Usually, Apple sticks to its design style, adjusting only the dimensions of its new products, and most of them resemble each other. Aluminum is Apple’s favorite material and it’s used to make the premium cases for its iPhones and iPads. However, the tablets have a simpler back, with not strips or other aesthetic additions and the iPad Mini 4 has a minimalistic look, featuring curved edges and rounded corners. It reminds us of the iPad Air 2, but in a smaller version. Apple unveiled it during its 9 September event, but the representatives haven’t paid too much attention to it, being busy bragging about the new iPhone 6S/6S Plus and the iPad Pro tablet.
The fourth generation of iPad mini isn’t sophisticated on the outside, it doesn’t come with extra buttons or other big changes. It’s only 1.4mm (18 percent) thinner than the previous tablet, measuring 6.1mm. It’s also 3.2mm taller (2013mm) and 0.1mm wider (134.8mm), but this slight change which affected the dimensions hasn’t have an impact on the other accessories. However, the old case which protected your iPad Mini 3 won’t be compatible with the new model, so you’ll need to buy a new one, but at this moment, there are a few offers, but Apple will release more options.
And since we’re analyzing the design, we must add that the iPad Mini 4 has round iPad Air 2 like the iPad Air 2 and the iPad Pro and the position of the microphone has been repositioned and another mic has been added to the side and it sits above the volume rockers. Also, the volume buttons have been revamped and now they are similar to those of the iPad Air 2. Another needed change was made to the speaker grille, but it’s not that visible. It seems that the new model is a lot lighter, as the WiFi model weights 299 grams, with 32grams less than the predecessor, while the 3G/LTE model weights 304 grams, with 37 grams less than the previous tablet.
The interesting part is that the WiFi antenna arrays are now split on the WiFi version, so they are no longer positioned at the base, but one of them sits on top, next to the camera, while the other was placed at the bottom, near the speaker.
The iPad Mini 4 has the same display as its predecessor – a LED-backlit IPS LCD (Retina) screen sized at 7.9-inch, which supports 1536 x 2048 pixels at 324 ppi and it’s protected by a scratch-resistant glass. Unfortunately, the 3D Force technology isn’t available for this tablet.
Hardware and OS
The iPad Mini 4 isn’t as powerful as the iPad Pro, because it didn’t receive the latest A9 processor, but the previous A8 SoC, which was developed for the iPhone 6/6 Plus smartphones. However, it has a slightly higher clock speed of 1.5GHz instead of 1.4GHz and it’s paired with 2GB of RAM. The iPad Mini 3 was powered by an Apple A7 dual core Cyclone which was running at 1.3GHz, and the Ram capacity was limited to 1GB.
You’ll need to wait until the iOS 9 will be officially released, because only then you’ll enjoy the overall experience, the new features and the enhancements that will come along with the new operating system. More good news! The iOS 9 takes up only 1.6GB of space, being reduced from 4.6GB, so it shouldn’t be a problem if you’ll opt for the variant with a lower internal memory (16GB). But, because the device isn’t equipped with a microSD card slot, you’ll be tempted to get one of the two variants with capacities of 64GB or 128GB.
One of the new features which will e included to iOS 9 is the Split View mode, which won’t be supported by the older iPad Mini 3, so this is one of the reasons why you’ll want to get the latest model.
The iPad Mini 3 came with a 5MP rear camera which lacks LED flash, and this feature hasn’t been added to the iPad Mini 4 either. The only change is related to the resolution, which was increased to 8MP, but the front facing camera kept its resolution of 1.2MP.
The iPad Mini 3 was powered by a double-cell battery with a capacity of 6470 mAh (24.3 Wh), which offered 10 hours of multimedia use. It seems that Apple has reduced its capacity in order to fit it inside the slimmer body. Now, the iPad Mini 4 is powered by a single-cell battery of 5,124mAh (19.1Wh) and under normal use, it lasts around nine hours.
The iPad Mini 4 has the same launch price as its predecessor. You’ll pay $399 on the WiFi model with 16GB of storage, while for each higher capacity variant you’ll pay $100 more. The price of the WiFi + Cellular model starts from $529.