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iPad mini (2019) review

iPad mini (2019) overview

This wasn’t meant to occur. The iPad mini hadn’t been up to date since 2015 and was not noted within the chilly, costing greater than the bigger iPads that have been launched since. We thought Apple had left it for useless.

The introduction of the 2019 iPad mini was a shock – it’s barely totally different on first look and sure, these bezels positive look large after the final 4 years of client expertise working in direction of bezel-less shows. However I used to be pleasantly stunned by the iPad mini throughout testing, discovering that I picked it up far more usually than I do with a bigger iPad.

Utilizing units extra is usually a nasty factor, however this iPad lends itself to studying excess of it does scrolling by countless timelines. It is not an iPad for Instagram or Twitter. It’s, nonetheless, a fantastic e-reader, information app displayer or Netflix enabler.

In contrast to Apple’s different iPads, it isn’t striving to switch your laptop computer, however as an alternative quietly does some issues higher than one. In case you do not thoughts the ageing design, the smallest iPad may very well be a greater possibility for you than another.

Petit energy

Two issues make the 2019 iPad mini a fantastic iPad. One is its portability, and one is its sheer processing energy.

Sure, we all know that is principally the identical design as the primary iPad mini in 2012, however wait.

Ever for the reason that 12.9in iPad Professional was launched in 2015, Apple has targeting bigger pill shows. With 10.2in, 10.5in and even 10.9in iPads becoming a member of the usual 9.7in measurement, we have been led to consider larger is healthier. 

It is no shock given Apple, and everybody else, has performed the identical with their smartphones. However after I began utilizing the iPad mini it jogged my memory of the pure comfort of a small pill – one thing across the measurement of a ebook (and positively thinner) that you would be able to carry about unnoticed. It is solely 300g and shows most content material higher than your cellphone can.

With these telephones getting larger and higher, you will have discovered your pill use declining. However I discovered the iPad mini was irresistible due to its measurement and I used it in conferences, at house and on the bus excess of the bigger iPads that I’ve reviewed through the years. It measures 203.2 x 134.eight x 6.1mm, thinner than an iPhone XS.

On the underside are two stereo audio system which sound clear and have sufficient bass for a pill this small however will get coated up naturally when held, notably for panorama video games.

The iPad mini may be very highly effective due to the A12 Bionic chip. This is identical processor discovered within the iPhone XS and XR, and means the iPad mini is the most affordable Apple with this quick silicon inside. Regardless of the A14 Bionic having now been launched, this stays a particularly succesful chipset. 

By this level, there’s not even a lot level in evaluating it to the A8 processor within the iPad mini four that this new mannequin replaces – this one is so, so significantly better. On the time of launch, it’s virtually probably the most highly effective cellular chip cash can purchase.

However in case you actually should know, right here you go:

Geekbench clocks the CPU pace and GFXBench measures the GPU – the latter exhibits the iPad Professional’s 120Hz body charges at play, however be aware how far more highly effective the 2019 iPad mini is than 2018’s bigger, common iPad.

We additionally in contrast it to the iPad Air introduced on the identical day because the iPad mini. The mini is great worth for the efficiency you’re getting right here. The most costly model (256GB with 4G) prices £669/US$679 – £100/US$120 cheaper than the most affordable iPad Professional.

Apple’s declare of 10 hours of battery life when ‘browsing the online on Wi-Fi, watching video or listening to music proved correct in our testing, although as anticipated I discovered it drained a lot sooner when on 4G or video calling. I needed to cost it about as soon as each three days, however I additionally personally by no means let my tech get down into the purple.


Contained in the iPad mini’s body, the A12 drives a ferociously quick working system. iOS 12 undergoes extra scrutiny when it is on an iPad Professional and stated to have the ability to exchange a laptop computer, however when it is operating on the smallest iPad it is undoubtedly the perfect software program on a casual-use pill.

iOS 12 on the iPad mini: (l-r) widget display screen, house display screen, settings app

I’ve reviewed many client Android tablets – none of them are preferable to the comfort and polish of an iPad.

On the iPad mini apps open and shut immediately and video games movement unhindered, even high-end demanding titles like Fortnite. It is by far the perfect software program expertise on a pill this small and is as easy as 2018’s flagship iPhone XS, which value round £600/US$600 extra for the bottom mannequin. 

I have not been capable of take a look at iPadOS on the 2019 iPad Mini however I would count on the affect on consumer expertise to be just like Apple’s bigger slates.The necessity to launch devoted iPad software program wasn’t such a urgent concern on this smaller kind issue, but it surely’s good to have. What’s extra, iPads often get software program updates for greater than 5 years, so you do not have to fret in regards to the 2019 iPad Mini not being supported anytime quickly. 

The LCD show is well-calibrated and laminated so it doesn’t have a niche between the floor and the display screen like the most affordable 9.7in iPad does. You additionally get True Tone for the primary time on an iPad mini, so the display screen (optionally) adjusts the white stability relying on the ambient gentle.

