Apple iPad Battle: Mini 4 vs. Mini 3
Apple iPad Battle: Mini 4 vs. Mini 3

Apple iPad Battle: Mini 4 vs. Mini 3

Here’s how the two tablets perform against each other, as the new version is said to be faster, lighter, and slimmer

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Apple Inc. launched the iPad mini 4 on September 9 at its “Hey Siri” event. The latest tablet is a refreshed version of the iPad mini 3. The device is said to be better than its predecessor with some key enhancements in certain areas. The tablet has been upgraded as lighter, faster, and thinner.

During the event, the iPad Pro was presented as “the biggest news in iPad since iPad.” So, the iPad mini 4 was not the center of attention on stage, as it was not given any over-the-top design enhancements in comparison to its previous version.

On the other hand, the iPad mini 3 was launched last year. It is a pretty decent tablet that came out with a gold color option and a fingerprint sensor feature to distinguish itself from the iPad mini 2.

The two tablets iPad mini 4 and 3 are similar with some specs, but a few highlighted differences might help consumers decide whether to upgrade to the latest version or not. Here’s a how the two models stack up against each other.


Apple usually updates displays of its devices, but that does not seem to be the case here. The iPad mini 4 sports a 7.9 inch LCD Retina display along with 2048 x 1536 pixels resolution, similar to the iPad mini 3. The latest iteration has the same Touch ID fingerprint sensor below the home button.

The upgrade in design was with the thickness. The new version is now thinner at 6.1mm from 7.5mm thick iPad mini 3. The resolution is not 4K quality but is still decent for a tablet to watch videos or play games.

The company was also able to make the tablet lighter from 331g to 299g.

Power and Performance

The Verge reported that the iPad mini 4 is very similar to the power and performance of the iPad Air 2. The iPad mini 4 is powered by an A8 chipset processor with 2GB of RAM, which is a huge upgrade from the A7 chip with 1 GB in iPad mini 3.

The new tablet also jumped from iOS 8 to 9. The real difference in performance can be felt through the new iteration being prepackaged with the iOS 9 along with new software updates ensured to provide better user experience. A user will have to download the iOS 9 and install it, if they have the iPad mini 3.

To refine the latest device by making it lighter and thinner, Apple had to move around some built-ins to make the upgrades better. The 7.9 inch latest tablet’s battery has 5,124 mAh, while the iPad mini 3 battery has 6,471 mAh. With that said, both tablets can survive a longer life of up to 10 hours.

Another upgrade to be noted is the 8 megapixel from 5 megapixel rear camera in the refreshed version. However, the 1.2 megapixel front camera is still the same for both devices.

Pricing and Availability

The entry level iPad mini 4 is priced at $399 that includes the Wi-Fi only-version, while the cellular plus Wi-Fi version costs $529. Both devices are available in the 16, 64, 128 GB models. The iPad mini 3 is priced at $400, while the cellular version of the iteration starts at $500.

Apple stopped selling the iPad mini 3, since the latest iteration was announced to become a replacement. If consumers wish to buy the older version, then they will have to contact third-party retailers.

The Verdict

The iPad mini 4 simply wins the match. It is the obvious winner as it is quicker, lighter, and slimmer. Considering the price, the models are almost the same with the entry-level Wi-Fi models, so consumers can make the smart choice and opt for the better version.


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