iPad mini iPad Mini 4 vs. 5 -which one to get?

macstatic

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Original poster
Oct 21, 2005
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I've been sitting on the fence for a while, awaiting prices for the iPad Mini 5 to come down (replacing my 1st generation 16GB iPad Mini) and was dissapointed that black friday turns out not to provide as big savings as hoped 😂

I see many people selling their 4th generation Mini, and apart from the lacking Apple pencil the 4th and 5th gen Minis appear (to me) quite similar. Obviously I haven't tried them in real life and can't compare, but would a 2nd hand 4th gen. Mini be a good choice compared to a new (and much more expensive) 5th gen?
 

macstatic

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Oct 21, 2005
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I own a mini 4 and find it stutters more than even the Air 2. Personally, I'd go for the mini 5 even at full MSRP.
Can you give me an example of when it stutters? Is this for normal use or some high-intensity, specialized apps?
 

MrAperture

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Sep 16, 2017
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Go for the Mini 5. The iPad Mini 4 was released in 2015, so I would assume those batteries aren't as good anymore.
 

rui no onna

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Oct 25, 2013
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Can you give me an example of when it stutters? Is this for normal use or some high-intensity, specialized apps?
Normal use, just web browsing. Even the Air 2 has it every now and then but it happens more often on the mini 4.

Disclaimer:
I'm quite used to smooth performance with the iPad Pro 9.7 and 10.5. Coming from 1st or even 2nd gen mini, even the 4th gen would be a pretty big improvement.
 

macstatic

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You all have some good points there...
Another thing occured to me: now that the new OS (iPadOS) supports external USB flash memory sticks and hard drives I could probably save some money by getting the 64 GB model instead of the one with 256 GB and add external drives for those large files.
Are there any downsides to this? Does it all work as expected?
 

dazz87

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Sep 24, 2007
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Normal use, just web browsing. Even the Air 2 has it every now and then but it happens more often on the mini 4.

Disclaimer:
I'm quite used to smooth performance with the iPad Pro 9.7 and 10.5. Coming from 1st or even 2nd gen mini, even the 4th gen would be a pretty big improvement.
stuttering just on web browsing? Sounds like you have an issue with your Mini4..........No stuttering at all on my mini 4.
 
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rui no onna

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Oct 25, 2013
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stuttering just on web browsing? Sounds like you have an issue with your Mini4..........No stuttering at all on my mini 4.
Nothing wrong on the mini 4. Setup as new and less than 50 apps installed (got 100+ on the Pros).

Like I mentioned, I'm used to A9X and A10X level performance. Heck, when I enabled ProMotion on the 2017 Pro and used that exclusively for a couple weeks, even the 2016 Pro felt laggy.
 

tops2

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Dec 30, 2014
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My mini 4 for the most part is okay for web browsing. Some webpages lag a little like Best Buy, but not too bad. Heck, even some webpages on my iPhone XR feels a bit laggy..

I’m tempted to upgrade to the Air 3 or mini 5. And the deals for the iPad 2019 is tempting.. But to be honest, it feels like my mini 4 is okay for another year.
 

AutomaticApple

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Nov 28, 2018
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I've been sitting on the fence for a while, awaiting prices for the iPad Mini 5 to come down (replacing my 1st generation 16GB iPad Mini) and was dissapointed that black friday turns out not to provide as big savings as hoped 😂

I see many people selling their 4th generation Mini, and apart from the lacking Apple pencil the 4th and 5th gen Minis appear (to me) quite similar. Obviously I haven't tried them in real life and can't compare, but would a 2nd hand 4th gen. Mini be a good choice compared to a new (and much more expensive) 5th gen?
Definitely get an iPad mini 5.
 

macstatic

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OK, if I get an iPad Mini 5th gen, will 64GB suffice for most people?
Assuming of course that the new iPadOS feature of attaching external USB memory sticks, hard drives etc. works well should need more space.
 

sickoagb

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Jan 12, 2019
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OK, if I get an iPad Mini 5th gen, will 64GB suffice for most people?
Assuming of course that the new iPadOS feature of attaching external USB memory sticks, hard drives etc. works well should need more space.
That feature requires an external power supply and is mainly suited to the 3rd gen iPad Pro
 
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macstatic

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Your reply got me confused because from what I've read it's a new feature of iPadOS and the 5th (and 4th) generation iPad Mini can run that OS.
I further read an article about iPadOS external USB storage which I understand works more or less like an external drive connected to a Mac (although not all apps support it).

And while at it I came across an article which said to my surprise that you can use external USB storage with any iPad !?! As I already have a USB-3 camera kit adapter which I bought for my 1st generation iPad Mini I had nothing to lose to try it out. Suprisingly something happened when I inserted a USB flash memory stick: first of all you're right; I got an error message that there wasn't sufficient power available, so I plugged the iPad charger cable into the camera adapter and then the "Photos" app opened up with an "Import" icon highlighted which I had never seen before, but nothing else happened.
Reading further into that same article linked above, I downloaded the free version of the Filebrowser app hoping that would help, but no difference.

