Apple iPad mini review
iPad mini review • from £399
- PROS – Huge speed boost from the A12 processor • Stunning Retina Display • Headphone port • Good size for those wanting a smaller tablet
- CONS • Huge bezels make it feel dated • Apple Pencil feature only supports older stylus
The popular iPad mini is back and it’s lost none of its original charm.
This miniature tablet hasn’t had a reboot since 2015 but that’s all changed with this fully refreshed hardware arriving in stores next week.
Ahead of its official launch, express.co.uk has taken delivery of the new mini and it’s reminded us just how perfectly formed this tablet this.
From the minute you remove it from the box you’ll be treated to a device that fits neatly in your hand with it offering the perfect form factor for those that want something bigger than a phone but not as cumbersome as a full-sized tablet.
The Apple Pencil is fully compatible with the new tablet
With Apple having not upgraded its iPad mini for so long it was starting to lack the power that’s needed to run many of the latest memory-hungry apps.
But this update brings the mini back up to speed with it now featuring Apple’s blisteringly fast A12 Bionic processor.
These brains are some of the quickest in the business and help this device to blaze through tasks without ever breaking a sweat.
Everything you do on this latest iPad feels silky smooth and whether it’s browsing the web or playing a blockbuster gaming you’re unlikely to face a single stutter.
In fact, Apple is boasting that the new mini now offers three times the performance and nine times faster graphics versus the A8 chip in iPad mini 4.
This latest chip should also help boost battery life with a claimed 10-hours of usage available on a single charge.
We’re still testing battery times and will update this article when we have our full results.
Along with that much better speed, there’s also a big improvement to the 7.9-inch screen which now features True Tone and Retina technology.
This not only means its brighter and sharper than before but the display now also adapts to your surroundings and dynamically adjusts the white balance based on the light around you.
This makes it much easier on your eyes and works especially well when using the tablet at night.
Like of all of Apple’s recent Retina displays the new iPad mini is excellent and there’s no question that it offers a visual treat that’s very hard to match.
Content bursts from the display with things appearing packed full of detail and colour without being over the top.
And there’s one more benefit of this new screen as it’s now compatible with the Apple Pencil which means you can write, draw and scribble on the screen using this digital stylus.
Apple’s interactive accessory works like a dream on the mini although it is worth noting that it’s only compatible with the original Pencil and not the new stylus found with the more expensive iPad Pro.
The iPad’s size makes it perfect to hold in one hand
The iPad mini now has Apple Pencil support
That newer stylus is much improved with the inclusion of wireless charging and the ability to stick it to the side of the tablet via magnets.
Sadly, the original Apple Pencil doesn’t feature that technology and you’ll find yourself having to plug it in the Lightning port to boost its battery which has never been a popular design decision.
There’s also nowhere to store it when it’s not in use and, with a price of £89, it’s a pretty costly thing to lose.
Other extras that you’ll find on this latest tablet include a very fast Touch ID fingerprint scanner – which unlocks the screen in a flash – plus there’s a headphone port and improved front and rear facing camera which offer a variety of photography and video options including Slow Motion, Time-Lapse, and Panaorama.
Apple has also made its latest device better connected with faster Wi-Fi speeds and the ability to use the clever eSIM which now comes tucked inside some models.
Apple’s new iPad mini features a faster processor and improved display
The iPad mini’s offers a well built and premium design
This allows you can get online anywhere in the world via a connection to the local mobile networks.
iPads with Apple’s in-built SIM option do cost more but it’s worth the price if you travel a lot and want to keep in touch with the digital world.
Express.co.uk has accessed this iPad connectivity in numerous countries and it works especially well in the USA where you can get online at a fraction of the cost of a UK SIM.
Having used the iPad mini for a number of days there’s plenty to like about Apple’s latest update but we do have some minor niggles.
Although the new Retina screen is a huge improvement over its predecessor we can’t help wondering why Apple hasn’t reduced the bezels that wrap around it.
Even cutting them down by a small amount would have improved the overall appearance and given users more space to enjoy this stunning display.
All of the new iPhones and latest iPad Pro now include edge-to-edge display technology and we are just a little baffled why the iPad mini has been left with such chunky black bars around the screen.
The 7.9-inch screen now features Retina technology
It’s also a bit of shame that the rear camera can’t shoot images with Apple’s impressive Portrait mode.
Although this has never been an option on any iPad, including the Pro models, the mini feels like the perfect product to introduce it on as its smaller size makes it more appealing to use as a camera.
When the US firm unveiled its new iPhone XR late last year it included a single camera that uses some clever tricks to add DSLR-style depth of field to images.
You won’t find that on the iPad mini which is a shame.
Finally, there’s the price as at £399 this tablet isn’t cheap.
If you want to boost the memory from 64GB to 256GB and add cellular data then expect to pay £669 which is an expensive purchase.
This cost is highlighted further by the fact you can buy the standard 9.7-inch iPad for £319 – £80 cheaper than the smaller mini.
Admittedly, the entry-level iPad isn’t as powerful but it’s worth taking a trip to an Apple Store to see which device suits you best before hitting the purchase button.
Apple iPad mini 2019 review
The iPad mini is making a very welcome return and we think fans of this device will love what they see.
This smaller tablet now comes packed with more power and extra features which offer a huge improvement over its predecessor.
The A12 processor is so fast that this mini machine packs a huge punch and there’s nothing that it can’t handle.
Being able to use the Apple Pencil is also a nice addition and the stunning 7.9-inch screen is a joy to watch.
There’s very little not to like about the refreshed mini and it’s perfect for those who want a tablet experience in a smaller form factor.
If all our wishes had come true then we would have loved to see Apple reduce the bezels and make it a little cheaper.
But if you’ve been waiting patiently for this update then you won’t be disappointed as the new mini is pretty mighty.