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iPad mini vs. iPad vs. Kindle Fire


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#1 Abram K-J

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 10:07 AM

Hi, folks--this is the best (and most trusted) group of folks online that I know to turn to about this. Helen, Rick, others--if you feel this is off-topic, I won't be offended. (Though it's a question largely driven by my Accordance use.)

 

My family is for the first time considering adding a tablet to our devices (i.e., one device=late 2008 MacBook). Finances are a consideration, so we don't have unlimited money to spend here. But I have a chance to get a Kindle Fire and possibly think about how our budget might stretch upwards a bit for an iPad mini or iPad.

 

Here's how I would use a tablet:

 

*As an e-reader--for pdfs. I use my Kindle Touch quite a bit, which makes the Kindle Fire appealing... both for Kindle books and also .pdfs of articles

*Email (I'm on Gmail, mostly)

*Blogging through Wordpress.com

*Music (I am on Spotify many hours a day)

*Occasional other media (movies, Netflix, TV), but not tons of it

*Taking notes

*Sermon prep

*Bible software for Greek and Hebrew reading

 

I know Accordance is only in iOS, but there's extra cost involved there, obviously. From reading through the forums, I see Accordance for Windows is in beta, but that Accordance for Android might be a ways off.

 

Given that I use Accordance regularly on my laptop (and still could--and could perhaps even export dictionary articles, etc. to a Fire), do folks have recommendations on pros and cons of each? I know there would be other Bible software options on a Fire (though none, probably, quite as good as Accordance).

Maybe more to the point of this forum--if we do find/spend the extra dough and go with iOS, it would be because of Accordance. In that case--iPad mini vs. iPad?


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#2 R. Mansfield

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 10:25 AM

I currently have an iPad Mini and an iPad 2. Although there is some overlap, I tend to use them differently.

 

The main thing I use my iPad mini for is reading. Accordance is fine on either size iPad. I enjoyed reading on the iPad mini so much because of its ease to take with me (in the winter, it fits inside a coat pocket) that I sold my E-Ink Kindle and E-Ink Nook. Since I can have the Kindle and Nook apps on the iPad, it's the best of all worlds.

 

I don't do a lot of typing on the iPad mini unless I have it attached to my Zagg mini 9 keyboard. By itself, the onscreen keyboard on the iPad mini is too small for a lot of typing--keep that in mind if you're wanting to do much email, blogging, taking notes, etc. I have no trouble typing on the glass of my iPad 2, and in fact, I've become pretty fast as well as accurate doing it. 

 

Reading 8.5 x 11 PDFs on the iPad mini can be a challenge at the end of the day if my eyes are tired. A regular-sized iPad is much better for this size document. The fact that the iPad mini does not have a retina display has not been an issue for me except when it comes to reading standard-sized documents that I can't adjust other than reverse-pinching to enlarge. 

 

Although I enjoy using my iPad mini, if you made me choose only one, I'd keep the regular-sized iPad because of the ability to type on it easily and the fact that standard-sized documents look better on it.

 

I did own the original Kindle Fire, but I sold it after having it a few weeks. If you're seriously considering one, the two different sizes as described above with the iPads should play a factor in your decision between the different Kindle Fire sizes. 

 

For me, having my Accordance library is a factor that keeps me with iOS because I use Accordance in places where I only take a tablet and not my laptop, such as church. However, if I were seriously considering an alternative to the iPad, I'd probably choose a Nexus tablet over the Kindle Fire for greater flexibility. Having a lot of titles on the Kindle platform should not be a factor because the Kindle app is on everything.


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#3 Julie Falling

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 10:49 AM

Abram — My husband and I both have iPad 3s (the first Retina version).  We don't own minis.  We both do a lot of reading on our iPads, and only a little typing, so I can't advise you there.  Because of Accordance, we wouldn't even consider a Kindle - any Kindle - though we know many people who have them and like them.  We take our iPads to church instead of Bibles and have been doing so for several years.  If you go with a Kindle and want to use it for Bibles & commentaries, you will have to duplicate resources you already own in Accordance.  If you buy very much, you will end up spending more with a Kindle Fire than with an iPad.

 

One thing to check out is purchasing a refurb iPad.  They have the same warranty, but you really do save some bucks.  Both full size and minis are available.  http://store.apple.c...ecialdeals/ipad.  I think $50-80 is still a lot of money!  Why spend it if you don't have to?


