News by Luke Jones on Thursday October 16, 2014.
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As well as launching the iPad Air 2 today, Apple also launched another slate. No, sadly it wasn't the much rumoured iPad Pro, but it was a new version of Cupertino's iPad Mini. However, after getting a little closer to the new iPad Mini 3, I am left wondering why Apple bothered as this is as incremental an update as you could imagine.Let's start with the looks. They are exactly the same. That means this iPad Mini 3 is 7.5mm thick, weighs 331 grams (Wi-Fi model), and has a 7.9-inch display. Aside from that, there is nothing different, not even a tightened bezel in sight. That is not entirely a bad thing as I am still hard pressed to find a better looking slate in the small screen category. So, in terms of looks the Mini 3 is still a winner, even if it is wearing old clothes. Oh, how could I forget, the device now comes with the gold color choice, but I wouldn't call that a dynamic aesthetic left turn. However, things start to get weird when looking at the hardware as once again just about everything is exactly the same. The iPad Mini 3 gets the same 7.9-inch IPS LCD Retina display as last year's iPad Mini with Retina Display, the same 64-bit A7 processer, the same 5.0MP iSight, f/2.4, 1080p camera, and so on. The only addition is Apple's inclusion of Touch ID, bringing some fingerprint scanning fun to the mini iPad range. The iPad Mini 3 starts at $399 for the 16GB Wi-Fi model, while the LTE version is $499, then you can add $100 for each storage option (64GB and 128GB are the other choices). However, Apple has kept the older iPad Mini Retina Display and that is available for $299 and there is just very little reason to spend the extra cash for the Mini 3. Of course, if you want Touch ID you will have to cough up more, or if gold is of particular interest, but for everybody else this is almost a pointless device. That?s worrying because Apple doesn't do pointless often, but this is lazy. That does not mean the iPad Mini 3 is not good, it is, just as the Mini 2 was, and in fact it is arguably the best small tablet your money can buy. However, I am going to just come out and say it, the iPad Mini 3 is a rip off, no matter how good it is. By the way, if you want a small Apple slate that is affordable, the company now sells the original iPad Mini for $249, a solid price for a tablet that still holds up well to the competition.
Luke Jones is the Managing Editor at MobileBurn.com and is the person you need to speak to about the content on the site. Luke studied creative writing at degree level before carving out a reputation as a freelance tech writer. He settled here at MobileBurn, where he reviews devices and contributes to the news, as well as overseeing the site's content and direction.