Apple’s newest iPad mini 4 comes with a massive 7.9-inch IPS LCD display. It is powered by a 1.5GHz dual-core Apple A8 chip with 1GB of RAM. There is a choice to go for the 16/64/128GB internal storage with the device. The tablet comes with an 8MP rear-facing iSight camera, 1.2MP front-facing sensor, and the ability to record 1080p HD videos through the back camera. The non-removable 7340mAh Li-Po battery on the back provides up to 10 hours of use for the tablet. Upon availability, the iPad mini 4 runs iOS 9 with updated Siri, Touch ID, and Apple Pay. It is available in Silver, Gold, and Space Gray color options.
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Unlike the iPad mini 3 tablet, the newly-released iPad mini 4 brings a whole slew of new improvements.
The iPad mini 4 Hits the Virtual Shelves
Although Apple snubbed the mini 4 in its release, this has made it a somewhat unique debut. Unlike the typical release for a new product, this device is being offered online in September instead of November. Normally, October is the preferred month for new tablets to be unveiled before putting them on sale roughly a month later. In this case,the iPad mini 4 was available immediately online. In terms of price, this newest version retains the $399 price tag of its direct predecessor for the base model with 16GB of solid state storage. The iPad mini 3 will no longer be on the market. The iPad mini 2, though, will continue as the entry-level tablet in the series. It runs for an average of $270 at US online retailers.
The iPad mini 4 Gets Trimmer
Looking at it from the front, the iPad mini 4 seems like the same tablet as the iPad mini 3. There’s a 7.9 inch screen offering 2048 by 1536 pixel crispness. There’s also the familiar and highly useful Touch ID fingerprint reader just below the Home button. This piece of technology allows access to secure sites without the trouble of entering passwords and account numbers. It also makes it possible to skip past the need to type in mailing information when a purchase is made. When the iPad mini 4 is turned sideways, though, a sharp contrast emerges. This version has been whittled down to a mere 6.1 mm in thickness. That’s just a tad shy of only a quarter of an inch and constitutes an 18% reduction. This change has lightened the load of the new tablet down to 0.65 pounds or 299 grams. A polyurethane smart cover that both protects the tablet face and folds to create a stand is provided along with a complimentary silicone case. The most notable change here are the number of colors supplied for the case and cover. There are now ten, including lavender and stone.
Big Updates Lurk Inside The iPad mini 4
While the iPad mini 3 gained little in power over the iPad mini 2, this newest tablet has taken a big step forward with the use of the AMD A8 microprocessor. Compared to the previous 1.3 GHz A7 chip, this microprocessor, running at 1.49 GHz, the iPad mini 4 has 30% faster performance. Alongside the A8 with its 64-bit architecture that’s normally found in desktop computers, an M8 motion coprocessor handles the inputs from such built-in components as the gyroscope, GPS, compass, accelerometer, and barometer. With the M8, a 60% gain in graphics speed is achieved over the iPad mini 3. There are three options for storage. The base model comes with 16GB, but there are 64GB and 128GB models available. For each advance in storage size, an extra $100 is added to the price tag.
Major updates have also been made to the pair of cameras included with this tablet. While the front FaceTime HD camera has stayed at 1.2 megapixels, it’s undergone a few improvements. A larger aperture boosts light intake by 81%. It also utilizes bigger pixels for better operations in low light. This makes it perfect for the 720p video conferencing and selfies that is was meant for. The star attraction, though, is the back-facing iSight camera that’s jumped from 5 MP on the iPad mini 3 to 8 MP on this latest offering. This increase gives the newest iSight camera a native resolution of 3264 by 2448 pixels and a video resolution of 1080p. The camera comes equipped with smile and blink detection when photographing people. There’s also a burst setting that takes ten still images per second. With the slo-mo video setting, 120 frames per second are captured. Also, a time-lapse mode takes between 30 minutes and 30 hours of video and squeezes it down to a few startling seconds.
In addition, the iPad mini 4 sports a pair of high-sensitivity microphones with noise reduction capability. There’s a microphone on each side to go with each camera. When one camera is activated, its corresponding microphone goes into action.
To get things connected, this newest version boasts 802.11ac WiFi that doubles transmission speeds over its predecessor to 866 Mbps. For additional Internet coverage, there’s an optional LTE cellular capability that includes 20 bands at 150 Mbps. Of course, this addition boosts the price of the iPad mini 4 by about $130 and the weight by about 5 grams. Keeping all this going is a rechargeable battery with up to 10 hours of life.
iPad mini 4 Keeps Adding Apps
With the combination of the A8, M8, and 2GB RAM capabilities, the iPad mini 4 can smoothly make use of the mobile iOS9 operating system’s latest split view and picture within picture features. These features allow multiple apps to run simultaneously. Handoff is another new offering in iOS9 that permits seamless transfer of an open task on an app from one device to another without distractions when both devices are connected to the same iCloud account. While there are literally hundreds of thousands of apps available, the iPad mini 4 includes Pages, a word processing app, Keynote, a business presentation app that can produce animated charts, Numbers, a spreadsheet app, iMovie, and Garage Band apps. Each has been modified to take advantage of the 64-bit architecture.
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