iPad Mini 4 still worth it?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by bubulol, Sep 29, 2017.

  1. bubulol macrumors 6502a

    Mar 7, 2013
    Hi folks

    I am tempted to buy Mini 4 but i am a bit disappointed that iPad Mini is most likely discontinued, no more update or new version

    I like form factor and this is the perfect size to me

    I am afraid iOS 11 will slow down iPad Mini 4

    Would it be better to buy iPad Pro 10.5?

    For basic usage such as streaming video, youtube, reading comic, manga and web browsing...

  2. newellj macrumors 603

    Oct 15, 2014
    Boston, MA, US
    There's an identical thread running here now.

    It's not likely discontinued, and that's your real problem. You have no idea whether to buy a frankly dated piece of tech or to wait for the next gen, because none of us have any clue when Apple will update the Mini - but like the iPod Touch, I'm sure it will happen.

    If you like the form factor, the 10.5 will feel huge. I have a Mini 4 and an Air 2, which is a less extreme difference, and even there the Mini goes with me in a lot of cases where I simply wouldn't bother with the 9.7" Air 2.

    Another thing I love about the Mini that I don't see mentioned much. It's the perfect size (for me) to do two-hand thumb typing. The phones (even the Plus) are too small, and the 9.7" or bigger iPads are two big. The Mini is exactly right.
  3. mariotr87 macrumors regular

    Aug 12, 2011
    I have a Mini 4 and a pro 10.5. I’m one of those who actually prefer the form factor of the mini; that said, I wouldn’t buy it, and in fact I think I will be selling it soon.

    The reason is that it’s dated already, and you can really tell. Animations are choppy which makes multitasking not nearly as useful as on the pro, iOS in general feels slow, colors don’t look as nice...and if you’ve tried ProMotion, well, you’ll really miss this feature on the mini.

    You could argue it’s still perfectly usable and that it’s a great reading device, and that’s true, but for how long? It’s unfortunate that Apple has forgotten about the mini, and if they do decide to update it I will definitely be getting one, but to me the mini 4 is not really worth it anymore as it is.
  4. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002
    Legit thought. I still enjoy mine as a secondary and remote control. I wouldn’t pay full price for one but BestBuy keeps putting them on sale for $280-299. Possibility even better pricing as we get closer to the holidays. Apple should continue to support the mini 4 for a few years so you’ll get good use out of it.
  5. bensisko macrumors 65816

    Jul 24, 2002
    The Village
    It’s pretty irrelevant if the Mini gets discontinued (unless you’re waiting for a new model). The Mini 4 will continue to function and be supported for years to come. It’s not like Apple will stop providing OS updates or repair services.

    Let’s say Tomorrow Apple announces there’s no more iPad Mini. First we have to ask ourselves why they are making the announcement on a Saturday, but that’s not the point.
    What happens to the iPad Mini?
    Apple will sell (most) of the remaining stock. Likely they will keep some around as replacement units. Buying today, with Apple Care, means you have repair support for at least two years. Apple will continue to provide iOS updates until something on the device makes an OS upgrade not possible. At which time the Mini will continue to function. At some point you will look for an updated device (maybe next year, maybe 4 years from now).

    Long story short - the ONLY thing you need to worry about is a new Mini possibly coming out.
  6. newellj macrumors 603

    Oct 15, 2014
    Boston, MA, US
    I'm a Mini lover and I don't disagree with what you're saying, BUT the Mini 4 is already getting a little slow, and it's only going to get slower as time goes by. The A8 chip and the RAM are inevitably going to be limitations going forward. I'm still using a Gen 5 iPod Touch because the battery life is much better than the Gen 6, but IIRC it's an A5 SOC and 512k RAM and launching apps is painfully slow. They run fine once they're loaded, but launching is really slow. The Mini 4 is going to get to the same place at some point - the question is when.

