iPad mini or iPad 4
I'm a techie that has yet to indulge in a tablet, my parents have been through a few iPad's and swear by them. I've been an iPhone user for a few years now and I am reasonably committed to the app space, but I cannot for the life of me decide between the mini or the updated retina display. I've gotten used to 'retina land' on my iPhone but I really like the mini's form factor. I'm not looking to get an LTE radio because I really don't think I would tote it around all that much -- that's what the iPhone is for, right? I just graduated from college and hook my still acceptable 4-year-old dell XPS laptop to a large monitor, so this iPad might serve as a desktop replacement if you will.
However, I foresee myself using the iPad primary for reading which makes me lean toward the mini, except for a few things: the A5 and the lack of retina display. Seems like I need to take a leap of faith...
I think every one is expecting an A5X or an A6 with Retina next year if you go mini either expect to sell it for a new one next year or plan to live with it for a year or two.
When it really comes down to its the thinner size and smaller screen that really make the mini appealing. I have both the 4th-gen and the Mini i have the say the mini has become the tablet that is grabbed and carried around.
if i had to give up one or the other and both were 64GB 4G i would keep the mini and give up the 4th-gen. its the size and portability of it that i feel set up apart from the larger one. i think if next year we see it bumped to Retina and A6 its going to be hands down the best iPad.
I used all of these tablets for reading and they were all adequate for the job, screen resolution wasn't an issue except when reading comics and my eyesight is such that unless I have a 10" screen I can't read some of the text on any device. The biggest issue for reading on all of these wasn't the screen resolution, but the screen brightness. Almost all of them don't hold up well in a brightly lit environment. The iPad 4 does better, but by far the biggest feature on an iPad I like better than anything else is the battery life. For everything else, Android rules.
However, if you want to experiment with a tablet that actually can replace a conventional computer, why not check out the tablets that run Windows 8? I would suggest waiting to see how Microsoft's Surface Tablet with Windows 8 Pro turns out, but there will be plenty of alternatives to it.
If the primary use for the tablet is reading, why not go with a dedicated ereader? You will save money, and have a better reading experience. With the money you save, you can buy more books! While I have no experience with this, I hear that some libraries lend ebooks. Should patronizing the local library appeal to you, you should probably consider an ereader that is supported by the library.
FWIW, a full size iPad is an OK ereader, and a great one if you throw in graphic novels, comic books and magazines. If those forms of media are relevant, an iPad 4 is far better than the mini would be due the retina display and for more closely matching the original form factor of those media types.