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The world’s most loved compact tablet has been updated to work three times faster, support Apple Pencil, and offer bigger memory.
Quite unexpectedly, on March 18, 2019, Apple announced the launch of two new iPad models in a basic lineup: a refreshed iPad mini (5th generation) and iPad Air (3rd-generation).
The newest iPad mini 5 looks exactly the same as the 2015 4th-generation model, introduced in September 2015, and some users have assumed it’s not a major update.
It is a major update. Most important improvements have been made under the hood.
Apple iPad mini sports A12 Bionic chip with M12 coprocessor. As a result, the 2019 model is three times faster than its predecessor and render graphics nine times faster.
Users will be excited to see that the most compact iPad now comes with the Apple Pencil support (1st generation). Apple Pencil’s advanced sensors measure both pressure and tilt. Thanks to that, you can use it as naturally as you do on paper. Give it a different pressure or position it at a different angle, and you will see different results.
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The third solid improvement is the display. It’s the 7.9‑inch Retina with True Tone. What makes it stand out is the pixel density of 326 ppi. All other models offer 264 ppi.
To put it differently, iPad mini 2019 is Apple’s tablet with the highest pixel density.
Just like iPad Air, the new mini is available to buy in the Apple online store. You can choose from three color options: Silver, Space Gray, and Gold.
The entry level variant (64 GB, Wi-Fi) is available for $399. Here are the prices of all configurations:
- 64 GB / WiFi – $399
- 64 GB / WiFi + Cellular – $529
- 256 GB / WiFi – $549
- 256 GB / WiFi + Cellular – $679
iPad mini 5 (2019) – comparisons
Right now, Apple offers as many as five iPad models which differ in screen size, performance, storage options and accessory compatibility. Two models are in the top-shelf lineup: iPad Pro 11 and 12.9.
The basic lineup, besides the newly introduced iPad mini and Air, includes also most affordable of them all – iPad 9.7, launched a year ago.
Which iPad will suit your needs the most? We’ve compared their main features and benefits in a simple chart below to help you make a quicker and better decision.
Latest Apple iPad models compared
|Feature||iPad mini (2019)||iPad 9.7 (2018)||iPad Air (2019)|
|Display resolution||2048 × 1536 px||2048 × 1536 px||2224 × 1668 px|
|Pixel density||326 ppi||264 ppi||264 ppi|
|Processor||A12 + M12||A10 + M10||A12 + M12|
|Internal memory||64 GB
|RAM memory||3 GB||2 GB||# GB|
|Cameras||Front: 7 MP
Main: 8 MP
|Front: 1.2 MP
Main: 8 MP
|Front: 7 MP
Main: 8 MP
|Dimensions||8.0 × 5.3 × 0.24 in
203.2 × 134.8 × 6.1 mm
|9.4 × 6.6 × 0.29 in
240 × 169.5 × 7.5 mm
|9.8 × 6.8 × 0.24 in
250.6 × 174.1 × 6.1 mm
|Apple Pen compatible||Yes
|Smart Keyboard compatible||No||No||Yes|
|Bluetooth Keyboard compatible||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Release date||March 18, 2019||March 27, 2018||March 18, 2019|
iPad mini 5 pros and cons
After comparing tech specs of all iPad models in the main range, you want a quick answer: is Apple iPad mini worth buying?
Let’s look at a quick table comparing the good and bad stuff in the 2019 compact iPad.
|Good stuff||Bad stuff|
|• Excellent Retina display with 326 ppi pixel density – the highest among all iPad models
• Support for Apple Pencil (1st-generation)
• Headphone jack
• Stunning performance: 3 times faster than predecessor
• Great battery life
|• Same old design
• Large bezel around the screen
• Slow charging speed
• Lightning port instead of USB-C
• No backward case compatibility
• Lack of Face ID
iPad mini 5 case compatibility
Apple iPad mini 4 and 5 have the same dimensions, but there are two details that make the old case incompatible. However, many cases could still be used.
These two small changes in the design of the iPad mini 5 are:
- Volume buttons are slightly larger – the buttons are placed exactly in the same position, but they are a tiny bit bigger. If you have the case that was built precisely to fit iPad mini 4, you may find it difficult to put the old case on the new-generation model.
- Microphone is moved to top center position – in the 4th-generation iPad mini the mic was placed near the main camera.
The compatibility issue applies to cases that use the shell made from hard plastic. If you have the case made of flexible rubber, you may find out it is working just fine.
Also, if you accept the fact the mic will be covered, you can use the case that holds the iPad inside the flexible frame made of leather or faux leather. Such are book-style folio cases. There would be also no problem with the cases that use corner straps to hold the iPad mini in place.
Fortunately, adjustments to be made in case design are pretty tiny, and we could expect the cases tailored for iPad mini 5 (2019) to appear very soon.
As the iPad mini 5 supports Apple Pencil, if you are planning to buy the stylus, think about getting the case that provides safe space for this accessory. More and more cases are revealed with the pencil holder hidden in the inside what gives a maximum available protection.
Still looking for the perfect accessory for your newest iPad? Check out our updated overview of the best iPad mini 5 cases, sleeves, and accessories.
iPad mini 5 review round-up
Here are the most valuable passages from trusted reviewers. Make sure to head to relevant blog to read the entire reviews!
Apple’s new iPad mini is reliable, not revolutionary.
