Why Apple's iPad Mini 4 Deserved More Attention on Sept. 9

Why Apple's iPad Mini 4 Deserved More Attention on Sept. 9
Even Slight Design Improvements Are Nice to See
The Better Processor Means Improved Performance
Better Graphics Performance to Handle Gaming
It's Optimized for iOS 9
There's Touch ID for Enhanced Security
Inside the iPad Mini 4
There's Enough Storage to Get the Job Done
Super-Fast WiFi and LTE
The Cameras Matter on the iPad Mini 4
Some Context on Pricing, Availability
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Why Apple's iPad Mini 4 Deserved More Attention on Sept. 9

We look at Apple's iPad Mini 4 and why it may have deserved more attention than it received at the company's press event earlier this month.

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Even Slight Design Improvements Are Nice to See

Apple didn't make major design improvements to the iPad Mini 4, but the device did get a few upgrades. For one, it's now 18 percent thinner than its predecessor. The device also weighs 0.65 pounds, making it the lightest tablet the company currently offers. Apple, meanwhile, has kept key design features, including the iPad Mini's nice screen and overall solid design.

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The Better Processor Means Improved Performance

Apple's iPad Mini 4 ships with the A8 processor and the company's M8 motion coprocessor. According to Apple, the system-on-a-chip, which comes with 64-bit computing, will deliver 30 percent better CPU performance than the chip found in the iPad Mini 3.

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Better Graphics Performance to Handle Gaming

In addition to enhanced CPU performance, the iPad Mini 4 comes with better graphics. Thanks to the A8 processor, Apple says that the iPad Mini 4 will be capable of delivering 60 percent faster graphics, ultimately meaning better experiences for gaming, browsing photos and even editing video. The graphics aren't high-end, but they're good enough for a small slate.

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It's Optimized for iOS 9

Although customers will be able to run iOS 9 on the iPad Mini 3, the iPad Mini 4 has been optimized for Apple's latest mobile operating system. In fact, the company made clear that customers who run iOS 9 on the device will find a much better experience than on the preceding tablet. Apple's iOS 9 will work well on nearly all current Apple slates, but it'll be best on the company's latest generation of products.

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There's Touch ID for Enhanced Security

Enterprise customers and those who are serious about security should consider that Touch ID comes bundled with the iPad Mini 4. That means users will be able to log into the device with their fingerprint, as well as make payments in-app without being forced to input a password. Touch ID is an important security feature that shouldn't be overlooked when evaluating the iPad Mini 4.

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Inside the iPad Mini 4

According to iFixit, a company that tears down technology products, the iPad Mini 4 is actually a bit of a hybrid internally. The company found that some of the components in the iPad Mini 4 match those of the iPad Air 2, while the others match the features in the iPad Mini 3. In other words, Apple's smallest tablets combine design concepts and components from both devices.

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There's Enough Storage to Get the Job Done

Unlike some of its competitors that sell low-end tablets at a cut-rate price, Apple has decided to bundle ample storage in the iPad Mini 4. Customers will find that in the WiFi model, as well as the WiFi-and-cellular model, Apple has storage options ranging from 16GB to 128GB. Although 16GB will likely be too little for some power users, the 128GB option seems like a great option for those who have a bunch of apps and videos they want to store on the device.

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Super-Fast WiFi and LTE

To its credit, Apple didn't slouch when it came to connectivity in the iPad Mini 4. The device's latest-generation WiFi and LTE chips offer possible speeds of up to 866M bps on wireless and up to 150M bps on cellular networks. While it's impossible that customers will get speeds that high, the fact that the iPad Mini 4 can accommodate just about any connection today is nice to see.

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The Cameras Matter on the iPad Mini 4

Unlike Apple's new iPhones or the company's iPad Pro, the iPad Mini 4 is available now to customers in a wide range of models. The iPad Mini 4 starts at $399 for the lowest-end WiFi model and jumps to $599 on the 128GB WiFi version. Customers who are after the LTE alternative can expect to pay $529 to $729 for the device, depending on the amount of storage they want.

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Some Context on Pricing, Availability

Unlike Apple's new iPhones or the company's iPad Pro, the iPad Mini 4 is available now to customers in a wide range of models. The iPad Mini 4 starts at $399 for the lowest-end WiFi model and jumps to $599 on the 128GB WiFi version. Customers who are after the LTE alternative can expect to pay $529 to $729 for the device, depending on the amount of storage they want.

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