In 2012, life was simpler, phones were smaller, tablets were bigger, and the Apple iPad Mini was right in the middle.
Now, the last time Apple updated the iPad Mini was 2015 with the iPad Mini 4. The iPad Mini is back now in an exactly similarly sized form at a price that the iPad Mini for was but now it has a new processor and it supports the Apple Pencil.
Do you need it?
And where does this fit with all the other tablets, and iPads, and phones, and other things that we already have?
There's an A12 processor, and 64 or 256 gigabytes of storage inside the new Mini.
Which starts at $399.
The same price as the older one.
It looks just like other minis you've known before.
There's a pretty big bezel.
There's touch ID.
There's a headphone jack.
But it adds support for Apple pencil meaning you can draw on it just like Apple's other iPads, provided you buy a pencil.
And not the new one that works with the new iPad pros.
The original one which you charge from the lightning jack like a spear.
The new Mini is fast and basically has the power of last year's iPhoneXS, XR or XS Max, it's a bit slower than the iPad Pro models, it's faster than the less expensive 9.7 inch iPad.
It's a cute size and it feels more like a sketch book, it feels far more portable.
It's the update to the mini, that would have been great to have two years ago.
I already travel with a lot of devices.
A Nintendo Switch, a Kindle, an iPad Pro, an iPhone.
Now, is the iPad Mini gonna replace a lot of those devices?
I mean, it could.
But it wouldn't necessarily for me.
What it is, is basically similar to what it was before.
It could be a hybrid device, it could be something that replaces one of those, or it could be a standing for getting a new phone.
Maybe it's a large iPod Touch.
But this design, well, it has a headphone jack, it has a lot of bezel And that means it's not really great for movie watching.
If it had a real edge to edge display, maybe it would be something I would find a little more appealing for a video.
It wouldn't be the model that I would pick, in fact the one that I would pick would be the iPad Air.
The new model that feels a lot like the 2017 iPad Pro, it supports smart connector keyboards, And for a $100 more feels more like a laptop stand in.
For you that might be different, Apple's got a lot of different screen to choose from.
MAybe a few too many and that's the challenge right now.
The iPad Mini feels like one more iteration in a tremendous line of products.
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