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#4 Abram K-J

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 11:03 AM

Thanks, both, for your comments! Julie, I'm with you: it's hard to imagine spending $200 for a tablet and not being able to access Accordance on it! However, it's also hard to imagine spending an *additional* $200 beyond that! :)

 

Refurbished is a great idea--I'd thought about that. Cosmetically, everything is brand new on a refurb, right?



Also, Julie--I asked Rick this in a PM, but can you weigh in on GB size for iPads? I.e., I have not a comprehensive Accordance library, but a fairly robust one... how much size might that take up? (I know this is highly dependent on user, resources owned, etc.)

 

And am I right that not all Accordance modules work on iOS? (I think I saw somewhere that the Atlas/Maps aren't yet supported?)


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#5 James Tucker

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 11:28 AM

From a researchers perspective:

 

iPad (but wait until this fall)

 

Reasons:

  1. Availability of Apps is more abundant on the iPad than other devices (general reason) (e.g., Kindle app is available on iPad, but many iPad apps are not available on Android, etc.)
  2. The culture of Apple is a culture that fuses together computer science with liberal arts (thus: it attempts to answer questions such as how can this hardware/software meet your needs as a Dead Sea Scrolls researcher). For me, it does by its stability and innovation (Apple) and amazing developers (assets). I like this fusion of horizons, for I primarily see my research as a linguist and Dead Sea Scrolls researcher one concerned about data management.
  3. Portability and data management. I will often times start a writing project off in Scrivener (a long rumored release of Scrivener for iPad is known). Grab my iPad and hit the stacks for several hours. What I do in the stacks with my iPad:
    1. Carry a portable keyboard with me to jot down notes
    2. Take camera shots of quotes I see that I don't want to lose track
    3. Search library catalogue (I tend to read bibliographies first)
    4. Take images of a short chapter to read later
    5. Sync data to Dropbox for later sitting at my desk with Scrivener open and start mapping an outline and research plan
  4. Size is an issue for me. I read a lot of journal articles. I was very tempted to sell iPad and get a mini, but with PDFs I like the extra space.
  5. But, I also use the extra space for other reasons, such as when I travel I will only bring my iPad with me (and a wireless full-size keyboard).
  6. I can even write programming code on my iPad, and later compile and debug at my desk on my Mac. This is very hand especially right now as I work on my Ancient Versional Database.
  7. I've become very disappointed with reading apps lately. The print page still holds an excellent feature: footnotes. Hypertexting to a footnote to me is tantamount to an endnote. A recent Bible Software iPad app has added in the programming to include footnotes at the bottom of the screen (if you download the book to your device). I've quit buying Kindle books. I may consider iBooks now with a desktop version coming in Mavericks. But, PDFs are my preferred format.
  8. Retina display is a dream to read on. I've not done a lot of reading on the iPad mini, but I enjoy reading from the iPad. It's even crisper than a print page, which makes me often times scan a book at the library and email it to myself (and I don't have to worry about carting all the information overseas when I travel).

There are many more reasons. Some above are more general and some more specific. I do wish my C-Pen would connect with my iPad through Bluetooth. If that would/could happen, I wouldn't have any complaints.

 

EDIT:

 

I forgot one more reason: We travel to Portland often to visit friends. It's nice to strap the iPad to the back of the head rest and turn on Sesame Street (in Hebrew of course) for our little guy to watch! 


Edited by J. T., 13 June 2013 - 11:35 AM.


#6 Greg Terry

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 11:34 AM

Just for a dissenting opinion (which I know will not be received well because every time I mention an Android version of Accordance critics appear and I am not referring to Accordance staff), I have a Kindle Fire HD and am very happy with it. I just could not see the extra bucks for an iOS product. I really have not missed Accordance because I don't do real heavy study on the Fire. I do reading and a few searches mostly and their are other solutions that I have found MORE than adequate for that. All the heavy lifting in study is done on my desktop.

If you have an Android phone (as I do - again the expense was a major factor), it is nice to have the same apps available on both. Also, you can clip web articles, documents even books and send them to your Kindle for free.  I do a lot of Puritan studies and have found this to extremely helpful with that as a lot Puritan writings are freely available.

 

I guess my only regret would be that I would have probably bought the Nexus 7 instead of the Fire. I am planning to update my tablet this fall and when I do the updated Nexus rumored to be out next month will likely be my choice for a tablet. 


Edited by Greg Terry, 13 June 2013 - 11:37 AM.

Peace!

