iPad mini 5 review: when portability matters most [Video]

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From the surface, the brand new iPad mini is nearly a carbon copy of the iPad mini 4, however it’s sporting some severe upgrades underneath the hood. As you’ve in all probability heard, the 5th-generation iPad mini is mainly an iPad Air 3, simply in a way more compact form-factor.

Certainly, the iPad mini 5 is a robust pill that may virtually slot in your pocket, however the measurement, or lack thereof, may be each a present and a curse relying in your wants. Watch our hands-on iPad mini 5 assessment video for the small print.

iPad mini 5 review: when portability matters most [Video] 1
iPad mini 5 review: when portability matters most [Video] 1

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iPad mini 5 review: when portability matters most [Video] 1
iPad mini 5 review: when portability matters most [Video] 1

It’s a smaller, barely much less succesful, iPad Air 3

In contrast to early iPad mini iterations, the smallest pill in Apple’s lineup is now not its most cost-effective mannequin. The $399 iPad mini 5 offers Apple an iPad that sits simply above the entry-level $329 iPad mannequin so far as worth is anxious, so it’s not like Apple determined to provide it merely to cater to the low-end of the market.

It’s the iPad mini’s diminutive form-factor that makes it such an interesting machine. Apple should know that the small footprint strikes the gross sales needle sufficient for it to justify a refresh.

iPad mini 5 video assessment

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Should you haven’t watched our iPad Air 3 review, I extremely suggest that you simply achieve this, as a result of, as you’ll see, most of what’s acknowledged there additionally applies to this iPad mini 5 assessment. That mentioned, there are variations between the 2.

Launched concurrently the brand new iPad Air 3, the iPad mini 5 shares practically all the options of its bigger sibling. Because of this the iPad mini 5 is simply as highly effective because the iPad Air Three from a efficiency perspective. In reality, each tablets share the identical A12 Bionic chip with Neural Engine, the identical quantity of RAM (3GB), the identical cameras, and similar show expertise.

Identical to the current iPad Air refresh, the iPad mini positive aspects Apple Pencil help for the very first time. Meaning you should utilize your iPad mini to take notes, or discover your creative facet, with pressure-sensitivity, and tilt help in tow.

Should you aren’t artistically inclined, however nonetheless want a stylus to take notes, the iPad mini 5 contains help for the Logitech Crayon. Logitech’s stylus is a extra price-friendly providing that options Apple Pencil expertise, however omits help for pressure-sensitivity that digital artists need.


  • Apple A12 chip with Neural Engine
  • 3GB RAM
  • 64GB ($399) 256GB ($549)
  • Wi-Fi and Mobile choice
  • 7.9-inch Show
  • 2048×1536 decision
  • P3 vast colour show
  • Laminated digitizer
  • Antireflective coating
  • Appropriate with first-gen Apple Pencil
  • Twin stereo audio system
  • 8-megapixel f/2.Four rear digicam
  • 7-megapixel f/2.2 FaceTime HD digicam
  • Contact ID
  • 3.5mm headphone connection
  • Lightning connector
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • eSIM help
  • A number of further Gigabit-class LTE bands
  • Silver, area grey, and gold colour choices
  • $399 starting price

The 2019 iPad mini options the very same dimensions as its predecessor, together with a 7.9-inch show with a 2048×1536 decision. With its new refreshed internals, it’s simply barely heavier than the earlier technology launch.

Exterior of measurement, one of many greatest variations between the mini 5 and the Air Three is Sensible Connector help. The Air Three incorporates a Sensible Connector, which permits it to interface with Apple’s Sensible Keyboard, whereas the iPad mini 5 doesn’t. This isn’t shocking, given how extremely cramped and impractical such a tiny keyboard can be.

Aside from the dearth of Sensible Keyboard help, the mini 5 is basically an iPad Air Three that’s been inconspicuously stuffed contained in the physique of an iPad mini. Efficiency-wise, that’s an excellent factor, however there are downsides to reusing such a design.

Notable iPad mini 5 upgrades

Identical to the iPad Air 3, the iPad mini 5 receives a considerable show improve. The display screen now helps P3 vast colour and incorporates a brighter backlight (500 nits vs 450 nits). Coupled with the laminated show and improved backlight, the iPad mini 5 incorporates a robust antireflective coating with simply 1.8% reflectivity.

