iPad Mini 3 Tablet Fights For Attention Under iPad Air 2's Shadow

1 - iPad Mini 3 Tablet Fights For Attention Under iPad Air 2's Shadow
2 - No Changes on Screen Size
3 - It Includes Touch ID, but Not Near-Field Communication
4 - Apple Is Sticking With the Familiar Color Choices
5 - An Older Chip Powers the iPad Mini 3
6 - It Scores High on Mobility
7 - iPad Mini 3 Ships With Lower-End 802.11n WiFi
8 - iPad Mini 3 Ships With iOS 8, of Course
9 - Apple Sticks With Same Solid Design
10 - Apple Has Dropped the 32GB Version
11 - Feature Options Make the iPad Mini 3 Pricey
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iPad Mini 3 Tablet Fights For Attention Under iPad Air 2's Shadow

by Don Reisinger

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No Changes on Screen Size

Although there was some speculation that Apple would try to distance the iPad Mini's size from that of the iPhone 6 Plus, the company has instead decided to keep the screen size the same. The iPad Mini 3 comes with a 7.9-inch screen like its predecessors. The display, of course, offers the Retina display technology that delivers high fidelity when watching videos or reading text.

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It Includes Touch ID, but Not Near-Field Communication

Apple has officially brought its fingerprint sensor, Touch ID, to its entire mobile product line. The iPad Mini 3 comes with Touch ID to allow users to more securely access their apps, as well as make purchases securely from within apps. However, like the iPad Air 2, the iPad Mini 3 lacks a near-field communications (NFC) chip, which means users won't be able to make purchases in-store.

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Apple Is Sticking With the Familiar Color Choices

Apple has committed to offering the same colors across its mobile device line. The iPad Mini 3 comes in space grey with a black front panel, as well as silver and gold, which both feature a white front panel. The colors seem to be working well for Apple, as the company has committed to them in both the iPad Mini 3 and iPad Air 2.

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An Older Chip Powers the iPad Mini 3

Apple announced a new-generation chip in the iPad Air 2 called the A8X. The iPad Mini 3, however, is living in the last generation. The device comes with the A7 chip and the M7 motion coprocessor, which users would find in Apple's previous generation devices. It would have been nice if the company actually brought the A8 chip in the iPhone 6 to the iPad Mini 3.

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It Scores High on Mobility

When it comes to mobility, the iPad Mini 3 scores high marks. The tablet is 7.87 inches in height and 5.3 inches wide. Its depth is just 0.29 inches, making it extremely thin and easy to toss into a purse or bag. Best of all, it weighs just 0.73 to 0.75 pounds, depending on the version, so it's extremely lightweight.

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iPad Mini 3 Ships With Lower-End 802.11n WiFi

While the iPad Air 2 is equipped with 802.11ac WiFi connectivity, Apple hasn't gone so far in the iPad Mini 3. Apple's smaller slate tops out at 802.11n, which will disappoint those who have already invested in the newer wireless technology. Apple did, however, bundle Bluetooth 4.0 in the device, which is nice to see.

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iPad Mini 3 Ships With iOS 8, of Course

Apple's iPad Mini 3 will ship with iOS 8. While that might be good news for some users, it's worth noting that after a month of availability, iOS 8 has less than 50 percent adoption, meaning those who are currently running legacy devices are not jumping at the chance to download the latest software. With the iPad Mini 3, customers will have no choice, so any holdouts might want to keep that in mind.

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Apple Sticks With Same Solid Design

One of the best things about the iPad Mini 3 is its design. And Apple wisely changed nothing in its basic design. The iPad Mini 3 comes with a slim and small footprint, its bezel on either side of the screen is nice and thin, and both the white and black front panels look great. The iPad Mini 3 is simply a nice-looking product that shouldn't be overlooked.

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Apple Has Dropped the 32GB Version

Apple has decided with this iPad generation to ditch the 32GB version. Instead, the company is offering a 16GB version, along with 64GB and 128GB models. It's not clear why Apple has cut the 32GB model from its tablet lineup, but those who want more storage will at least have a 128GB option available. Whether 16GB is enough space for the average user, however, is decidedly up for debate.

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Feature Options Make the iPad Mini 3 Pricey

Apple is selling the 16GB version for a starting price of $399, while the 64GB and 128GB options go for $499 and $599, respectively. Consumers can add $130 to each device option if they want the LTE option. The highest-end iPad Mini goes for $729 and includes 4G LTE connectivity. In other words, the device is somewhat expensive.

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