Air vs. Retina Mini

I’m looking at purchasing a new iPad to replace my iPad 2. Looking at the options available I can tell you the following – it will be:

  • silver and white
  • 16GB
  • wifi only

What I can’t say for a certainty is whether it will be an Air or a Retina Mini. And it all comes down to screen size. Will I be comfortable reading sheet music on a Mini? Will I be comfortable marking up a PDF on a Mini? I want to say yes, because I like the size and weight better, but reviewers – such as John Gruber – say:

if you use your iPad for things where bigger is better β€” watching video, reading comic books or PDFs or print-derived magazine apps (where you’re better off with a screen that is closer in size to that of the printed page), or for on-screen touch typing β€” well, you probably want the bigger display of the iPad Air.

Watching video? Only once in a while. Comic books? Nope. PDFs? Possibly, and if so, I’d be marking them up with GoodReader or iAnnotate. Print-derived magazine apps? Nope. On-screen touch typing? Probably not. So, PDFs (magazines, books, and sheet music) would be my best reasons for an Air. Anyway, John finishes with a probably. So, nothing’s cleared up.

Some forum discussions say that the original Mini was fine for reading PDFs, but it wasn’t made clear whether it was good for marking them up. I’m leaning toward the Mini, but I don’t want to regret it when it comes to reading and marking PDFs.