Conclusion: USB external storage doesn't appear to work with my 1st gen iPad Mini (IOS 9.3.5) despite claims opposing that, but I'm doesn't it work with a 5th generation iPad Mini with iPadOS either, despite claims that it indeed does?
 

merrygoround

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Apr 23, 2019
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might as well do the 5, the 4 is from 2015.. with the 5, you have at least 4 years of more usage coming to you (assuming you use products to the very end like me - a ipad mini 1 user until 2019)
 

macstatic

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Same here. I like to use things until they stop working.
I also have an iPad Mini (1st generation) which will still continue to be used for some tasks, but for everyday use I just ordered the 256 GB version of the 5th gen. iPad Mini today. Expensive (although I saved a little bit through their black friday extended weekend sale) but I figured that 64 GB would be too small, and not having a 128 GB option as I had hoped for I went all the way.
 
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merrygoround

macrumors newbie
Apr 23, 2019
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Same here. I like to use things until they stop working.
I also have an iPad Mini (1st generation) which will still continue to be used for some tasks, but for everyday use I just ordered the 256 GB version of the 5th gen. iPad Mini today. Expensive (although I saved a little bit through their black friday extended weekend sale) but I figured that 64 GB would be too small, and not having a 128 GB option as I had hoped for I went all the way.
Saved where?
 

staggerlee41

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Sep 25, 2017
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If your new Mini will be your primary iPad, I think you did well by going with 256, conservatively speaking of course. We use them in different ways. My Mini 5 as a supplement to my 256 10.5 Pro so 64 was plenty of room for that. I use it for web, games, reading so nothing that really eats up disk space. It's a beast and is pretty much on par with my 10.5 in terms of performance. It's also nice that it supports Pencil 1 which I had already for use with the 10.5. I figure if I'm ready to part with it, I'll give it to my mom since she just can't seem to let go of her Gen 1 Mini despite the fact that she's also got an Air 2. :p

Congrats on the purchase.
 

macstatic

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Saved where?
Apple store. Not a huge saving, but a gift card I can use towards my next purchase (which is why I didn't order the Apple Pencil 1 and Smart cover along with the iPad as they made sure you don't get the gift card until after you've already completed the order!).
 
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macstatic

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Oct 21, 2005
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Norway
If your new Mini will be your primary iPad, I think you did well by going with 256, conservatively speaking of course. We use them in different ways. My Mini 5 as a supplement to my 256 10.5 Pro so 64 was plenty of room for that. I use it for web, games, reading so nothing that really eats up disk space. It's a beast and is pretty much on par with my 10.5 in terms of performance. It's also nice that it supports Pencil 1 which I had already for use with the 10.5. I figure if I'm ready to part with it, I'll give it to my mom since she just can't seem to let go of her Gen 1 Mini despite the fact that she's also got an Air 2. :p

Congrats on the purchase.
Thanks! :)
It's a lot of money but I figure I'll put it to good use, and I really don't care about how long these devices are meant to last according to Apple -just as long as it physically works I see no need to replace it. And with all that storage space I can take more advantage of actually having easy access to a lot of media files instead of spending time deleting and replacing files.

Great to hear about its performance. My first and only iPad is my 1st gen. iPad Mini so I'm not spoilt 😄
I've made the most out of the available 16 GB, but with some larger apps there's a lot of waiting and sometimes restarting of apps (I assume the storage space is also used as a scratch disk), so it's time to move on.

Looking forward to receiving it, and I'll probably get the Pencil 1 as well further down the line. I can see this iPad being used as a more productive tool as well although I really have no idea I'm hoping there are some nice apps that allow me to quickly make illustrations/diagrams, make quick sketches and stuff like that. Actually that's one of the things I'm having trouble doing on my Mac (I loved using OmniGraffle back in the day (it came bundled with a Powerbook I've since sold) and see that it's now also available for iOS, but at a price! hopefully there's something similar for a more "non-professional" price).
 

playtech1

macrumors member
Oct 10, 2014
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I don't think you will regret the choice - the 5 looks like the 4 but the innards are far more modern. It's basically the guts of an iPhone XR in an iPad shell and should last a long time with decent performance. The 4 with an A8 processor is the same as the iPhone 6 and really has not aged that well.
 

rui no onna

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Oct 25, 2013
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I don't think you will regret the choice - the 5 looks like the 4 but the innards are far more modern. It's basically the guts of an iPhone XR in an iPad shell and should last a long time with decent performance. The 4 with an A8 processor is the same as the iPhone 6 and really has not aged that well.
The OP bought a 256GB mini 5. I don't think he'll regret that choice at all.