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CNET First Look
iPad Mini 3 in-depth: last year's specs get another goWe loved the iPad Mini in Retina guise last year, but this year hardly anything has changed, making it a harder sell.
[MUSIC] Last year's iPad Mini with retina display was one of our favorite tablets in 2013 so we had high expectations for what was to come this year. Well, this is it, it's the new iPad Mini 3 and it's a good thing we liked last year's model so much because. It's basically unchanged in 2014. Probably the same 7.9 inch retina display that's 2048 by 1536 resolution. It's bright and beautiful in IPS and it works great at all viewing angles. Just like before, as you'd expect. It's got the same thin design and rounded edges that we saw before which you can now see on the iPhone 6. It's thin and light and feels really good in the hand, but with the Air 2 now clocking in at just 6.1 millimeters thick, it doesn't feel quite so thin as it did last year. Performance comes from the A7 chip, just as it did last year, and just like last year, most of the benchmarks that we've run are coming up with the same score as we saw then. That was great performance last year. This year though not quite so great especially compared to the new A8X chip that's found in the Air 2. That's definitely improving better better performance. And while this thing will still run your games perfectly well, we're worried about upgrades in a couple years down the road. Battery life is just as god as before, and exceeding Apple's hit on estimates should be no problem at all. We were easily able to get a full day of use. In the new Mini 3. So, if all's the same, what is new? Well, Touch ID is the big thing. This let's you unlock the iPad and make Apple Pay purchases with just your fingerprint. It's also got the new Apple sim if you choose to get the cellular model, which means you can activate on any carrier you like on one sim. And, if you like, you can also get it in gold, which is the new color for the Mini this year. Sixteen gigabytes will set you back 399 for the base model. Sixty-four gigabytes is going to be $499. One hundred and twenty-eight gigabytes is $599. If you like the cellular model with LTE you're going to be spending $130 more for each configuration. That's the same as last year. The mini two however, is now available for 299 for the 16 gigabyte base model. Or $349 for the 32 gigabyte model. The Mini 3 is still a great tablet, but with last year's iPad Mini now $100 more affordable, that's definitely the smarter buy. Unless you really need it in gold. [MUSIC]