iPad mini 3

The iPad mini 3 with Touch ID was announced on October 16.

At a Glance

Apple updated the Retina iPad mini on October 16, adding a Touch ID fingerprint sensor and a new gold color option.

Features

  • 7.9-inch Retina display
  • A7 processor
  • iOS 8
  • Same form factor
  • Touch ID
  • Gold option
  • 16-128 GB capacities
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What's New

Apple unveiled the second-generation Retina iPad mini (aka the iPad mini 3) alongside the iPad Air 2, but unlike its larger sibling, the iPad mini saw no updates aside from the addition of a Touch ID fingerprint sensor and a gold color option.

ipadmini1

Except for the Touch ID fingerprint sensor, the iPad mini 3 has the same form factor as its predecessor, and it also continues to offer the A7 chip introduced with the first Retina iPad mini. With Touch ID support, however, the iPad mini 3 can be used to make online Apple Pay purchases in participating apps.

Many reviews have suggested that because the iPad mini 3 only gained Touch ID support and a gold color option without any other upgrades, the new tablet is not worth purchasing over the iPad mini 2. iPad mini 3 pricing starts at $399 while iPad mini 2 pricing starts at $299, so customers who purchase the mini 3 are paying a $100 premium just for the new fingerprint sensor.

In More Detail

Because the only improvement to the iPad mini 3 was the addition of a Touch ID fingerprint sensor, it continues to offer all of the same features of the original Retina iPad mini (now called the iPad mini 2).

The iPad mini 3 has the same measurements as the iPad mini 2, with a thickness of 7.2mm and a weight of 0.73 to 0.75 pounds (Wi-Fi only vs. Cellular). It features both the A7 chip and the M7 motion coprocessor that were originally introduced in the iPhone 5s, along with a 2048 x 1536 Retina screen.

ipad_mini_3_hand

While the iPad mini 3 does have the fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating that comes standard on all Apple devices, it does not offer the special antireflective coating that was added to the iPad Air 2.

Camera

The iPad mini 3 has the same 5-megapixel f/2.4 aperture camera that was in the iPad mini 2, which supports 1080p video recording. iOS 8 updates bring features like improved panoramas, a timer mode, time-lapse video, and more. The iPad mini 3 does support Slo-mo video or burst mode photos like the iPad Air 2. It also continues to offer the same 1.2-megapixel FaceTime HD camera.

Wi-Fi and Cellular

The iPad mini 3 continues to offer 802.11n Wi-Fi, as it was not updated with 802.11ac support like the iPad Air 2. It also does not include support for LTE Advanced, offering the same LTE speeds as its predecessor.

Battery Life

Apple's iPad mini 3 offers up to 10 hours of battery life when surfing the web, watching video, or listening to music on Wi-Fi, or 9 hours of battery life when surfing the web using a cellular connection.

How to Buy

Apple began offering pre-orders for the iPad mini 3 in its online store on October 17, with retail availability coming on October 23. The iPad mini 3 is available in gold, silver, and space gray, with 16, 64, and 128GB storage sizes. The Wi-Fi only version is priced at $399/$499/$599 for 16/64/128GB, while the Wi-Fi + Cellular version is priced at $529/$629/$729 for 16/64/128GB.

Apple is continuing to sell the iPad mini 2 and the original iPad mini at discounted prices. The mini 2 is available in 16 and 32GB capacities for $299/$349 (Wi-Fi only) or $429/479 (Wi-Fi + Cellular). The 16GB original mini is available for $249 (Wi-Fi only) or $379 (Wi-Fi + Cellular).

iPad mini 3 Timeline

October2014
Roundup Last Updated
September2014