And whereas it helps the first-generation Apple Pencil and the requisite apps, the display screen doesn’t have Apple’s 120Hz ProMotion tech discovered within the iPad Professional fashions that makes scrolling even smoother.

Apple has admitted that it took ages to replace the iPad mini as a result of it assumed pill shopping for would veer in direction of bigger shows. Within the tech world we knew that the ageing 2015 of the iPad mini four wasn’t the perfect purchase, however that didn’t deter individuals from nonetheless shopping for it due to the dimensions.

There’s clearly nonetheless demand for a 7.9in show. Seems most individuals don’t care in regards to the giant bezels.

You additionally get second-gen Contact ID which is excellently responsive. I didn’t miss Face ID all that a lot, although that could be totally different in the case of an iPhone. The issues I do on the iPad mini don’t actually require it.

Center floor

What I discovered greater than something (and this won’t apply to you) is that the iPad mini managed to take me away from my cellphone and convey me down from my pc. It sits within the center in measurement, but in addition in use case. For this reason I prefer it a lot.

What I imply is that I didn’t really feel compelled to load up Twitter or Instagram on it due to the dimensions. As an alternative I discovered myself opening the New York Instances, Apple Information or Feedly apps to learn the morning headlines on the bus on a show that has room to breathe.

The New York Instances app displaying the identical entrance web page on iPhone XR (left) and iPad mini (proper)

Whereas doing this I pinged over to Pocket Casts and acquired a podcast on the go (sure, there’s a headphone jack!). Positive, I may have performed this stuff on a cellphone however with out the fixed message notifications rolling in and a bigger 16:9 show to take pleasure in newspaper model content material on, I used to be personally happy.

My use of the iPad mini took me away from the psychological burn out of social media and WhatsApp and supplied me with a tool that allow me learn and didn’t distract.

This was accentuated much more by the 4G overview unit Apple supplied me with (the most affordable iPad mini is Wi-Fi solely). I put my second SIM in it and it meant that I may watch YouTube on the bus, test private emails and analysis a vacation – once more, issues that all of us do on our telephones however is less complicated on a bigger display screen, however not a display screen so giant that I felt like an fool for utilizing it on the quantity 30.

Pencil me in

One factor I personally didn’t use a lot was the Apple Pencil, which the 2019 iPad mini now helps. Apple’s suggestion that the iPad mini would make a fantastic digital pocket book is cute, and chances are you’ll be somebody who would genuinely use the pill as a strategy to again up handwritten notes, and the benefit of cloud-stored notes is clear.

Apple would, in fact, such as you to personal a number of iPads and flit between sizes as process dictates, however then once more with two Apple Pencils that assist totally different fashions, that is consumer hostile. In case you wished the iPad mini and a 2018 iPad Professional, you’d want each fashions of Pencil.

And positive, the second-generation Apple Pencil is ‘higher’ however the first-gen Pencil is totally advantageous, and paired with the bottom iPad mini it’s the most affordable means to make use of one. I stay sceptical that many artists will go for the iPad mini over the iPad Professional with its higher show and bigger digital canvas, however there could be a distinct segment. It in all probability didn’t value a lot for Apple so as to add the assist to the mini and eke out a number of extra Pencil purchases from curious prospects.

And sure, the iPad mini has a digicam on the again. In case you actually need to be that individual holding it at head top to take an image of the Eiffel Tower then I’ll strive to not decide you. The 8Mp lens is nowhere close to pretty much as good as one thing on any current iPhone, but it surely’ll do.

Higher used is the front-facing 7Mp 1080p FaceTime digicam. I used the iPad mini for a good few video calls and it was a fantastic expertise. However any shut inspection on nonetheless photographs from both digicam exhibits these usually are not nice high quality images, with a variety of noise when zoomed in.

Worth and worth for cash

The 2019 iPad mini begins on the similar value as its historic predecessor at £399/US$399. This value will get you 64GB (256GB can also be accessible) and represents a wonderful improve and value contemplating the substantial inside upgrades.

It is also laborious to determine direct rivals to the 7.9in iPad mini. From a display screen measurement standpoint, the Amazon Hearth HD eight Plus is a detailed rival, but begins simply £109.99/US$109.99 (you will must pay an additional £10/US$10 for a model with out “particular provides”)

Nonethless, that is an enormous value distinction, and whether or not or not it is advisable to spend (comparatively) larger on the iPad mini relies on what you want a pill for – Amazon’s Hearth is principally a portal to Amazon companies like Prime Video, and would not allow you to use Google companies. 

However, whereas there are dearer and extra succesful iPads, the iPad mini can do a hell of much more than you may suppose.


The iPad mini lives on in a really succesful package deal that features the blazingly quick A12 chip. It is the most affordable with Apple’s newest processor.

The ageing design is a draw back, however this iPad design is an authorized traditional and we don’t suppose it’ll put many individuals off – it doesn’t us.

With a headphone jack, excellent efficiency, Pencil assist and unrivalled portability within the pill market, the iPad mini is a surprisingly glorious improve on a product we thought was about to bow out.

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