The holiday season is just around the corner, and there are all kinds of new devices coming out just in time for it. Google has announced (and is about to launch in the U.S.) the Nexus 6 smartphone and Nexus 9 tablet. Samsung has released their new Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy Note Edge. Sony has launched their latest device; Xperia Z3. Apple, following up the release of the iPhone 6 and a 6 Plus, have launched the brand new iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3. With all of these devices coming out, it’s important to know what’s revolutionary and what’s drab. Today, we’ll talk about the iPad Mini 3. Is it a total re-imagining of the tablet, or just a re-hash of last year’s model?
All in all, the iPad Mini 3 looks and feels like last year’s model. This is not necessarily a complaint. All of Apple’s products are sleek, modern, and have that premium feel to them, so it is by no means a complaint that the iPad Mini 3 essentially looks the same as it did last year. This year, though, the iPad Mini 3 comes in the luxurious gold that is available on the 5s, 6 and 6 Plus, and now the iPad Air 2. The gold tint certainly adds more premium to an already premium device, and it doesn’t disappoint.
What is disappointing, however, is the lack of improvement on the display. Like the iPhone 6, the iPad Mini 3 retains the same screen as last year. It looks great, for sure, but when compared to other devices, one can certainly see the difference in resolution. It’s tough to be excited about a tablet when many phones on the market sport a better resolution.
The iPad Mini 3 also comes with the Touch ID home button that was introduced on the iPhone 5s. It’s great, but not overly exciting. It is something I (and most consumers, I would assume) expect from newer Apple products.
This is where the iPad Mini 3 disappoints. It is one thing for the tablet to look the same as last year’s model. However, I don’t think it is acceptable to actually be the exact same. Internally, there is nothing different from the iPad Mini 3 to the iPad Mini 2. They both have the same camera resolution and the same processor, so they are going to function in the exact same way. It’s not a big deal at the moment, per se, but it does mean that the technology will become obsolete sooner. Instead of replacing your iPad Mini 3 in four years, you will probably have to replace it in two. The iPad Mini 3 does run iOS 8, though, which is expected. This does mean you will be able to use Apple Pay on the device. You won’t be able to make in-store purchases with it, however, because it does not support the necessary technology. You will be able to use Apple Pay for in-app purchases though.
The iPad Mini 3 is a bit of a disappointment. It is still a premium tablet in cost ($399 in the U.S.), but to pay a steep price for it means buying outdated technology. Apple Pay and the Touch ID are nice additions, and the gold coloring is certainly a bonus, but it does not make up for what is essentially the same tablet at a higher price point. If you are looking for a bargain Apple product, you may be better off simply buying the iPad Mini 2 and saving some money.