Apple’s iPad Mini 3 Review: Small but with 64-bit Power

By on December 19, 2014

Along with the premium iPad Air 2, the newest Apple mini tablet was released last October that revealed upgraded features from its predecessor. Its current tagline was: “So many innovations, but it still fits perfectly in your hand.” Sporting almost the same look from the Mini 2, the initial difference you will see was the integration of the Touch ID, the company’s propriety fingerprint scanning technology that is now used more commonly when purchasing applications via iTunes.

Techradar gave it a 3/5 overall rating for its well-designed structure, slick operating system, and incorporation of the Touch ID. Based on our evaluation of this device, we will give it a rating of 4/5 for various reasons that we will disclose in this hands on review.


Official specifications of the tab:

Apple iPad Mini 3• Display: 7.9 inches (1536 x 2048 pixels, ~324 ppi) with oleopobic coating
• Dimension: 7.87 x 5.30 x 0.30 inches
• Weight: 331 grams for the Wi-Fi, 341 grams for the 4G LTE version
• Internal memory: 16 gigabytes, 64 gigabytes, and 128 gigabytes with 1 gigabyte of RAM DDR3
• Back camera: 5 megapixels (1080p at 30fps)
Front camera: 1.2 megapixels (720p at 30fps)
• Operating system: iOS 8.1 and upgradable to the 8.1.2 version
• CPU: A7 chipset, dual-core 1.3GHz Cyclone (64-bit technology)
• GPU: Quad-core PowerVR G6430
• Battery: 6470 mAh


Battle of the mini tab:

With its 64-bit architecture, the Mini 3 is above its competitors that are running 32-bit processors but with quad-core chipsets. Apple continues to provide its users with “PC-like” experience on their tablets even with smaller screen displays. This is highly essential to those who enjoy applications that are graphic- and processor-hungry.

Another feature that was impressive on this gadget is the fingerprint scanner. Although other devices have applied the fingerprint technology, we only commonly see it along with handsets such as iPhone 5S and above, Samsung Galaxy S5, and more. The incorporation of the Touch ID makes this tablet a standout from the rest. However, the company will be competing next to its arch nemesis with their own fingerprint reading Galaxy Tab S.

iPad Mini 3

Improved features:

We enjoyed the incorporation of the Touch ID on this device, as finally, users are able to incorporate their fingerprint with their Apple ID. It made a complete upgraded appearance from its predecessor, making this tablet more premium than the latter, especially with the gold option included in its colour palette.

Another improvement on this tablet is the iOS 8 that gave us multiple upgrade from the previous Apple mobile system. Notification center is a lot easier to navigate in one swipe, and more features come built-in with the new iOS such as the time-lapse and the Apple Pay.


Room for improvement:

One of the flaws we noticed was the battery life, which was similar to its predecessor. The company retained the 6470 mAh power on a gadget that has more processing power. It lasted for an hour and half less than the previous Apple tab. But, power has been the common problem of most devices today, since manufacturers always feed us with better technology but slight to no differences on the battery. It all depends on the user on how they should manage their usage. It pays to do some research on how to enhance your battery life, such as using darker wallpapers as black pixels uses less light power than the coloured ones.

The 64-bit architecture was impressive on this gadget, running graphic-intensive apps without any problem. However, the A7 chipset is similar to its predecessor, making it less of an upgrade for this device. Nevertheless, the tablet gave us no lagging or freezing experience even when running multiple apps with games.


Latest news:

Along with the rumors of a bigger iPad next year, dubbed as the 12.2-inch Air Pro, there was also news about the next Apple Mini tab arriving next year (June 2015). It is evident in the recent trend in the company in releasing two devices, as seen on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus as well as the Air 2 and Mini 3. The next mini tablet is said to sport A8X processor and iOS 9, similar specification from the Air Pro but in a smaller, compact size. What are the features that you expect to arrive on the next compact Apple tablet?


By Jennifer Birch, Exclusively for

About Jennifer Birch

Jen Birch is a UK-based hobby writer. Although her day job keeps her really busy, she's still always on the look out for ways to improve her writing skills. She considers it her greatest love--next to technology, that is. Follow her on Twitter at @WrittenByJenni.

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