PROS / The iPad Mini 4 has a stellar battery life of more than nine hours.
CONS / The tablet still uses a standard 2048 x 1536 display.
VERDICT / Apple's smallest iPad performs well and is durable. The tablet's age limits its display compared to top tablets, but it's still a solid option if you value portability.
The iPad Mini 4 updates Apple's iPad Mini line and improves specifications and build quality. The Mini 4 is built on a 1.5GHz Apple A8 processor, and benchmark testing from our colleagues at Laptop Mag showed that its performance is in line with the best mainstream tablets. In processing performance test Geekbench 3 and graphics test 3DMark, the Mini 4 had respective scores of 3,107 and 18,313 points. Both were on par with comparable home tablets, so you can play games and browse the web on the Mini 4 with ease.
Apple's build quality is an upside on the Mini 4. The dimensions of 8 x 5.3 x 0.24 inches and weight of 0.66 pounds make the Mini 4 one of the lightest tablets we've seen. The Mini 4's rounded edges and weighty aluminum construction give it a durable feel.
The tablet lasted for a lengthy nine hours and 23 minutes in Laptop's battery test, in which a tablet loops through webpages at a constant brightness until it powers down. Apple offers the tablet in 16GB, 64GB or 128GB configurations, and separate models include support for cellular data.
The tablet computer's display performance is also good. Its resolution and brightness rating of 412 nits makes it easy to read and game on. However, while the Mini has excellent color accuracy and fidelity, the screen still has the same 2048 x 1536 resolution as past iPad Minis. Considering that comparable premium tablets have started using displays with higher pixel density, the iPad Mini's screen shows some signs of age.
The Mini 4 has an upgraded 8-megapixel rear-facing camera and the 1.2-megapixel front-facing camera used in previous Apple tablets. Apple offers a base one-year warranty on the iPad, along with 90 days of included phone support. Troubleshooting assistance is also available via live chat, Apple's website and the Apple Store.
Like past iPad Mini iterations, the Mini 4 is among the top tablets thanks to its focus on the fundamentals. With strong construction and specifications, the Mini 4 is a good model for users who place a high value on portability.