Review of the iPad mini 5: when portability is what is most important



From the outside, the new iPad mini is almost a true copy of the iPad mini 4, but it has serious upgrades under the hood. As you've probably heard, the 5th generation iPad mini is basically an iPad Air 3, in a much more compact format.

Indeed, the iPad mini 5 is a powerful tablet that can almost fit in your pocket, but its size, or lack thereof, can be both a gift and a curse, depending on your needs. Watch our convenient video on the iPad mini 5 for more details.

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It's a smaller iPad Air 3, slightly less capable

Unlike the first iterations for iPad mini, the smallest tablet in the Apple range is no longer its cheapest model. The $ 399 iPad mini 5 offers Apple an iPad that sits just above the $ 329 iPad entry model for the price; so it's not as if Apple has decided to produce it only to meet the needs of low end of the market.

It is the tiny form factor of the iPad mini that makes it an equally attractive device. Apple must know that the small footprint moves enough sales needle to justify a refresh.

IPad mini video review 5

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If you have not seen our review on the iPad Air 3, I highly recommend it because, as you will see, most of what is said also applies to this review of the iPad mini 5 That said, there are differences between the two.

Released at the same time as the new iPad Air 3, the iPad mini 5 presents almost all the features of its big brother. This means that the iPad mini 5 is as powerful as the iPad Air 3 in terms of performance. In fact, both tablets share the same A12 Bionic chip with Neural Engine, the same amount of RAM (3GB), the same cameras and the same display technology.

Just like the current refresh for iPad Air, the iPad mini benefits for the first time from the Apple Pencil Support. This means you can use your iPad mini to take notes, or explore your artistic side, with pressure sensitivity, and a tilting stand.

If you're not inclined to the artistic sense of the word, but still need a stylus to take notes, the iPad mini 5 supports Logitech Pencil support. The Logitech stylus is a more economical offering, incorporating Apple Pencil technology, but failing to support the pressure sensitivity desired by digital artists.

Characteristics

  • Apple A12 chip with Neural Engine
  • 3 GB of RAM
  • 64 GB ($ 399) 256 GB ($ 549)
  • Wi-Fi and cellular option
  • 7.9 inch screen
  • Resolution 2048 × 1536
  • Large color screen P3
  • Laminated digitizer
  • Anti-reflective coating
  • Compatible with first-generation Apple Pencil
  • Two stereo speakers
  • 8 megapixel rear camera f / 2.4
  • 7 megapixel FaceTime HD camera f / 2.2
  • Touch ID
  • 3.5mm headphone connection
  • Lightning connector
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • eSIM support
  • Multiple additional Gigabit class LTE tapes
  • Silver color options, gray space and gold
  • $ 399 starting price

The iPad mini 2019 has exactly the same dimensions as its predecessor, including a 7.9-inch screen with a resolution of 2048 × 1536. With its new internal refreshed, it is slightly heavier than the previous version.

Outside of size, one of the biggest differences between the Mini 5 and the Air 3 is the Smart Connector holder. The Air 3 has a smart connector that allows it to interface with the smart keyboard of Apple, unlike the iPad mini 5. This is not surprising given the incredible and impractical use of such a small keyboard.

Apart from the lack of support for Smart Keyboard, the mini 5 is essentially an iPad Air 3 inserted discretely into the body of an iPad mini. From the performance point of view, it's a very good thing, but the reuse of such a concept has some disadvantages.

Notable iPad mini 5 upgrades

Just like the iPad Air 3, the iPad mini 5 boasts a significant upgrade to its display. The screen now supports wide color P3 and has a brighter backlight (500 nits vs. 450 nits). Combined with the laminated display and enhanced backlight, the iPad mini 5 boasts a powerful anti-reflective coating with a reflectivity of only 1.8%.

An additional commonality between the iPad Air 3 and the iPad mini 5 is the support for True Tone, the display technology that automatically adjusts the white balance of the screen in depending on the ambient light of your environment. These changes make the iPad mini experience all the more enjoyable for browsing photos, reading on the web and reading books, even with sunlight or other sources hitting your screen.

The A12 Bionic chip with Neural Engine, identical to that of the XS, XS Max and XR iPhone from the current generation, bypasses the A8 chip of the iPad mini 4. Like the iPad Air 3, the I & # 39; iPad mini 5 also boasts an extra gigabyte of RAM for a total of 3 GB.

The f / 2.4 8-megapixel camera facing the back appears to be identical to the iPad mini 4 and iPad Air 2, but the FaceTime HD camera receives a significant upgrade from 1.2 megapixels to a 7-megapixel camera much more powerful. And instead of recording 720p HD video, the new FaceTime HD camera can shoot in 1080p and benefits from the inclusion of the Retina flash.

iPad mini advantages and disadvantages

The main asset of the iPad mini – its size – is also its main problem. The 7.9-inch display means that the number of screens to run applications for iPad is limited. With Apple Pencil support, digital artists can launch Procreate to create an illustration, but you'll immediately be at a disadvantage compared to the size of the canvas compared to larger tablets like the 9.7-inch iPad, the 10.5-inch iPad Air 3, the 11-inch iPad Pro, or the monstrosity of the iPad Pro 12.9-inch.

Other applications, such as Safari or Tweetbot, will simultaneously display less content on the screen, which will require the user to scroll the screen to see what the big iPad users can see without scrolling the screen. And while Split View, Slide Over, and Picture-in-Picture multitasking are all supported on the iPad mini 5, you'll probably want to use these features sparingly because they take up valuable screen resources .

An obsolete design

The large hulls of the iPad mini 5 offer no favor to the small screen. The iPad mini 5 looks outdated because of the wide frames, especially the forehead and chin. The design looks more like the basic iPad at $ 329 than the iPad Air 3 in this regard.

The shells of the 2018 iPad are also big, but its larger screen helps to balance the look. The iPad mini 5, with its small screen of 7.9 inches, does not have this luxury and has the impression of drowning in glasses.

Small form factor benefits

But having such a form factor also has its advantages. The most obvious benefit is that the iPad mini is portable, slips easily into areas – bags, purses, pockets ?! – where the biggest tablets can not.

The seizure is another area in which the size of the mini works to its advantage. John Gruber of Daring Fireball cleverly noted the ease with which to tap the iPad mini while holding it in the hand, and I totally agree with him. The lack of support for Smart Keyboard by the iPad mini is less important than it was originally imagined.

It's been a long time since I do not regularly use a mini iPad, but after a few minutes of experience with the 5th generation model, I was able to remember how much I liked being able to remove quickly sentences and paragraphs thanks to its miniature frame. .

Coming from a larger device, like the 11-inch iPad Pro, where it's extremely difficult to tap the tablet while holding the tablet, it's a refreshing experience. The seizure freehand is indeed one of the main assets of the mini-form factor compared to any other iPad currently on sale.

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Until Apple decides to make a folding tablet, the best you can do in terms of portability is the iPad mini. If portability is the most important factor in your eyes, there is nothing more to say, the iPad mini 5 is the tablet for you. However, if portability is not at the top of the list, you'll need to choose between a 9.7-inch iPad and an iPad Air 3. In this case, the deciding factor should boil down to performance versus price.

Although the design of the iPad mini 5 seems a little outdated in 2019, it remains by far the best compact tablet on the market. And now, with the extra performance of the A12 Bionic chip, it's not just portable – it's a notebook power plant.

What are your thoughts on the iPad mini 5? Do you prefer its small size compared to other Apple tablets? Sound off down below in the comments with your opinion.


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