    Having said all that, if I had a 2 (which I did) or no Mini, I think I'd go ahead and buy a Mini 4 now. I'd want to think it through, but I'm pretty sure I'd go ahead now.
  7. bubulol thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mar 7, 2013
    That's my problem, i bought last year Mini 4 and it was perfect under iOS 9, i highly regret my decision to sell it because i never find better form factor as Mini 4's
    Many Apple devices having issues with iOS 11 including more powerful devices than Mini 4 although i have none of these issues on my SE which runs like a charm
    Main issue with Apple: its iOS updates, it will continuously demand more resources from older devices unlike Android which Google put many effort in order to make it lighter
  8. bensisko macrumors 65816

    Jul 24, 2002
    The Village
    For all of the basic tasks the OP listed, even the Mini 2 under iOS 11works.

    On the Mini 4, I really can see a slow down - even compared to my iPad Pro 12.9. I know there are people who would say “oh! I noticed a ever so slight studded! Unuseable!!!!!!” Maybe it’s not perfect, but it serves it’s purpose.
    --- Post Merged, Sep 29, 2017 ---
    Again if you have to have the absolute perfect latest and greatest, the iPad Mini will NEVER be the device for you, it will always have (and has always had) lesser hardware than it’s larger brothers.

    Also, he comment about Android updates making it better for older devices is so very laughable. Android wishes it had half as good of resource management than iOS has.
  9. bubulol thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mar 7, 2013
    Yes i know, iOS devices have better OS optimization, i didnt talk about it
    I meant, iOS updates may slow down older devices
    Why not the exact opposite?
    Making iOS lighter year after year?
  10. coachingguy macrumors 6502a


    Feb 7, 2003
    The Great White, Albeit Frozen North
    Big fan of the Mini line (except the 3...) I've got a Mini 4 and love it. I never use my 9.7"... It's fast enough for what I do, it's even better now that iOS 11 is out with it's options for tablets. Of course I could be wrong... ;-)

    It is likely to be discontinued in the next year... unfortunately... But I'd love a Mini-Pro! I know it's not going to happen... Especially with the iPhone's getting bigger.

  11. raymanster macrumors 6502


    Feb 13, 2008
    I have a Mini 4, no it’s not as fast as my Air 2, for example watching a YouTube video and sending a text is a no go. But it does most tasks fine.

    And iOS 11 is just choppy and buggy in general, it makes my iPhone 7 feel like an old device. The latest update 11.01 helps, and I’m hoping the next few updates will improve even more. My iPad mini 4 actually runs smoother on iOS 11 then my iPhone 7.

    Just find a good deal and go for it.
  12. 576316, Sep 29, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2017

    576316 macrumors 601

    May 19, 2011
    The iPad mini is my favourite iPad size, and I’ve had my 4 since launch day. iOS 11 is running surprisingly well but it’s definitely not the experience you’ll get on a new iPad...but completely useable. It doesn’t even really struggle with multitasking. In fact, the new dock has made using iOS on iPad an absolute joy and it just feels quicker to navigate around in general, regardless of hardware speed. I’m usually pretty scathing of Apple, but they definitely put a lot of iPad love into iOS 11.

    It’s sad that the iPad mini may be gone forever, but I think the 4 may survive possibly another couple of major iOS updates before it falls flat entirely. I use mine for all of my university lecture notes (along with the Logitech Keys-To-Go keyboard - which I love) as well as light content consumption and I’m yet to come across any deal breaker issues.

    If you like the size, get one. There probably isn’t a new one coming soon. If it’s coming, it’ll come at the October event that Apple usually hold (although no signs of that yet) or a March event.
    --- Post Merged, Sep 29, 2017 ---
    What are you talking about? You can do both of those things with compete ease on an iPad mini 4. I do it regularly.
  13. Dave-Z macrumors 6502

    Jun 26, 2012
    Add more features, keep existing ones and do it with fewer lines of code?

