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Review of the iPad mini 5: when portability is the most important

From the outside, the new iPad mini is virtually a copy of the iPad mini 4, but it has some serious improvements under the hood. As you've probably heard, the iPad mini 5th generation is basically an iPad Air 3, only in a factor much more compact.

In fact, the iPad mini 5 is a powerful tablet that can almost It fits in your pocket, but the size or absence of it can be a gift and a curse depending on your needs. Watch our iPad 5 mini video to review the details.

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IPad Air 3 is smaller and a little less capable

Unlike the first mini-iterations of the iPad, Apple's smallest compressed Apple is no longer its cheapest model. The iPad mini 5 of $ 399 gives Apple an iPad that stands just above the iPad model of $ 329 regarding the price, so Apple is not decided to produce it only to meet the low market range.

It is the diminutive form factor of the iPad mini that makes it so appealing. Apple must know that the small footprint moves the sales needle enough to justify an update.

Review of iPad mini 5

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If you have not seen our review of iPad Air 3, I strongly recommend that you do it because, as you can see, most of what is indicated also applies to this review of the iPad mini 5. Saying this, there are differences between the two.

Launched at the same time as the new iPad Air 3, the iPad mini 5 shares almost all the features of its older brother. This means that the iPad mini 5 is as powerful as the iPad 3 Air from a performance perspective. In fact, both tablets share the same Aion Bionic chip with Neural Engine, the same amount of RAM (3GB), the same cameras and the same visualization technology.

As well as the recent refreshment of the iPad Air, the iPad mini gains support for Apple Pencil for the first time. This means that you can use your iPad mini to take notes, or explore your artistic side, with pressure sensitivity and tilt support in the trailer.

If you do not have an artistic incline, but you still need a stylus to take notes, the iPad mini 5 includes support for the Logitech Crave. The pen of Logitech is a more economical offer that Apple Pencil has, but it does not support the pressure sensitivity that digital artists want.


  • Apple A12 chip with Neural Engine
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 64GB ($ 399) 256GB ($ 549)
  • Wi-Fi and mobile option
  • 7.9-inch screen
  • Resolution of 2048 × 1536
  • Wide color screen P3
  • Laminated Digitizer
  • Anti-reflective coating
  • Compatible with Apple's first pencil
  • Double Stereo Speakers
  • 8-megapixel rear camera f / 2.4
  • FaceTime HD 7 megapixel camera f / 2.2
  • Touch ID
  • Connection of 3.5 mm headphones
  • Ray connector
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • ESIM Support
  • Various additional Gigabit LTE bands
  • Options of silver, gray space and golden color
  • Initial price of $ 399

The iPad mini 2019 has the same dimensions as the predecessor, including a 7.9-inch screen with a resolution of 2048 × 1536. With new internal updates, it's just a little heavier than the previous version.

Out of the size, one of the biggest differences between the mini 5 and the Air 3 is the support of the smart connector. Air 3 has a smart connector that lets you interact with the smart Apple keyboard, while the iPad mini 5 does not. This is not surprising given the incredible and impractical keyboard that would be so small.

Aside from the lack of support for smart keyboard, the mini 5 is essentially an iPad Air 3 that has been discreetly filling in the body of an iPad mini. Of good performance, this is very good, but there are disadvantages to reuse this design.

Notable updates of iPad mini 5

Like iPad Air 3, the iPad mini 5 gets a substantial update. The screen now supports the P3 color and has a brighter background light (500 nits in front of 450 lines). Alongside the laminated screen and better backlighting, the iPad Mini 5 has a strong anti-reflective coating with just 1.8% reflection.

Additional compatibility between iPad Air 3 and iPad Mini 5 is its support for True Tone, the display technology that automatically adjusts the white balance of the screen to match the light of the environment in its environment. Such changes make the iPad's mini experience more enjoyable to navigate photos, read the web and read books, even with sunlight or other sources that hit the screen.

The A12 Bionic chip with the Neural Engine, the same chip found in the current generation of the iPhone XS, the iPhone XS Max and the iPhone XR, rotates circles around the A8 chip found on the iPad mini 4. Like iPad Air 3, the iPad mini 5 It also benefits from a gigabyte of additional RAM for a total of 3 GB.

The rear camera of the 8 megapixel camera f / 2.4 seems to be the same hardware found in the iPad mini 4 and iPad Air 2, but the FaceTime HD camera receives a substantial upgrade of 1.2 megapixels to 7 megapixels much more capable. And instead of recording 720p HD video, the new FaceTime HD camera can shoot at 1080p and it benefits from the inclusion of the Flash retina.

Mini iPad advantages and disadvantages

The biggest asset of the iPad mini, its size, is also its biggest problem. The 7.9-inch screen means that there is a limited amount of screen properties to run applications for iPad. With Apple Pencil support, digital artists could shoot Procreate to create an illustration, but you will be at an immediate canvas size disadvantage when compared to larger tablets such as the iPad 9.7-inch, iPad 10 10-inch Air 10 and 11-inch iPad. Pro or monstrosity that is the iPad Pro of 12.9 inches.

Other applications, such as Safari or Tweetbot, will show less screen content at the same time, requiring the user to scroll to see what larger iPads users can see without scrolling. And although multitasking Picture-in-Picture Split View, Slide Over and Picture-in-Picture are supported on the iPad mini 5, you probably want to use these features in moderation as they eat with precious screen properties.

An outdated design

The big bezels of the iPad mini 5 do little favors on the small screen. The iPad mini 5 seems obsolete due to large bezels, especially the front and the chin area. The design is more like the iPad base of $ 329 than the iPad Air 3 in this regard.

The bezels of the iPad 2018 are also great, but the larger screen helps to balance the look. The iPad mini 5, with its small 7.9-inch screen, does not have that luxury and seems to drown on the bevelling.

Small benefits

But having a factor of tiny form also has its advantages. The most obvious advantage is that the iPad mini is portable, easy to place in the zones – bags, bags, bags?! – where larger tables may not.

Another area in which the size of the mini works at its advantage is to write. John Gruber, from Daring Fireball, urgently pointed out the easy to write iPad mini while holding it in his hand and I agree. This causes the lack of smart keyboard of iPad mini for iPad to have less of a factor than initially imagined.

It's been a while since I used an iPad mini regularly, but after a few minutes of experimenting with the 5th model, I was able to remember what I liked to be able to quickly delete phrases and paragraphs thanks to its miniature chassis. .

Coming from a larger device like the iPad Pro of 11 inches, where it's frustrating to write while keeping the tablet, it's a refreshing experience. Handwriting is, in fact, one of the most important ways that the mini-factor in a way is better than any other iPad that is sold today.

9to5Mac takes

Until Apple decides to make a folding tablet, the best you can do from the point of view of portability is the iPad mini. If portability is the most important factor in your eyes, there is nothing else to say, the iPad mini 5 is the tablet for you. However, if portability is not at the top of your list, you will have to decide between the iPad of 9.7 inches and the iPad Air 3. In that case, the decisive factor must be reduced to the yield and the price.

Although the design of the iPad mini 5 seems a little outdated in 2019, it is still by far the best small compressed form factor in the market. And now with the added performance of the A12 Bionic chip, it's not just portable: it's a laptop power plant.

What do you think about the iPad mini 5? Do you prefer its smaller size on the other Apple tablet deals? Download below in the comments with your opinion.

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