Apple’s iPad mini 3, which was unveiled at an event on 16 October 2014 alongside the iPad Air 2, is now almost 5 moths old and after using it for almost a month, we bring to you our review.
Although Apple has named it the 3rd generation of iPad Mini series, this tablet is actually identical to the iPad Mini 2, except the fact that there’s the TouchID sensor and a gold color variant.
Despite being a “xerox” copy of its younger sibling, is the iPad Mini 3 worth an upgrade? Well, all of your answers lie in this review!
Just like any other Apple product, the iPad Mini 3 too adorns a gorgeous, aluminum casing. There are three color options available to the customers – gold, silver and slate grey. The bevelled edges sport a premium look to the front and the metallic ring around the TouchID adds an elegant touch to it. However, it is almost similar to its predecessor.
The iPad mini 3 is 7.5mm thin ( the iPad Air 2 is an amazing 6.1mm), and weighs 331g for the WiFi only model or 341g for the WiFi + Cellular model.
Although after using it for a whole day, we didn’t see any need of having this tablet to be a bit thinner, however, after using it contsantly for about 20 minutes, the tablet seems to be a bit heavy. It is perfect in terms of weight and size for those who travel a lot.
The Touch ID works flawlessly on the iPad Mini 3. It’s easy to setup and can help save a lot of time. It can be used to unlock your iPad or other compatible apps as well as you can make purchases with it too.
In terms of display, there’s still the old 7.9-inch Retina display on the new iPad mini 3. It still flaunts the same resolution: 2048 x 1536 at 326 pixels per inch. That’s a better pixel density than the iPad Air 2, which has the same resolution but at 264 pixels per inch due to the bigger screen.
The colors are clearly blended with perfect hue and saturation. The display is a delight for the gamers out there and is perfect for watching high-definition content.
The iPad mini 3 has the exact same processor as the iPad mini 2. It misses out on the A8x chip and still adorns the A7 processor. The iPad mini 3 also features the M7 motion co-processor, which helps save power by taking on the task of measuring motion using the built-in accelerometer, gyroscope and compass.
In terms of benchmarks, it scored 1374 in single-core test and 2484 in multi-core test in GeekBench. It’s perfectly capable of running apps and games, and we found it to be suitably speedy for most tasks we threw at it. Also, despite not having the newer chip, it was able to handle graphic-intensive games easily, without any frame drop.
As far as connectivity is concerned, users get the dual-band 802.11n WiFi and MIMO (multiple-input multiple-output), with download speeds that can reach up to 300Mbps, along with 4G LTE capabilities. Aside from that, though, the iPad mini 3 does feature the usual Bluetooth 4.0 and GPS, and uses Apple’s Lightning connector to charge.
However, Apple has dropped the 32GB variant from the iPad mini 3 line up. And so, now users have the option to buy it in 16GB, 64GB or 128GB storage variant.
The cameras on the iPad mini 3 haven’t been upgraded, so it’s still the same rear-facing 5Mp iSight camera with f/2.4 aperture. There’s HDR mode along with the ability to shoot high-resolution Panorama (up to 43Mp) and time-lapse videos. Videos can be captured through the rear-facing camera in 1080p HD at 30fps. The front-facing FaceTime camera on the iPad mini 3 is 1.2Mp, and is capable of capturing 720p video.
Here are some shots that we captured-
After seeing them, it is clearly visible that the camera performance is good and produces the images in daylight fairly well. However, night shots carry a lot of noise.
The iPad Mini 3 offers a beast of a battery juice. After playing for about 3 hours, watching videos and surfing the net for almost 2 hours, we were able to last it for about one full day!
This is actually way more than what Apple advertises. So, if you are into serious gaming or want more out of your tablet, the iPad Mini 3 might be the perfect choice for you in terms of battery life.
Apple has shipped the iPad Mini 3 with iOS 8. There are currently over 675,000 iPad apps available in Apple’s App Store for you to download. The ecosystem works perfectly on the iPad Mini 3 and leaves nothing to be disappointed for.
You can enable gestures as well use iMovie or Garageband free of cost. The iPad mini 3 will also be compatible with iOS 9 when it comes out in 2015, and you’ll be able to upgrade to iOS 9 for free.
The iPad mini 3 not a bad tablet, however, there’s not much difference between the latter and its predecessor. The iPad mini 3 starts at Rs 28000 for the 16GB Wi-Fi version. With so little difference between the price of the iPad mini 3 and the iPad Mini 2, and having no change apart from Touch ID, we think that iPad Mini 2 is a better option for you, if you are not interested in a golden casing or a fingerprint sensor.
The iPad mini 3 is still great, even if it’s not a great deal. So, just think wisely!