Apple updated its iPads Pro in late 2018, but regular iPads were not updated since March 2018 and iPad mini was not updated for even longer time. I saw many times, that people like iPad mini. They are portable and handy, but it looks like iPads mini are cannibalised by large iPhones. But hopefully, iPads mini are much more cheaper than big iPhones. And Apple knows about market for entry-level iOS devices, so Apple today released new iPads. And not only the minis.
Let’s start with iPad mini. SoC was updated to A12 Bionic and as Apple says it delivers three times the performance and nine times faster graphics. A12 can be found in actual iPhones, while iPads Pro feature more advanced A12X SoC. Previous iPad mini was equipped with A8 chip.
Unlike iPads Pro 2018, iPad mini still uses Lightning connector. But on other side, your old Lightning accessories are compatible.
Another great feature is Apple Pencil support. iPad mini supports 1st generation Apple Pencil, while iPads Pro are compatible with more advanced second generation of Apple’s stylus. iPad mini still does not support ProMotion, a feature exclusively for iPads Pro, so there is little more delay when using pencil in compare to pro-class iPads, but iPad mini gained a True Tone feature for its display, so it can adapt in different light environments to be more natural.
iPad mini got 7.9-inch display with resolution of 2048 x 1536 pixels at 326 ppi with Wide color display (P3) technology and it is also laminated without that annoying gap.
Back camera got 8 MPx resolution with ƒ/2.4 aperture, but still not flash. It is capable of recording 1080p video at 30 FPS or slow-mo video at 720p resolution with 120 FPS.
As for front camera, it is only FaceTime HD camera, so Face ID does not happen. iPads mini are secured by Touch ID. Front camera can shot 7 MPx photos and record 1080p video. There is no support for Animoji and Memoji, as these features require TrueDepth camera.
If you choose cellular version, you can enjoy Gigabit-class LTE and GPS + GLONAS.
iPad mini got only two speakers and it weights 300,5 grams (Wi-Fi) or 308,2 grams (Wi-Fi + Cellular).
iPad mini starts at 399 USD for 64 GB Wi-Fi only and ends at 679 USD for Wi-Fi + Cellular.
Apple also revived iPad Air. It replaces iPad Pro 10.5-inch (2017), which was discontinued. It got the same SoC as new iPad mini – A12 Bionic. I will focus on differencies between iPad mini and iPad Air, because iPad Air is basically bigger iPad mini with some benefits.
New iPad Air got 10.5-inch Retina display at 2224 x 1668 resolution (264 ppi) with True Tone feature, P3 support and laminated display. As for display, iPad Air is just bigger iPad mini.
Apple Pencil first generation is supported too. Again, there is no ProMotion technology.
If you are taking photos and videos with your iPad, you should care. New iPad Air is, as for price, very similar to 10.5-inch iPad Pro from 2017, but it lacks 4K video and flash. Full HD video can be recorded only at 30 FPS, while iPad Pro 2017 supports 60 FPS. If you compare camera from new iPad mini and new iPad Air, it should be the same hardware. On the other side, iPad Air got A12 Bionic chip, while older iPad Pro got A10X chip.
So, let’s say: isn’t iPad Air just bigger iPad mini?
Not exactly. It’s true that both iPads, as mentioned, got same quality display, same camera, same LTE (Cellular models), same Apple Pencil support, two speakers, Lightning connector and Touch ID. But if you need bigger display and Smart Keyboard support, Air is for you. If you want tiny iPad and you don’t care about Smart Keyboard or any other accessories for Smart Connector, go for mini. Also, Air is heavier – 456 grams vs. 300,5 grams (Wi-Fi) or 464 grams vs 308,2 grams (Wi-Fi + Cellular).
iPad Air starts at 499 USD for 64 GB Wi-Fi only and ends at 779 USD for Wi-Fi + Cellular.