Greg


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#7 Martin Smith

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 11:38 AM

Abram, I have an iPad (not mini), iPhone, and MBP. I bought the iPad for reading digital books and browsing, secondarily for Accordance. I find that with the iPad or iPhone I can look up and read Scripture, check underlying original language words, but beyond this access to the other valuable modules in Accordance takes more time than using my MBP. This may be my own experience based on working with Accordance for about eight years on a Mac and my preference for a two-handed keyboard and all the short-cut keys (I have yet to get a bluetooth keyboard for my iPad). For any serious multi-module access as part of sermon prep, I find I really must use a real keyboard and mouse since I use additional OS X apps to complement Accordance. 

 

I actually use Accordance more often on my iPhone than iPad (again, this is just me) since its always with me.

 

You’re right about the Atlas/Maps not yet functional on the iPad/iPhone (AFAIK). 

 

All that said, the iPad is very useful as a browsing/data consumption device (and, I think a bargain when you consider how many hours you will use it over the next few years). 


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#8 Abram K-J

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 01:45 PM

Dah! Okay... now to ask the fam about the iPad...:)

 

Thanks all for the very helpful remarks--Martin, your usage sounds like exactly how mine would go (minus the iPhone).


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#9 Julie Falling

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 02:17 PM

Abram — Accordance takes up 4.5 GB on my iPad.  I also have a fraction of our classical music collection on it (2.8 GB) - this is the stuff that's good for accompanying light reading.  Like Martin, I go to my laptop for any serious study, but I do like having the iPad to check things out on the go.  I love being able to find answers to the questions that pop into my head when they pop - if I have to wait, I may forget.  You have a younger brain, so you don't forget, right?  I only keep a little video on my iPad (stuff to watch while walking the treadmill) and rotate video regularly.  My apps, frankly, take up a lot of room.  I need to cut down a lot on what's there.  I've been trying to ruthlessly weed out what I don't use.  Exactly how many weather apps do I really need?  Exactly how much news do I need?  Will too much news pose a threat to my sanity?  (yes)

 

I do like the Kindle app, but for light reading and some not so light reading (theological issues stuff like Ravi Zacharias' Jesus Among Other Gods, Wallace et al. Reinventing Jesus . . .).  I don't buy anything that is likely to have charts or graphs in a Kindle book — they almost always mess it up.  The thing I really like about ebooks that are well-formatted is that they're cheaper, they don't take up any room on the shelves, I don't have to dust them, and I'll never have to move them.

 

Our first iPads were 16 GB.  When the Retina version came out, my husband sold his to a friend at church, and we passed mine on to our homeschooling daughter.  We moved up to 32 GB at that point.  (We justified the extra expenditure because the bit of Apple stock we own has made a profit.)  My husband uses his iPad to go through his photos and cull the ones he doesn't like (he's a really good amateur photographer).  I use the extra space for Accordance and other apps.  As I said, I really need to weed out some more.  You could definitely function well with a 16GB machine if used for Accordance + books + a little music + a video or two + some non-bulky apps.  The minute to add anything with a lot of images (magazine apps, your photos) you start running out of room.  Southern Living issues take up a lot of room.  (Yeah, I was born in CA, but my dad was born in Waynesville, NC - I should have been born in the South because I'm a Southern girl at heart.  We've been in TN, 2 hours from where my father was born, for 34+ years.)

 

Abram, I know the decision is tough.  When you have a young family and are in ministry, the funds are usually limited.  We're retired.  Not rolling in money, but enough to do a little splurging on the technology we love.  Pray.  Talk to your wife and kids.  My grandkids have truly benefited from the iPad we passed on to them.  At some point, we will probably pass on another one.  My SIL is in ministry and their funds are tight, too.


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#10 Abram K-J

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 02:36 PM

Good words, Julie. Yes, I am all for praying about big (and small) financial decisions. Thank you.