The new iPad mini doesn’t come with a flashy new design or features, but it gets the job done — and better than any competing tablet in the same class size.– Raymond Wong, Mashable
The only reason to buy an iPad mini is because you want a killer small tablet. There simply isn’t another tablet at this size that can compete: the Android tablet app ecosystem is far from great, small Android tablets usually have much slower processors and are really meant for watching videos anyway.
Apart from adding Pencil support, the display is very nice, in the way that Apple LCDs are always very nice. It has wide color support, a respectable 500 nits of brightness, and it’s laminated, unlike the cheapest iPad, so it looks like you’re touching the pixels.– Nilay Patel, The Verge
After using it for a few days… it’s fine. But it’s not something you need. In fact, if you have an old iPad Mini 4, you’re good. Lifestyle clutter problem solved.– Scott Stein, CNET
Honestly, I’d be more bullish on this year’s mini if Apple had given it some sort of meaningful redesign.
[…] But in an age of disappearing bezels and all-screen designs — a design shift Apple has eagerly embraced — this tablet looks dated.– Chris Velazco, Engadget
iPad mini 5 + Apple Pencil is the digital field notes with online sync of my dreams.– Rene Ritchie, iMore
It does have an updated Retina display. It’s brighter and supports a wider color gamut, and it has Apple’s True Tone technology, which automatically shifts the display tone to match the environment around you.
[…] Battery life is very good. After two evenings of usage, including a two-hour movie-watching session, I woke up on the third day to a 50 percent charged iPad Mini.– Lauren Goode, Wired
If Apple had given the iPad Mini a more substantial reworking to accommodate the Pencil 2.0, the tablet would be well on its way to becoming an iPad Pro, and wouldn’t start at a comparatively thrifty $399.– Harry McCracken, Fast Company
iPad mini 5 (2019) – full tech specs
What are the full tech specifications of the newest 5th-generation Apple iPad mini? Check them out in an extended table below:
|Screen||7.9-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit Multi-Touch display|
|Screen resolution||2048 × 1536 px|
|Pixel density||326 ppi|
|Storage capacity||64 GB|
|RAM memory||3 GB|
|Processor||A12 Bionic chip with 64‑bit architecture|
Embedded M12 coprocessor
|Battery||Built-in 19.1-watt-hour rechargeable lithium-polymer battery|
|Battery life||Up to 10 hours of surﬁng the web on Wi‑Fi, watching video, or listening to music|
|Charging||Via power adapter or USB to computer system|
|Weight||10.62 oz / 301 g|
|Dimensions||8.0 × 5.3 × 0.24 in / 203.2 × 134.8 × 6.1 mm|
|Wi-Fi||Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n/ac); simultaneous dual band (2.4GHz and 5GHz)|
3.5 mm headphone jack
|Operating System||iOS 12|
|Sound||Two built‑in stereo speakers|
Ambient light sensor
|Main camera||8 MP, f/2.4 aperture, five-element lens, Hybrid IR filter, HDR|
|Front camera||7 MP, f/2.4 aperture, 1080p HD video recording at 30 fps|
|In the box||iPad mini|
Lightning to USB Cable
USB Power Adapter
|Apple Pencil||Compatible with 1st-generation Apple Pencil,|
Apple Pencil sold separately
|Smart Keyboard||Not compatible|
|Launch date||March 18, 2019|
|Prices||64 GB / WiFi – $399|
64 GB / WiFi + Cellular – $529
256 GB / WiFi – $549
256 GB / WiFi + Cellular – $679
iPad mini 5 (2019) in pictures
Take a quick look at the newest compact, Apple Pencil ready iPad mini. How do you like it?
Apple iPad mini 5 (2019) – product chart
The last thing is a brief version of what Apple says about its newest tablet.
iPad mini 5, 2019 release, 5th generation, Apple Pencil ready
Rose Gold / 64 GB
Design – compact, portable, pocketable
iPad mini features a thin, light, and portable design that makes it the perfect on-the-go companion. At less than a pound and 6.1mm thin, it’s easy to carry with you in one hand or take out of a pocket or bag whenever inspiration strikes.
Apple Pencil support – magic happens
Apple Pencil opens up new possibilities for iPad mini. Together they turn iPad mini into your take-anywhere digital notebook. Jot down notes, sign documents, and fill out forms. Or capture your most creative ideas by drawing, painting, or sketching on the go.
Performance – power beyond its size
The A12 Bionic chip with Neural Engine enables a remarkable level of power and intelligence. It uses real-time machine learning to recognize patterns, make predictions, and learn from experience.
Retina display – the quality of the pixel
iPad mini packs over 3 million pixels into a 7.9‑inch display. And we made them all count. Whether you’re reading in the park or editing a video in your home office, the high brightness, wide color, and antireflective coating offer true-to-life-detail and razor-sharp text. And True Tone dynamically adjusts white balance so images look natural in any light.
Cameras – shoot in HD, play in AR
The front and back cameras in iPad mini let you take vivid photos and cinematic videos. But the fun doesn’t stop there. Make FaceTime calls with friends, scan documents and mark them up, or even use augmented reality to plan out your living room decor.
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Keep exploring. We’ve got more posts for iPad users:
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- Kindle app for iPad lets you finally create your own themes
- Apple iPad Pro 11 (2020) review roundup – top tech blogs
- 9 helpful iPad features I’d love to see in upcoming models
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