Apple's decision to update the iPad mini for the first time since 2015 was surprising for a line of products that many had assumed to be dead. Conventional wisdom states that smaller tablets have disappeared as phone screens continue to grow in size. But I just came back from a two week trip to Europe, where I used the mini 2019 as my only computer, my only question is: why did Apple take so long? It is a wonderful product without parallel.
The iPad mini is the perfect vacation computer. My trip involved many low cost airline flights with strict baggage limits, so I traveled super light and always appreciated the minimal impact. I never regret carrying the iPad mini with me, even though I had a giant phone in my pocket.
I use an iPhone XS Max, which in turn has one of the biggest screens you can get in a phone, with 6.5 inches. That does not sound much smaller than the 7.9-inch iPad mini screen on paper, but the two devices are simply not comparable. The iPad mini has an aspect ratio of 4: 3, which makes it much wider in vertical orientation, and has approximately double the overall surface area. The applications use complete iPad designs, so they benefit from multiple columns and pop-up windows, while the iOS version of iPad gives you access to the appropriate multitasking when you need it.
What did I do? With the iPad mini? Well, the iPad stuff. It is the best iPad with difference to read electronic books, since you can hold it comfortably with one hand. It is the worst iPad to watch video, on the contrary, but it is still big enough to share it with Netflix with a partner in a way that an iPhone is not. It's much better than even the biggest phone to surf the web, catch up on news apps, search for restaurants on Google Maps and edit photos. It also has a much better battery.
I already knew that I liked the form factor of the iPad mini. I bought the original model in 2012 and used the hell until I sold it a year later, anticipating an update. But I never really made that update. Since then, all iPad mini came with commitments, particularly around the screen, which prevented me from making the purchase each time.
The first model, of course, had a low resolution screen. The iPad mini 2 added a Retina display, but the color reproduction of the panel was poor next to the iPad Air of the same year. The mini 3 was not an event of an update that did not add anything other than Touch ID. And while the mini 4 had a better color gamut and a laminated screen, its processor was outdated by the time it reached the shelves. I had already switched to iPad Air 2, more beautiful and powerful, and I forgot the mini until this year.
In 2019, I must admit that the iPad mini looks pretty retro The design has not changed at all beyond a new gold finish and some matte beveled edges, and the recent ones Beating slaughter trends of the mobile industry have not done him any favors. This is definitely one of those Apple products that were thrown together from a lot of existing parts.
The good news is that Apple chose some really cool parts. In particular, the new iPad mini screen is fantastic. It is one of those classic Apple LCD screens with impeccable colors and viewing angles; Apple also incorporated features such as pencil holder and true tone, the last of which I would not want to be without at this time. Because the resolution is the same as the normal 9.7-inch iPad that was reduced to 7.9 inches, this is actually the sharpest screen with more pixels in the iPad line, although you probably hold it closer to your eyes than the biggest models.
The A12 processor is another important inclusion. Most of the iPad minis have been shipped with chips with one year of expiration or more, and the iPad of 9.7 inches and $ 329 has been two generations behind, but the new mini A12 is the same as you will find in the current one. iPhone XS. Its performance is phenomenal, and I feel that there is enough space for the head in this small tablet to last another stretch of Apple for several years, forgetting that it exists.
I do not want to give Apple too much credit for the new iPad mini. Although the update was very late, it is clearly not a product that has had a lot of work put into it, and somehow, it is still uncomfortably in the lineup. Why do not you use the newer Apple Pencil, for example? Because that would have required a new chassis design. Why did not you get a new chassis design? Possibly because some commercial customers would want a direct replacement of their old fleet of iPad minis, but probably also because Apple really does not think it's worth the effort.
None of that changes the fact that the iPad mini 2019 is a fantastic product that I would recommend to anyone. You may have preferred a more ambitious redesign, of course, but what is here is hard to criticize. It is never less pleasant to use, it is the only good product in its category and it has earned a permanent position in my handbag.
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