Reviewing Apple’s New 5th Generation iPad Mini
The iPad Mini has a cult following.
People love its 7.9-inch
display, which is smaller than the standard iPad’s 9.7-inch
display. It’s popular with businesses too, from Southwest Airlines to
But, importantly, it hasn’t been updated in 3.5 years.
The new one isn’t just some minor upgrade with low cost parts.
It’s even more powerful than last year’s 10.5-inch
iPad Pro with a new A12 processor.
The same one that’s in Apple’s iPhone Xs and Xs Max.
It’s a beast in a form factor that’s about the size of a book.
I own the more expensive 11-inch iPad Pro but the iPad Mini is my new
favorite. It starts at $399 and has everything you need out of a tablet.
It’s perfect for gaming, reading the news, watching movies and now with
Apple Pencil support, even taking notes.
I already have a big screen on my iPhone Xs Max but the Apple Pencil
support on the iPad Mini allowed me to take notes while I was hanging out
on the couch or to doodle while I was watching TV.
Apple didn’t sacrifice here.
At this price you get a fully laminated display, which means there’s no
gap between the screen and the glass.
And you also get the headphone jack, which the iPad Pro doesn’t have.
It’s compact and it multitasks like more expensive iPads, allowing you to
run two apps side by side and a movie and picture in picture mode all at
once. And that’s something an iPhone can’t do.
And speaking of power, it also supports all of the augmented reality apps.
My wife and I had a lot of fun using an app called JigSpace, that shows an
interactive 3D image on top of the real world.
Given its tiny form factor, it was much easier to carry around with me
than my iPad Pro and my laptop.
But it offers much of the same functionality I use the iPad Pro for.
And finally battery life was pretty good.
Apple promises up to 10 hours.
I got about 6 hours of screen time but I was also downloading all sorts of
stuff when I was setting up the iPad.
Under the hood is great, but damn this thing looks old.
Apple didn’t update the design at all.
It’s still has the home button instead of Face I.D.
and it looks exactly like the iPad Mini that launched 3.5
Also, it doesn’t have full stereo speakers on the top and the bottom like
Apple’s iPad Pro does.
And the cameras are OK but not great.
I took a picture of my dog Mabel and it looked a little blurry.
You don’t get fancy features like portrait mode, which is only in the new iPad Pros.
Also, it’s a little confusing that this uses the older Apple Pencil
instead of the new one.
That means it’s still charges awkwardly in the lightning port instead of on
the side of the iPads, like on the new iPad Pros.
And speaking of charging, I wish Apple updated this to USB-C as well.
But I don’t have many other complaints.
I really like what you get for the price.
The iPad Mini is for people who want a smaller iPad and there are lots of
them, since Apple continued to sell the older one for 3.5 years without updating it.
If you just want an iPad, you should consider saving money and buying the
model. It’s a year old and not as powerful but costs only $329.
If you want better performance and a bigger screen consider the new iPad
Air, which is only $100 more than the iPad Mini.
I think everybody should at least consider the iPad Mini.
I think you’re going to like its size.
It offers a lot of features for the price.
Ultimately, it’s a near perfect update to the old iPad Mini, which is
really slow and stale compared to the current crop.
I love it and I think you will too.