The Apple iPad Mini 3 is available now from Apple.
- Touch ID Fingerprint scanner
- iOS 8.1
- 7.9-inch IPS display
- A7 64-bit processor
- 7.5mm thin
There's almost nothing we can say that hasn't already been said about Apple's out-of-character unveiling of the iPad Mini 3.
The fact is you're either going to jump on a soapbox and complain about how the price hasn't changed - or you can put it into the perspective of every other product category that gets a minor update.
What it proves is that that stellar leap that took place with mobile technology starting in 2007 is beginning to slow. Sure companies are finding new ways to make it seem like their products are 'better', 'faster', 'thinner' but in truth screens are reaching a point where you'll be hard-pressed to tell the difference.
Apps and games are slowing despite the fact processors are getting faster. Why? To accommodate everyone -- because when you buy a phone or tablet, the likelihood is you're keeping it for at least two years.
Apple knows all of this. It knows that its 64-bit A7 processor is more than capable of running the latest games and apps, and it knows that while some may moan, the Mini 3 is every bit as competitive as it was a year ago.
If anything it's a testament to how advanced the Mini Retina was in the first place that this year's model is so similar. The 2048x1536 screen is actually the same resolution than that found on the new iPad Air 2. So even last year you were getting a display that offered almost unbeatable clarity.
The features Apple has upgraded are small but significant. Memory has been given a boost, a big boost. For the same money as the original you now get 64GB or 128GB storage (though the base model stays at 16GB). That's important, HD files and games aren't small.
The most important update though is Touch ID.
What you're paying for is the peace of mind that not only your tablet, but your personal identity is now significantly more protected.
If you sit back and start thinking about all the things that Touch ID now protects, you'll realise just how open your life was before.
Dropbox is my go to form of cloud storage, it's universal, free and utterly dependable. With two-step login on new devices it was relatively safe - but in truth, not impregnable.
Now though, almost all of the devices that run Dropbox are protected by my fingerprint which means that if the shit does hit the fan, I'll know it wasn't me who picked it up.
1Password is now protected by Touch ID. iTunes store purchases are too, so are App store purchases. It's not just criminals you're protecting yourself against but sons, daughters, nephews and nieces. Think of all the hassle you've saved now that your son can't accidentally buy £500 worth of Smurf berries.
We're not sure why you'd pick the non-Touch ID model iPad Mini, if you have the choice. Sure it offers you the same specs for less, but if you have to buy an iPad this year, then knowing that it'll keep your stuff markedly safer seems like a no-brainer.
But it's still a minor distinction, for £100. And if we had to bet money (which we won't), then we'd say the year of the iPad Mini will be next year. It's by that point that the majority of older iPad Mini users will start seriously considering an upgrade.
For now though, this is for those people that want to start getting involved in the Apple ecosystem -- and to be honest, we can't think of a better, or safer way to start.