    What I'd like to see is the option to select update channels: where I could select that I want to stay on the iOS 8 or 9 or 10 or 11 branch only. Provide new features in the new major releases each year, and security updates for x number of previous releases. This way we could keep a device running on an OS that runs fast but still get security fixes.
  14. Booji macrumors 6502a


    Nov 17, 2011
    My son had his old original mini sitting in a drawer forgotten. I recently absconded it and gave it a try as a dedicated reader.

    I have to say I love the form factor of the mini for consumption. So much so I'm thinking of getting a 4 if I can find a good deal.

    I had tried a number of 7" android tablets in the past and found them lacking. Last one was a 2nd gen Amazon Fire. It was a stuttering mess and I immediately sold it. Surprisingly the old mini is better.
  15. HarryWild macrumors 65816


    Oct 27, 2012
    I have a Mini 2 and never update the iOS! It is very fast! Yes, most of the big commercial apps do not work but tgeyvwhen you use a web browser!
  16. bopajuice Suspended


    Mar 22, 2016
    Dark side of the moon
    I like mine. I have mine with AT&T cell service. Works great. No issues. No reason to doubt it would be an enjoyable product. I like taking it on the road, and when I travel. Does everything an iPad should do.
  17. newellj macrumors 603

    Oct 15, 2014
    Boston, MA, US
    The Mini 2 will work...like my iPod Touch Gen 5 works...but a lot of things are going to be slow. Whether it's "painfully slow" or just slow, and whether it bothers you, is a personal question.
    --- Post Merged, Sep 30, 2017 ---
    Because Apple and its consumer want more features, more functionality. And Apple isn't alone. Microsoft, which for many years had no computer sales of its own to worry about, does the same with Windows.
  18. bubulol thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mar 7, 2013
    To sum up, iPad Mini 4 might be still viable especially for my kind of usage
    Yes, it will be never as fast and powerful as latest iPad Pro but i never had those freaks in my hands (only iPad Air 2)
    The main thing its buying an outdated hardware device although we all agree form factor and size of iPad Mini are truly the best
    I most likely planing to buy it if i can find at reasonable price
    Maybe waiting for the cyber monday and black friday and see if Apple will announce anything in next October which i dont believe so
  19. Gozar macrumors regular


    Sep 23, 2011
    Austin, TX
    My primary us of my Mini4 is with my Mavic Pro drone and for that it works great. It still does most everything else well but I have a 9.7 Pro and an 8+ 256 I just bought so it does not get much use other than with the Mavic.
    My wife only has the Mini4 for a tablet and loves it for everything. If you can find a good price pick one up and enjoy it, and stop reading forum posts about the Mini4 and IOS11 or you will just drive yourself crazy.
    I research the hell out of something before I buy then quit looking after I buy, I find I am happier that way and avoid buyers remorse... :)
  20. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    I currently have an iPad mini 3 and find it very useful. The resistance to upgrading to a mini 4 is that it's not enough of a spec bump to justify it, in my mind. I would definitely buy a new one if they update, but if they discontinue it, I'll likely kick myself for not at least getting a mini 4. I doubt I would buy a full-sized iPad, as I just don't care for the larger sizes. If they discontinue the mini, I'll just stick with an iPhone X and my MBP.
  21. newellj macrumors 603

    Oct 15, 2014
    Boston, MA, US
    It's a personal call, but I owned a 2, which is nearly all the same specs as a 3, and the upgrades in the 4 were huge for me: much better display panel, much faster SOC.
  22. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    The display is exactly the same in the 2, 3 and 4. The only "carrot" to me is 2GB of RAM in the 4, vs 1GB in the 3. An update to the mini with at least the A9 chip, which is a minimum requirement for things like ARkit, would carry it at least another 2 years. As it is, all the current iPad mini models are getting a bit long in the tooth.
  23. newellj, Oct 7, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2017

    newellj macrumors 603

    Oct 15, 2014
    Boston, MA, US
    No, the display is not. It was dramatically upgraded for the 4. However, I agree, the Mini is long in the tooth. The shame is that the Mini 4, like the 3 and 2 before it, was long in the tooth when introduced. Each was roughly a generation behind the 9.7' iPads when introduced.

