Review: Apple iPad mini 4 | iLounge

Review

Review: Apple iPad mini 4

B+
Recommended

Company: Apple

Model: iPad mini 4

Price: $399-$729

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Phil Dzikiy

Pros: The thinner, lighter design is even easier to hold than past iPad minis. A more powerful processor boots up the iPad and opens apps faster. Rear iSight camera has been upgraded to 8MP, with slo-mo video recording and burst mode shooting. Colors are sharper and more accurate in updated display. Wi-Fi is noticeably faster. Speakers are louder and better than before. Battery recharges faster. Only iPad mini that supports iOS 9’s new Split View.

Cons: Still often feels like a step down from iPad Air 2. No 3D Touch display. 16GB capacity will be too small for most users. 1.2 MP iPad FaceTime camera feels outdated. The design has been tweaked enough that old iPad mini cases won’t fit. Smaller battery meets Apple’s estimates, but doesn’t quite measure up to iPad mini 2 test results. The mini has a questionable role in current Apple lineup without any standout feature.

Apple’s iPad mini 4 ($399-$729) occupies a strange place in the company’s expanding lineup. While the company’s most recent event introduced the super-sized iPad Pro, a new Apple TV, and new iPhones with 3D Touch tech, Apple spent roughly 30 seconds of its keynote on the new iPad mini 4. Not even Apple could get excited about the new mini. Caught in between the iPhones and the larger iPads, it’s tough to see exactly who the iPad mini 4 appeals to, other than users who specifically seek out the device’s form.

That being said, the iPad mini 4 still represents a significant upgrade within the smaller iPad lineup. Last year, the company’s iPad mini 3 offered one notable new feature — Touch ID. Other than that, the iPad mini 3 was pretty much just the iPad mini 2 with a higher price tag. It was so underwhelming that it was the rare Apple device to only earn our limited recommendation.

Prices for the new iPad mini remain the same as for the prior generation — as the now-current model, iPad mini 4 is $399 (16GB), $499 (64GB), or $599 (128GB) for Wi-Fi editions, and $529 (16GB), $629 (64GB), and $729 (128GB) for the Wi-Fi + Cellular versions of the device.

On the following pages, we’ll put Apple’s newest iPad mini through the paces, taking a closer look at the tweaked body, the new camera, the battery, the processor, the cellular speeds, and more. And we’ll try to answer the question: why get an iPad mini in 2015?

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Editors' Note: iLounge only reviews products in "final" form, but many companies now change their offerings - sometimes several times - after our reviews have been published. This iLounge article provides more information on this practice, known as revving.

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