda guy. Wife has ipad mini.

I prefer full size tablet. Cos I get frustrated reading PDFs—rule, newsletters etc on the small screen.

Regarding app sizing, there's no issue. The mini is essentially almost exactly the same as a ipad 2, but smaller. The mini retina is exactly the same as a Air but smaller. Pixels, processors are AFAIK the same. No "sizing" issue like iPhone apps on ipad.

It's a bit like book vs large print book. Or using a photocopier to shrink a A4 paper to A5. Smaller is more convenient. Content is the same. If you can't see, then bring it closer. Or zoom in if the game allows it.

I have perfect eyesight, but I just prefer not to zoom in and out of PDFs. I don't think the higher dpi on the new mini retina will sway me.
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David Travis
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I really need to just go try them out, I suppose. I remember when the iPad came out I was thinking "It's just a big Touch, I don't see any need for that," and then was impressed by how much better it made things. So who knows.

Thanks for your input everyone!
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David Hoffman
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I have yet to play a game on the mini that suffered from the experience.

Is the screen smaller? Sure. But unless you've got side-to-side iPads going, you're not going to care.

That said, the bigger iPad IS nice. There are a couple games you can play by setting the iPad down on the table, as opposed to playing pass-and-play, and the Air is going to be better for that then the Mini.

But: if you want to save a hundred dollars and you'd like something a little more portable, I don't think you'll regret choosing the Mini over the Air.
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Gene Moore
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I have a Mini, and there has only been one game so far that I've had an issue with: Puerto Rico. To select a good, you have to tap on that good's tiny icon, which is in a cluster of tiny icons. Too often, the game registers the wrong selection.

Otherwise, everything has been fine with gaming on the Mini. I've had no trouble with the display resolution; games still look great on the smaller screen.
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Dave, or "Phineas" or "Tolstoy" or,
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Or, instead of choosing between a new iPad or new mini, you could look at Apple's refurb store. You could get a refurb full size iPad for about what you would pay for a brand new mini. Most of them are only a year from their original release date. And they come with the same warranty starting from date of purchase.
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Jeff Davis
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etherton wrote:

Honestly I'm a bit cheesed at Apple -- this is the first time in the iPad line at least they've raised the price while improving it. For example, the iPad 3 added Retina without affecting the base price. iPad 4 added a much better CPU/GPU without affecting the base price.


It's the difficulty of manufacturing a screen with that pixel density. It's the same resolution as the 10" iPad but a good bit smaller. It'll be in high demand/low supply for a while.
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Patrick B.
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I plan on buying the iPad Air when it's released. I'm picking it over the Mini for a few reasons. I mainly plan on using it for iOS games, and the larger screen size for this the better. I also want something easier than my phone and cheaper than a laptop to browse the internet and watch videos on while on the couch. I also don't think portability will be a problem, the thing only weighs a pound and it will easily fit in any backpack or bag. I don't need something small enough to fit in a pocket, that's what my phone is for.

However, if you want to save $100 and don't mind zooming in once in awhile especially on newer games, then the iPad Mini is not a bad choice. It's been brought up to the same power and resolution as the iPad Air. Two major improvements that the Mini really needed, and more than justify the price increase.
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David Etherton
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Now that I think about it, the iPad Mini was basically a shrunk-down iPad 2 (which was only $400), and NOT a shrunk-down iPad 4 (which was $500 and had a significantly better CPU/GPU and screen). So now that it *is* a shrunk-down iPad Air (5), the cost increase relative to the original makes more sense.

Now both the original and Retina iPad Mini's are $100 less than their respective equivalents.

-Dave
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Guilly Berto
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I have never played Ascension, but TTR works fine. Having used both a full size iPad 1, which I sold, and now a mini I have these observations to share:

1. I mainly use my iPad in landscape mode. The mini works better for this because my thumbs can easily reach all parts of the screen without difficulty. It is much easier to type in landscape mode with your thumbs and in certain apps this can also make a huge difference.

2. The font on many websites and other various apps are smaller on the mini. They are simply shrunken down to fit the smaller screen. The effect of this is that if you are looking at the same game on the full size and mini you will have the same amount of data on the screen, just at a smaller size. If you have good eyesight, as I do, this won't matter at all. If not you can zoom almost always, but if you consider this an inconvenience the larger iPad may be the better choice. The only time I ever find myself zooming is if a cluster or links or icons are close together and I need a precision click, but this also could apply to the full size as well.

3. Holding the device for any period of time is much more comfortable with the mini. The weight seems like such a small amount, but it can make a difference.

4. The mini is obviously easier to tote around, but if you normally carry a pack or messenger bag this doesn't matter at all. I carry a laptop around everyday so this is a negligible consideration for me. If you don't carry a pack the mini is better because it can fit in a large pocket.

In the end, the games will play great on either device. If you are really on the fence go to the store and check them out. That 100 bucks would buy you 15 or 20 really good games.
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Meeple Steeple
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I would buy the regular ipad, no question. Especially since they've made it lighter (easier to hold for the duration of a game)
 
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Guilly Berto
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I just played my first two games of Pandemic on the mini. I can say the experience is great. The entire map fits on the screen and thanks to the design you can easily see how many viruses are on each city. The city names are quite small, but I have no trouble making them out. It is also easy to zoom in and out if you need to, but I never really found it necessary.
 
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Repeating Kits
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I would generally ask someone to think several times before buying a brand new iPad 2 or iPad mini (the non-retina one) today.

While both are amazing devices (as Louis CK would say), one would need a really good reason to pay full retail price for either device today. If one has a slight budget, the refurb store, 2nd hand store, hand-me-down, or going without (no iPad or different brand) may be options.
 
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Matthew Chua
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This has been the exact question that has been plaguing my thoughts ever since the new iPads were released. I'm glad I'm not the only one whose sleep has been affected :p

I really have my eye set on the iPad mini since I already own the iPad2 which is still generally serviceable. I don't think I'll really be bothered gaming solo on the mini but a lot of my game purchases are intended for round-the-table gaming with family and friends. And it be nice to get those games some retina loveeeee... So while I've been trying to convince myself otherwise, I have no doubt the iPad Air will win that argument hands-down.

The only doubt it whether a 13" iPad pro is on the horizon. Cause in that case, I would definitely go for the mini and get the pro subsequently (though I can imagine how my wallet's gonna bleed) which will a dream come through for round-the-table iOS gaming.

Question is how much face-to-face gaming I actually do on the iPad.....intent differs drastically from reality unfortunately. For day-to-day reading and surfing, it seems the mini is a nice fit.

Bleh...even reading my own post I can see I'll have more sleepless nights to come
 
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Clyde W
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I'm about to upgrade from iPad3 to iPad Air.
 
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Brian Williams
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For me there is no question - the larger screen is a must. Failing eyesight means that I can have difficulty reading text on my iPad 3. It would be impossible on the mini. Gaming on my 7" Galaxy Tab is not a pleasant experience.

I intend to buy an iPad Air as soon as I can.

 
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Russell Collingham
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I had to make this (pleasant) decision myself recently and went for the Ipad Air. The difference to my iPad 2 in terms of dimensions, weight and screen quality are huge. It's much smaller than the iPad 2 but with the same screen dimensions so I'm glad I didn't go for the new retina mini as I think it would have been too small for my needs/eyes.
 
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I used an iPad1 from EU release to the release of the mini. I've now used my mini for roughly a year, and I really like it. However now with the long overdue size reductions of the bigger one, the Air does look tempting. It's pretty much up to your personal preference, I don't think there's any real issues with either, the Air or the retina mini. Both will work the games just fine and the size and weight differences aren't as drastic.
 
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