Skip to main content

iPad Mini 4 vs. Mini 3: Should You Upgrade?

Among the less-hyped announcements from Apple's Sept. 9 event is the new iPad mini 4. The new model replaces the old iPad mini 3, though Apple will continue to sell the iPad mini 2. Is the newest small tablet worth the upgrade?

When the iPad mini 3 hit the scene, it brought with it the Touch ID button that reads your fingerprint and bigger storage options (64GB and 128GB). It also added a gold shell option. Beyond that, it was virtually identical to the previous generation of iPad mini, which Apple is keeping in its lineup. It was the same size and weight, and sported the same A7 chip with an M7 motion coprocessor. It was good enough to earn a 3.5 star review, in part thanks to its long 9 hours and 10 minutes of battery life. 

Our only real complaint about the last version was its speed. On Geekbench 3, which measures overall performance, we recorded a relatively low score of 2,481. The new iPad mini 4 hopes to change that, offering an upgraded CPU pairing of the A8 and M8 coprocessors. According to Apple, that should mean a 30 percent speed boost and 60 percent faster graphics. The mini 4 also adds the newest Wi-Fi standard of 802.11ac for faster downloads. 

If speed is your biggest complaint about your current mini, this model may be worth picking up. Of course, we won't be able to say that definitively until we get in back in our labs for tests. 

Having issues with iOS 9? Tom’s Guide has a team of experts standing by in the forums to answer your questions. You can also share your own experiences, or jump in and help others.

A lover of lists and deadlines, Anna Attkisson covers apps, social networking, tablets, chromebooks and accessories. She loves each of her devices equally, including the phablet, three tablets, three laptops and desktop. She joined the Laptop Mag staff in 2007, after working at Time Inc. Content Solutions where she created custom publications for companies from American Express to National Parks Foundation.