John Gruber has made his choice: Good as the new Air is, he prefers the small form of the Mini[¹] to the large form of the Air. He has been refining his thoughts, checking out battery life and charging times and dwelling on that gorgeous retina screen:
Is it worth upgrading from last year’s Mini? I usually don’t recommend year-over-year upgrades for iPhone and iPad users. If you can afford it, sure, they’re always better. But for most people, a two-year upgrade cycle is natural. You really can — and should — get two or three years of high-quality use out of an iOS product.
But this new retina Mini feels like a two-year upgrade over last year’s. There is no longer any compromise over display quality or CPU performance. All of the advantages of the original Mini remain — smaller size, lighter weight — and there are no drawbacks. When the full size iPad went retina, it was a two steps forward, one step back sort of upgrade: you got the beautiful retina display, but the device got noticeably thicker and heavier to accomodate the battery that was necessary to power all those pixels and maintain 10-hour battery life.
There is no drawback to the iPad Mini going retina. There is a negligible increase in weight, and even more negligible increase in thickness, but the differences are so slight I honestly don’t think they matter. The old and new Minis are so close in thickness that both fit perfectly in Apple’s new leather Smart Case (and the same polyurethane Smart Covers fit both as well).
[¹] Like John, I have decided not to play along with Apple’s fetish of using a lower-case M for the Mmini. We have an Air, not an air, so why a mini and not a Mini. A capital looks better and makes more sense grammatically.