Apple has now launched the new iPad Mini 4, which is replacing the old Mini 3, while the Mini 2 drops to a new entry-level price. But what’s the difference between the iPad Mini 4 and the iPad Mini 2 and which is best for you?
Read next: Our full iPad Mini 4 review
Apple iPad Mini 4 vs iPad Mini 2: Design
The iPad Mini 4 looks and feels very similar to the original iPad Mini 2, but is now a shade lighter at just under 300g. That’s not a massive difference compared with the 331g iPad Mini 2, so both tablets will be kind on your biceps. This fourth model is also slimmer at just 6.1mm – again, not a massive difference but impressive nevertheless.
The Apple iPad Mini 4 sports a TouchID fingerprint sensor, something missing from the iPad Mini 2, making it more secure – good news if you’re always taking it on the road. TouchID can also be used to confirm app payments and so on, which is a pleasing little time saver.
Apple iPad Mini 4 vs iPad Mini 2: Screen and media
The Mini 4’s 7.9-inch Retina screen once again packs a 1536 x 2048 (326ppi) resolution, so movie fans won’t notice any difference between the two iPad Minis. Both displays are bright, boast wide viewing angles and pump out bold yet realistic colours.
However, if you want to cart around a hefty media collection, the iPad Mini 4 is your best bet. Neither tablet has expandable storage but the Mini 4 comes in 16GB, 64GB and 128GB models, while the Mini 2 only boasts 16GB and 32GB flavours.
Apple iPad Mini 4 vs iPad Mini 2: Performance and battery life
The Mini 2 is still a solid performer two years on, running games and apps with a smooth, consistent frame rate. However, the Mini 2’s A7 processor has been boosted in the Mini 4 to a powerful Apple A8 chipset, which means it won’t show any signs of slow down in the foreseeable future.
As for battery life, the Mini 4 is actually a step down compared with the Mini 2. On Apple’s second compact tab, we always managed over ten hours of video streaming per charge. The Mini 4 ‘only’ manages eight and a half; still an impressive effort and better than most other compact tabs.
Apple iPad Mini 4 vs iPad Mini 2: Cameras
Now, you should never take photos on your iPad kiddies; but if you absolutely must wave your tablet around like a numpty, the Mini 4 sports a sharper 8-meg iSight camera, compared with the Mini 2’s basic 5-meg snapper. It’s a decent camera, packing plenty of detail into shots, although it falters in high contrast and low light.
Around the front, there’s no difference – the FaceTime camera is once again a very decent 1.2-megapixel snapper, allowing you to shoot 720p video as well as Skype with your mates.
Apple iPad Mini 4 vs iPad Mini 2: Verdict
The Mini 4 offers a few improvements over the Mini 2, notably the TouchID sensor, more powerful processor and much better storage options. If you’re a media or gaming fan who wants to carry around loads of movies and time-wasters, or intent on editing video on the go, we’d recommend bagging a Mini 4. Everyone else should be more than content with the Mini 2.