Early 2019 iPad mini reviews call it evolutionary, but best small tablet available
Some of the first 2019 iPad mini reviews are going online, with the apparent consensus that while it's the best small-sized tablet on the market, it's merely an evolution meant to keep the Mini relevant.
"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," The Verge concluded. "There's just nothing else like it."
It pointed out however that the Mini's external design has been virtually unchanged for almost seven years, and that "all the changes to this new Mini are on the inside," referring to things like its A12 processor, True Tone display technology, and increased storage. It also criticized the use of a Lightning port instead of USB-C as on the iPad Pro, and the fact that the tablet only works with the first-generation Apple Pencil, not the second.
Wired called the tablet an "eight-inch bundle of contradictions," seemingly "a product borne from an operations meeting about ways in which to use up existing components." Like The Verge, the magazine criticized relatively thick bezels, and the restriction to the first-gen Pencil.
"Here's the thing about iPad mini, though: Most of this won't matter," it proposed. "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 network put more emphasis on comparisons with the 2019 iPad Air, saying the Mini is "for people who want a smaller iPad with all of the power of the new iPad Air," of which it thinks there are plenty, even if they may not know it.
It remarked though that the Air is "only" $100 more and has a 10.5-inch display, and that the budget-conscious can simply pick up last year's 9.7-inch model for $329. The latter is likely even cheaper as a refurb or through third-party vendors.
The Mini's true popularity is in "industrial, commercial and medical applications," and this is a major reason why Apple chose to update the tablet, TechCrunch suggested. It nevertheless enthused about the tablet for average person, saying it's "clearly obliterating anything else in its size class."
Some minor criticisms included the lack of a tap-to-wake function, and a "chunky" $399 price, though it added that "if you want the best you pay for it."
In contrast with TechCrunch, Engadget's reviewer said he's "just not convinced it's the right tablet for most people," even if it's portable and there's "more than enough power." Like CNBC he called attention to the two other lower-cost iPads available, saying "either of those options seem like more sensible choices."
He also described the new Mini's design as "a little dated," and disappointing given the three-plus years since the Mini 4.
"The iPad mini is not a revolutionary new tablet," Mashable noted, "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."
It painted the 2019 Mini as "still mostly the same tablet as the iPad mini 4," even compatible with prior accessories. Regardless its blend of compact size and performance makes it worth it, the site said.
Laptop asserted the new Mini could be useful to "younger kids who are not yet ready for a phone," as well as executives and "creatives," the latter getting a convenient digital sketchbook. "With the new iPad mini, Apple has given its slate enough oomph to justify the device's $399 price," it wrote.
It did however cite a "disconnect between the iPad mini's modern specs and its throwback design," pointing out that Apple could've offered up an 8.5-inch display with thinner bezels.