For the past two months I've been using Apple's new iPad mini 4 and recently I went back to my previous iPad mini 2. Like many iPad mini fans I skipped the iPad mini 3 because all it offered over the iPad mini 2 was Touch ID without any performance boost.
The iPad mini 4 changed that, of course, bringing the iPad Air 2's guts and power to the mini form-factor (well, almost the mini form factor... it changed ever-so-slightly, but enough to render all previous cases unusable).
I wondered, though, does all this new speed – and RAM – matter for daily use? I moved to the iPad mini 4 right around the time iOS 9 was released and hadn’t had any long-term experience with iOS 9 on my previous model. With that I recently went back to the iPad mini 2 to compare the two models.
The first thing I noticed: yeah, I kinda like having Touch ID on all my devices. It's not a deal-killer on the iPad, though, because I use it a little differently than my iPhone.
The speed, though, wow. When moving from the mini 2 to the 4 I definitely noticed the speed, but I wasn't convinced that it truly mattered. Moving back, I'm now convinced. I need that speed!
Not only do I appreciate the speed and RAM for the general usability of the device, I have become hooked on a few features the hardware updates now allow. Chief among those is split view multitasking. Safari is handy to have open alongside many apps, especially Mail. Sometimes I even like having two browser windows open and active on my screen (note: this requires a second browser like Chrome, Firefox or Sidefari). Similarly, any chat app (Messages, Slack, Skype) also works well with split view multitasking. Giving this up was the hardest thing – née the deal-killer – in going back to my iPad mini 2/3.
Being able to simultaneously browse the web while processing email (or chatting, or just
about anything else) adds a new dimension to using the iPad mini 4
If, like me, you're sold on the iPad mini form-factor and have felt your previous model serves you well, you're not wrong. It will continue to do so for at least a bit longer. But the iPad mini 4 is a huge step up in both performance and capabilities and will bring a whole new dimension to your iPad experience. Until you have it you really won't think you need it, but go ahead and spoil yourself (or your special friend or loved one, it's holiday gifting season, after all!). You deserve it.