An extra commonality between the iPad Air Three and the iPad mini 5 is its help for True Tone, the show expertise that robotically adjusts the display screen’s white stability to match the ambient mild in your surrounding atmosphere. Such adjustments make the iPad mini expertise all that extra pleasant for searching pictures, studying the online and studying books, even with mild from the solar or different sources hitting your show.

The A12 Bionic chip with Neural Engine, the identical chip discovered within the current-generation iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR, runs circles across the A8 chip discovered within the iPad mini 4. Just like the iPad Air 3, the iPad mini 5 additionally advantages from a further gigabyte of RAM for a complete of 3GB.

The rear going through 8-megapixel f/2.Four digicam seems to be the identical {hardware} discovered within the iPad mini Four and iPad Air 2, however the FaceTime HD digicam receives a considerable improve from 1.2-megapixels to a way more succesful 7-megapixels. And as a substitute of 720p HD video recording, the brand new FaceTime HD digicam can shoot in 1080p and advantages from the inclusion of the Retina Flash.

iPad mini benefits and drawbacks

The iPad mini’s greatest asset — its measurement — additionally occurs to be its greatest downside. The 7.9-inch show means there’s a restricted quantity of display screen actual property to run iPad apps. With Apple Pencil help, digital artists would possibly fireplace up Procreate to create an illustration, however you’ll be at a right away canvas measurement drawback when in comparison with bigger tablets just like the 9.7-inch iPad, 10.5-inch iPad Air 3, 11-inch iPad Professional, or the monstrosity that’s the 12.9-inch iPad Professional.

Different apps, like Safari or Tweetbot, will show much less on display screen content material without delay, requiring the consumer to scroll with the intention to see what customers on bigger iPads can see with out scrolling. And though Break up View, Slide Over, and Image-in-Image multitasking are all supported on the iPad mini 5, you’ll in all probability need to use such options sparingly, as they eat up valuable display screen actual property.

An outdated design

The massive bezels on the iPad mini 5 don’t do the small display screen any favors. The iPad mini 5 appears outdated because of the massive bezels, particularly the brow and chin space. The design is extra akin to the bottom $329 iPad than the iPad Air Three on this regard.

The bezels on the 2018 iPad are additionally massive, however its bigger show helps to stability out the look. The iPad mini 5, with its tiny 7.9-inch show, doesn’t have that luxurious and form of feels prefer it’s drowning in bezels.

Small form-factor advantages

However having such a diminutive form-factor additionally has its benefits. The obvious benefit is that the iPad mini is moveable, simply becoming in areas — luggage, purses, pockets?! — the place bigger tablets could not.

One other space the place the mini’s measurement works to its benefit is with typing. Daring Fireball’s John Gruber astutely famous how easy the iPad mini was to type on while holding it in your hand, and I wholeheartedly agree. It makes the iPad mini’s lack of Sensible Keyboard help much less of an element than initially imagined.

It’s been some time since I’ve frequently used an iPad mini, however after a couple of minutes of experiencing the Fifth-gen mannequin, I used to be capable of recall how a lot I loved with the ability to rapidly knock out sentences and paragraphs because of its miniature chassis.

Coming from a bigger machine just like the 11-inch iPad Professional, the place it’s frustratingly troublesome to sort whereas holding the pill, it’s a refreshing expertise. Handheld typing is, certainly, one of many key ways in which the mini form-factor is healthier than some other iPad on sale as we speak.

9to5Mac’s take

Till Apple decides to make a folding pill, the most effective you are able to do from a portability standpoint is the iPad mini. If portability is a very powerful think about your eyes, then there’s nothing extra that must be mentioned, the iPad mini 5 is the pill for you. Nonetheless, if portability isn’t on the high of your listing, then you definitely’ll must resolve between the 9.7-inch iPad and the iPad Air 3. In that case, the deciding issue ought to boil right down to efficiency versus worth.

Though the design of the iPad mini 5 appears a bit outdated in 2019, it’s nonetheless by far the most effective small form-factor pill available on the market. And now with the added efficiency of the A12 Bionic chip, it’s not simply moveable — it’s a transportable powerhouse.

What are your ideas on the iPad mini 5? Do you favor its smaller measurement over Apple’s different pill choices? Pontificate down under within the feedback along with your opinion.


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