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2019 iPad mini review roundup: Four clear themes emerge …

The 2019 iPad mini reviews are out, and they are pretty consistent – with four clear themes emerging.

First, this is an evolutionary device, not a revolutionary one. That’s in large part because Apple wanted to hit the same price-point, one likely driven more by business customers than consumers. From waiting staff in restaurants to delivery drivers, the business market is a key reason Apple has chosen to update the iPad mini …

Second, while it’s disappointing that the new mini doesn’t adopt the design language of the iPad Pro range, nor all of their features, it does do the most important thing: beef up the internals to turn it into a powerful device you’ll be able to use for years to come.

Third, this is hands-down the best small tablet on the market. There are better options if you don’t need something this compact, but if size is key, there’s nothing that comes close.

Finally, if you already love the iPad mini, the compromises this makes won’t matter to you. It may be squeezed in between a large-screened iPhone and 9.7-inch plus tablets, but it does a job nothing else can do. If you already have an older model, you’re going to want this one.


Fans of the size will forgive its weaknesses, but the are better alternatives otherwise.

The design is showing its age a little bit. Apple didn’t include Face ID and there are still bezels around the screen, for example, so it looks pretty much exactly like the iPad Mini that launched in 2015 [but] the new iPad Mini dramatically improves the components that matter most: the screen and the processor.

The iPad Mini is for people who want a smaller iPad with all of the power of the new iPad Air. I think there are a lot of those people and, even if you don’t think you want a smaller iPad, it’s worth checking out.

That said, if you’re bargain hunting and just want any iPad, consider the regular 9.7-inch model. It’s a year old and not as powerful, but only costs $329. If you want a bigger screen than what the iPad Mini offers but still want the new A12 chip, consider the new iPad Air which is only $100 more.


Combines power with portability, but probably not the right choice for most people.

I’m glad the iPad mini still exists, and it packs some crucial updates that make it worth using in 2019. I’m just not convinced it’s the right tablet for most people […]

I can’t help but feel a little disappointed that Apple didn’t see fit to revise the mini’s design after a more than three-year hiatus. It just looks a little dated. That’s not to say there aren’t any noticeable changes here, though […]

There’s more than enough power here for most people, and if portability is your biggest concern, there’s no denying the mini is more convenient to lug around [but] Apple’s no-frills, 10-inch iPad costs $70 less than the mini, and the arguably superior new iPad Air costs only $100 more than the mini. If I’m the kind of person who hasn’t upgraded my tablet in a while, or if I’m new to iPads in general, either of those options seem like more sensible choices.

Fast Company

This is the iPad mini renovated, not reimagined.

More than three years after Apple last upgraded its smallest tablet, it’s given us a new version that looks just like the old one, with the same 7.9-inch screen size and starting price of $399 […]

Though the screen size and resolution remain the same, the display is now 25% brighter, offers a wider color gamut for more vividly realistic images, and features Apple’s True Tone technology […]

As for processing power, the Mini now runs Apple’s A12 Bionic chip, like the current iPhones. That gives the tablet potent graphics and Apple’s neural engine, a coprocessor tuned for on-device AI […] Bottom line: The Mini now runs all iPad apps well, as an iPad should. Just as important, it should be well equipped to handle future apps–even if you hold onto a new Mini for a few years, as people tend to do […]

Still, I hope that elements from the iPad Pro line filter down to the iPad Mini–along with the iPad Air, and the $329 iPad–in models to come. At some point, aspects of the new Mini that are now pleasantly familiar will feel stale. And as nice as it is to see this tablet reassert itself, it would be a shame if the new version turned out to be a blip rather than a new beginning.

Laptop Mag

The improvements justify the price, but it’s a missed opportunity.

As phones get bigger and bigger and bigger, there seems to be less of a need for a small tablet. But lots of people love their iPad minis, including younger kids who are not yet ready for a phone, execs on the go and creative pros who want to have a digital sketchbook always at the ready. With the new iPad mini, Apple has given its slate enough oomph to justify the device’s $399 price.

However, there is a disconnect between the iPad mini’s modern specs and its throwback design. With thinner bezels, Apple could have easily fit a 8.5-inch display into this chassis. You shouldn’t expect stellar photos, either. Overall, though, the iPad mini is the best small tablet you can buy.


The new iPad mini is reliable rather than revolutionary, but still the best small tablet on the market.

After three long years, Apple’s smallest tablet, the iPad mini, is back. But the new iPad mini isn’t completely new the way the iPad Pros are. Like someone returning from years spent abroad, the new iPad mini is still mostly the same tablet as the iPad mini 4 released in 2015 — it looks identical (bezels and all) and works with all previous accessories — but its skills have leveled up […]

The $399 sticker price won’t appeal to everyone — good thing there’s also the $329 9.7-inch iPad — but for certain users, rare as they may be in these days of giant iPhones, the combination of compact form factor and performance is just enough to make the small tablet worth it […]

The iPad mini is not a revolutionary new tablet. But it is a very reliable tablet, and for a certain kind of user, that’s more important than a thinner profile and slimmer bezels.

