Apple products are beautifully designed and solidly functional - the iPad is no different and is becoming the new tool for architects at all levels. They are showing up in job meetings, in site trailers, and even in the middle of construction sites. iPads pack the punch of a laptop, but they are lighter and have a camera. The device is so convenient that students and professionals are carrying their portfolios with them to every meeting. We think tablet computers are the future for architects and will be more important than cell phones since the size allows for better image viewing.
The common perception among tech writers is that the iPad mini (starting at $329) is the better option because it is lighter and easier to use. However, if you are buying an iPad for an architect, you may want to consider the full sized iPad. This is especially true if your architect will be sketching, red-marking drawings, or simply reviewing architectural drawings on the device. While carrying the larger iPad in the field will be more cumbersome than the iPad Mini, we suggest the larger version because drawings are easier to read. In addition, if he or she will be using the device to take notes during job meetings, the keyboard is larger on the full sized iPad, which makes typing quicker and easier.
This is not to say that the iPad Mini should be avoided. The Mini is a great device and we think it is perfect for most people. If your architect is not going to be sketching, reviewing drawings, or taking notes during meetings, then we definitely would lean toward the more comfortable iPad Mini. The Mini does all the things that the full sized version does so there aren't any drawbacks other than having more surface area for drawings.