Apple iPad mini 4

Last updated date: January 9, 2019

DWYM Score

8.6

Apple iPad mini 4

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We looked at the top Tablets and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Tablet you should buy.

Update as August 1, 2019:
Checkout The Best Tablet for a detailed review of all the top tablets.

Overall Take

Some of the best things come in small packages, and Apple proves that with the iPad Mini. With dimensions of only 8” X 5.3”, this smaller version of the iPad is ideal for those who want a high-quality tablet in a more portable size.


In our analysis of 140 expert reviews, the Apple iPad mini 4 placed 8th when we looked at the top 23 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

From The Manufacturer

7.9-inch Retina display with antireflective coating. A8 chip with 64-bit desktop-class architecture. Touch ID fingerprint sensor. 8MP camera with 1080p video and 1.2MP FaceTime HD camera. 802.11ac Wi-Fi with MIMO. LTE cellular data connectivity. Up to 10 hours of battery life.

Expert Reviews

Expert Summarized Score

8.0
9 expert reviews

User Summarized Score

9.8
14,326 user reviews

What experts liked

The same swooping curved edges are used once more, and the ceramic-like back of the tablet feels brilliant in the hand.
- Tech Radar
November 5, 2018 | Full review
I've never had much reason to complain about the iPhone 6's performance, and the combination of that chipset and the extra RAM means the Mini 4 is, unsurprisingly, a snappy performer (more on that later).
- Engadget
September 26, 2015 | Full review
Compared to 2014's iPad Mini 2, the Mini 4 has a better screen, better camera, faster processor and a Touch ID fingerprint sensor.
- CNET
June 9, 2017 | Full review
The iPad mini 4 has a gorgeous, vibrant display that’s on par with the iPad Air 2 and a massive step up from what came before.
- The Verge
September 28, 2015 | Full review
The very bright screen and its reduced glare will be easy to view when used outdoors or in bright rooms.
- Consumer Reports
The slimmer profile still looks as sexy and premium as anything else on the market.
- Laptop Magazine
October 2, 2015 | Full review
Indeed, reading on the iPad mini 4 is a much better experience than with its siblings, though it's still not as good as an E Ink display for reading a book—especially outdoors.
- PC Magazine
September 9, 2015 | Full review
Overall, iOS 9 is an incremental update to Apple’s mobile operating system, but it has one particularly awesome feature for iPad users: Split-screen multi-tasking.
- Digital Trends
December 1, 2015 | Full review
Apps open without any lag and navigating iOS is generally snappy and instantaneous.
- Trusted Reviews
May 6, 2016 | Full review

What experts didn't like

Of course there's no 3D Touch on offer here – it only landed on the iPhone 6S relatively recently to the Mini 4's launch, and Apple loves to save really good technology for its other devices until it really needs to add it in.
- Tech Radar
November 5, 2018 | Full review
The Air-ification of the Mini line also means that handy rotation-lock switch -- part of the iPad's hardware formula for years -- has been excised.
- Engadget
September 26, 2015 | Full review
The iPad Mini 4 has nearly the same specs as the larger Air 2 -- except for its graphics processor, which is more than one-third slower.
- CNET
June 9, 2017 | Full review
The mini 4 has 2GB of RAM inside, so apps are also less likely to unexpectedly restart when you’re multitasking, and Safari won’t need to reload your tabs so often.
- The Verge
September 28, 2015 | Full review
There was some sluggishness when using the web browser.
- Consumer Reports
However, the sound quality wasn't stellar.
- Laptop Magazine
October 2, 2015 | Full review
I experienced some slight lag while sifting through several open apps on the iPad mini 4, that I didn't see with the iPad Air 2.
- PC Magazine
September 9, 2015 | Full review
The iPad Mini 4 may be the best 8-inch tablet, but its older processor, cheaper competitors, and Apple’s own superior iPads make it difficult to recommend with enthusiasm.
- Digital Trends
December 1, 2015 | Full review
Unfortunately, there’s no quick-charging feature available on the iPad Mini 4, and on average it took 2hrs 30mins to fully charge the tablet.
- Trusted Reviews
May 6, 2016 | Full review

Overall Product Rankings

Apple iPad, 9.7-inch (128GB)