PC Mag

It’s more for business than for consumers, but if you want a small, premium tablet, this is the only one worth buying.

But if you look around, there are a lot of iPad minis in business. Smaller tablets work well on vehicle mounts, as point-of-sale systems, for taking your restaurant order, for writing a prescription by a bedside, for getting your signature for that FedEx package, or for augmented-reality-lensing a house on the market to check its Zillow status. The iPad mini is for people who are standing up a lot while holding their tablet, and for businesses that don’t want to pay for an iPhone and service plan for every device […]

Its performance is vastly superior to the Samsung Galaxy Tab Active2, another enterprise-focused tablet. The tablet is also the right size for taking notes and sketching, if you tend to stand up a lot while you’re doing that. And you can get it with on-demand LTE.

If you have an existing iPad mini of any generation that’s been acting sluggish, it’s because the processor is just too old for today’s apps. I understand the reluctance to get a new device that looks the same as your old one, but the processor change makes the 2019 iPad mini more than a worthy upgrade. And for anyone who wants an iPad, but finds the $329 model a little unwieldy, you now have an excellent alternative. The iPad mini is a versatile tablet, and our Editors’ Choice.

Pocket Lint

If you want an ultra-portable tablet, this is the one to buy.

The iPad mini is a huge leap in terms of performance over its predecessor and last year’s 9.7-inch iPad, too. If you want a more compact iPad, there’s little we can say against it.

Yes, there is some sadness that iPad mini couldn’t have had smaller bezels and been a little more progressive in its appearance, but we don’t believe that many would-be buyers will be put off by that.

The 2019 mini is remarkably powerful device, especially when you team it with Apple Pencil and a third-party Bluetooth keyboard (Apple doesn’t make an official one, though, as iPad mini doesn’t have the smart connector found on the new 10.5-inch iPad Air and the iPad Pro lineup).

There’s simply no better tablet at this size, with ultimate portability and unparalleled power for its price point.


It’s in large part not aimed at the consumer market any more, but it’s still a loveable device.

The iPad mini is also extremely popular in industrial, commercial and medical applications. From charts and patient records to point-of-sale and job site reference, the mini is the perfect size for these kinds of customers. These uses were a major factor in Apple deciding to update the mini […]

The performance […] is exactly the same […] as the iPad Air […] This makes the mini a hugely powerful tiny tablet, clearly obliterating anything else in its size class. The screen is super solid, with great color, nearly no air gap and only lacking tap-to-wake […]

I’m falling in real strong like all over again with the mini, and the addition of Pencil support is the sweetener on top […]

This really is one of the most obvious choices Apple has in its current iPad lineup. If you want the cheap one, get the cheap one (excuse me, “most affordable” one). And if you want the small one, get the iPad mini.

The Verge

It’s a simple decision: do you really, really love the compact size?

The decision to get an iPad mini is simple: do you want a small, capable tablet? If you do, the mini is obviously worth $399, especially when you consider how long Apple has supported iPads for in the past. There’s just nothing else like it.

[But] you’re still looking at the exact same external design, which is now nearly seven years old. If you secretly replaced any previous iPad mini with the new one, there’s a chance you might not even notice the difference. All the changes to this new mini are on the inside […]

Good stuff: All the same specs as the larger iPad Air in a smaller size. Solid performance. Headphone jack.

Bad stuff: Seven-year-old exterior design with huge bezels. First-gen Apple Pencil. Lightning port instead of USB-C.


It’s only ‘slightly reinvented,’ but that doesn’t matter: if you love the last model, you’ll buy this one.

Apple’s new iPad Mini is an eight-inch bundle of contradictions. It’s new! But also, it’s not new. It works with Pencil! But it’s only compatible with the older Pencil. It has a high-resolution display! It also has thick bezels, ones reminiscent of an iPad from another era. It’s the fifth iPad Mini, and it feels like a product borne from an operations meeting about ways in which to use up existing components […]

Here’s the thing about iPad Mini, though: Most of this won’t matter. The iPad Mini is about emotion. It’s not the most popular iPad that Apple makes—that title goes to the 9.7-inch model—but the people who are gonna buy it are gonna buy it.

Did you love an earlier version of iPad Mini? Sold.

The business angle makes more sense of the device to me. When I wrote my comment, I’d been thinking mostly about the consumer market, but businesses won’t care about bezels or Face ID; they will care about the about the ability to run the latest apps, now and for years to come, and they will care about price.

As for consumers, if they love the size, what else are they going to buy? Our poll shows more of you dissatisfied than satisfied, but with a close split between those who wanted iPad Pro specs and those who wanted a budget model. Given that Apple can’t please everyone, it has probably done the next best thing, and launched something most existing iPad mini owners will buy even if they’d hoped for more.

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Avatar for Ben Lovejoy Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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