    Here's some comparative comments from DisplayMate's tests:

    Early 7.9 inch iPad minis in 2012 – 2014

    The much anticipated smaller 7.9 inch iPad mini 1 launched in 2012, but the mini’s display performance has always lagged the full size 9.7 inch iPads by 1 to 2 generations. In 2013, the mini 2 was upgraded to a Retina Display but still only received the lower 62 percent Color Gamut, which also continued for the mini 3 in 2014. The mini screen Reflectance was even higher than the full size iPads. The iPad mini was treated like the runt of the litter, but it has now found favor and been transformed into a beautiful leading edge display on the new iPad mini 4…

    The iPads for 2015

    For 2015, all of the current iPad displays have all of the enhancements mentioned above. The iPad Air 2 continues on as the current 9.7 inch model, the new 7.9 inch iPad mini 4 has received a slew of major display performance improvements, and there is the brand new iPad Pro with a much larger 12.9 inch display that is intended primarily for professional and advanced imaging applications (and promoted as a laptop replacement).

    iPad mini 4

    The iPad mini 4 is close to being a textbook perfect LCD display in all of the Lab measurements and viewing tests. Among the iPads it takes first place and is marked Best in every single test category except Contrast Ratio – where it has a Very Good but not the highest Contrast Ratio of 957 in 0 lux (because Apple didn’t provide a Photo Aligned LCD like on the Air 2 and Pro).

    Among all existing Tablets of any size, the iPad mini 4 takes first place and breaks performance records in many of the most important test categories including: lowest screen Reflectance (2.0 percent), Highest Contrast Rating in High Ambient Light (225), a near perfect Log-Straight Intensity Scale and Gamma of 2.22, and the highest Absolute Color Accuracy (Average/Maximum Color Errors of 1.9 and 4.2 JNCD – tied for first place with the Microsoft Surface Pro 4). If Apple hadn’t intentionally made the display’s White Point so bluish (7,109K instead of 6,500K) then the Color Errors would have been even smaller.

    ...and from an earlier DisplayMate test:

    iPad mini 3: A Major Disappointment

    The iPad mini can only be described as the perpetual Runt of the litter… Originally spurned, then introduced (in haste) in 2012, it was a mini version of the older 2011 iPad 2 with a 1024x768 resolution display and a reduced 62 percent Color Gamut, when the full size iPads already had a 2048x1536 Retina display with a 100 percent Color Gamut. In 2013 the mini was given a Retina display, but remained with a reduced 62 percent Color Gamut – the only current iPad or iPhone without a full Color Gamut. Now, in 2014 the new iPad mini 3 still only has a 62 percent Color Gamut, plus it was denied the new enhanced anti-reflection coating and bonded cover glass of the iPad Air 2. So in addition to washed out, under saturated and distorted colors (red tomatoes, fire trucks, and Coke cans look a bit orange rather than deep red, for example) it continues with a moderately high screen Reflectance of 6.5 percent, almost triple that of its favored littermate, which further washes out its image colors in ambient light…
  24. Starfia macrumors 6502


    Apr 11, 2011
    If this is the last iPad mini generation, then I'm so glad I have one – it's the first true perfect reading device among other things. iOS 11 is fine on it.

    Is it better to buy the new iPad Pro? Putting aside the considerations of cost and whether you like the iPad mini's size and weight more, yes.
  25. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    The displays on the iPad mini 3 and the iPad mini 4 have the same specs, according to Apple:
    • 7.9-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit Multi-Touch display
    • 2048-by-1536 resolution at 326 pixels per inch (ppi)
    • Fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating
    The 4 also has:
    • Fully laminated display
    • Antireflective coating
    But those are coatings on the display, not a change to the display itself. I've held the mini 3 in one hand and the mini 4 in the other to compare, and I don't see any display difference to justify the upgrade. I'm satisfied with the display. I would like significantly better performance, especially now with iOS 11, and perhaps better battery life, and the compatibility with things like ARkit. The mini 4 delivers none of that.

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