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#11 ukfraser

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Posted 14 June 2013 - 01:04 PM

Hi abram, I got an iPad 2 and it has virtually replaced my MBP and is within reach all the time. I read kindle, my computer manuals and lectionary files in acrobat reader. This is fine on android. I prefer iTunes and there is nothing comparable on android but I could put my music on my android, just didn't like the interface. Notes is comparable on the two. I got scorch for playing my Sibelius scores on my iPad but it is buggy so have switched to forScore, both of which are only available on iPad, but assume there will be a PDF music reader on android. For me the key is accordance as I do my study and original language on the iPad most of the time. Watching films and tv is the same on both. My colleague has a kindle fire and I have not seen anything that makes me feel I have made the wrong decision and I would like a larger storage for my iTunes but I have no plans to change. Either are ok for the Internet, I spend too much time on YouTube! The only thing I don't like about the iPad is the weight when walking or so typically I rely on my iPhone (replaced my android phone a year ago as like the way my apple products link together) but the screen size of the iPad is ok for most times and am prepared to compromise with the weight but end up putting it in my camera bag if I need to take it when walking. At least you are in the us, here in the UK we are charged $200 extra for the comparable model in the us! ;o(
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#12 Unix

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Posted 15 June 2013 - 01:17 PM

At Church I always use a laptop, I take notes. Currently the Bible I use the most is installed only Accordance (Revised English Bible), but in a few days from now it's in Logos. One of the Churches I attend had electricity near the chair where I sit.
I use Logos too and just bought a Barnes n' Noble NOOK HD 7" 8 GB to use in the public transport where I spend comparatively much time, as I've during this year found it hard to have time to sit at home at the computer.
There's a sale on the Nook right now, at the Barnes n' Noble site: http://www.barnesand.../nook/379003208 If You live in a country where it doesn't ship, try some reliable seller at ebay - and at checkout choose to pay in the currency of the seller and You'll save a few ¢.
I have two laptops. I'm putting more RAM (7.6 GB available instead of 1.6 GB available) in the newer 15.6" one, it has a somewhat slow (for a modern computer, my computer is little more than a year old) AMD CPU (budget model, AMD has good CPUs also) but good graphics card, and I'm considering to upgrade it within 1½ weeks from Windows 7 64-bit and Office 2010 Starter to Windows 8 and Word 2013 and the equivalent of Excel in LibreOffice. When upgrading I would replace the 300 GB HDD with a 128 GB SSD (the store over here doesn't sell any compatible 90 GB SSD or else that's what I would choose). My older 11.9" laptop has a 1.3 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, maximum RAM (4 GB), Windows 7 64-bit and LibreOffice 4.1, 83 GB when NTFS formatted SSD plus a 250 GB FAT32 formatted external HDD plus a 19" 1366*768 pixel external monitor and an ergonomic keyboard: http://www.trulyergonomic.com :

For me, having my Accordance library is a factor that keeps me with iOS because I use Accordance in places where I only take a tablet and not my laptop, such as church.



#13 ukfraser

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Posted 16 June 2013 - 08:59 AM

Abram, just wanted to share this with you. This morning I was preaching and included Luke 8:2 and after the service got talking to one of the congregation about Mary Magdalena and Mary, sister of Martha. I had my iPad with me and so we could quickly look at biblical references, dictionaries, commentaries etc in my accordance and kindle library.

I think from previous posts you take your MBP to church, but would you really want to invest in an android tablet where you don't have access to your existing accordance material you have invested in? I found having the tablet a great tool this morning as it was so easy to find and share the content and it doesn't have the limitations of trying to share on a laptop.

It was interesting that the discussion was much more immediate and followed all kinds of paths than previously where we have both had to go away and look up other material and references and the tablet didn't get in the way as others got involved in the discussion as it was convenient to handle and pass round and read over a coffee.

I think I may have made another iPad and accordance convert in the process! ;o)

Edited by ukfraser, 16 June 2013 - 09:17 AM.

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#14 Abram K-J

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Posted 16 June 2013 - 09:07 AM

Good words, ukfraser! No, I don't take my MBP to church, but great insight about the Accordance library I've built up.

 

To all: my wife and kids are very gracious/generous--I'll be getting an iPad mini in a few days!


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#15 JonathanHuber

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Posted 16 June 2013 - 09:13 AM

I think you'll be very happy with it. The mini is a great device.


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#16 twbeining

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 02:44 PM

I may be a little late for this but I have an iPad mini. It is a great device for me to dig into studies on the go (not while driving). If I go somewhere I know I am going to be waiting (Dr's office is a good example) I write a few items I wanted to look into on a post-note and stick it to the mini and when I get where I'm going I can do a bit of reading on certain topics.

 

Before I bought mine I fought with myself for a while over the regular iPad or the mini. I chose the mini and have no regrets. I got the 32gig wifi version and it seems plenty good storage wise. I have Accordance Essentials and have most of it on the mini and I have tons of space to spare.

 

Blessings,

Tim


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