2. Apple iPad, 9.7-inch (128GB)

Overall Score: 9.0
Huawei MediaPad M5

4. Huawei MediaPad M5

Overall Score: 8.9
Apple iPad Pro 10.5 inch

6. Apple iPad Pro 10.5 inch

Overall Score: 8.7
Apple iPad 6

7. Apple iPad 6

Overall Score: 8.7
Apple iPad mini 4

8. Apple iPad mini 4

Overall Score: 8.6
Samsung Galaxy Tab S2

9. Samsung Galaxy Tab S2

Overall Score: 8.5
Apple iPad Pro

10. Apple iPad Pro

Overall Score: 8.3
Samsung Galaxy Tab S4

11. Samsung Galaxy Tab S4

Overall Score: 8.2
Amazon Fire HD 10

12. Amazon Fire HD 10

Overall Score: 8.1
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3

13. Samsung Galaxy Tab S3

Overall Score: 8.0
Amazon Fire HD 8

14. Amazon Fire HD 8

Overall Score: 7.5
Amazon Fire 7 Kids

16. Amazon Fire 7 Kids

Overall Score: 7.3
Amazon Fire 7 Tablet

17. Amazon Fire 7 Tablet

Overall Score: 7.3
Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 2

18. Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 2

Overall Score: 7.1
Samsung Galaxy Tab E Lite

21. Samsung Galaxy Tab E Lite

Overall Score: 6.1

An Overview On Tablets

Whether you’re bored on the train or stranded in your doctor’s waiting room, a tablet can keep you entertained. Depending on the apps you’ve downloaded, you can work, read, catch up on your favorite TV show or just play a quick game of Candy Crush Saga.

But when it comes to tablets, not all are created equal. The iPad may have become synonymous with the model, but there are many other versions available. Amazon’s Kindle, which started out as a simple e-reader, has expanded to include apps, games and video streaming. Over time, this has put it on par with all the other tablets on the market.

If you’re shopping for a tablet, though, there are plenty of things to consider. First of all, where will you be using it? If you see yourself lounging by the pool this summer and catching up on the latest beach reads, outside screen visibility is a huge factor. On the other hand, if you think you’ll be downloading hours of Netflix movies to watch on your overseas flight, storage is a must.

In most areas, you can’t go wrong with an iPad. But whether you choose the standard or Pro model also depends on your own unique needs. The newer Pro releases feature the much-touted liquid retina display, which offers a viewing experience like no other. But you’ll have to pay extra for that, so it’s important to know in advance how much the feature matters to you.

Headphone jacks are also an important issue if you’re buying a tablet. As with the iPhone, newer iPads feature only a lightning port, which makes it difficult to charge your tablet and listen to audio at the same time. You’ll also need to consider what accessories you need, including whether you need a keyboard or what type of case you want.

As important as the viewing experience is, though, portability is also a significant factor. Unless you’re going for an iPad Mini, you’ll get the smallest and most lightweight tablet with the Amazon Fire HD 8. It may not seem like much at the moment, but when you’re sliding your tablet into your backpack to take with you on vacation, every extra ounce will matter.

Lastly, your budget will factor heavily into the type of tablet you buy. Although tablets are largely more affordable than laptops, there is still a wide variation in price between the Kindle Fire and any of the latest iPads. If you’re simply looking for a device for reading books and playing a few games, the Fire may do the trick. However, for fuller functionality, you may want to save enough to go for the pricier iPad.

The Tablet Buying Guide

  • One of the best things about a tablet is that you can take it on the go. If you want to slide it into a purse or laptop bag, though, size does matter. The Amazon Fire 10 is smaller than the latest iPads on the market, with dimensions of 10.3” X 6.3” and thicknesses of 0.4.” If you’re looking at iPads, though, the standard iPad will be the smallest, at 9.4” X 6.6” and 0.29” thickness.
  • As crucial as portability is, you also need an adequate screen size for screening videos, playing games or whatever activities you plan to do on your tablet. The nearly 10-inch height of the iPad Pro is designed for that reason. On the latest iPad Pro, you’ll get an 11-inch display, compared to the 10-inch display of the more compact Amazon Fire HD 10.
  • Size isn’t the only factor when considering a tablet’s screen. iPads feature a liquid retina display, which uses a larger number of pixels to create a screen as smooth as print on paper. Although the Fire HD 10 boasts a 1920 X 1200 high-definition picture, the difference is very noticeable when compared side by side with an iPad.
  • As you’re toting your tablet around, weight becomes an increasingly important issue. Weight is pretty straightforward with the iPad and iPad Pro, which all measure 1.03 pounds with the Wi-Fi model. Add an additional 0.02 pounds for the cellular-enabled model. You’ll save a little weight with the Amazon Fire 10, which totals only 17.7 ounces.
  • One weakness of tablets has been outdoor readability. If you’re planning to pack up your tablet and take your favorite beach read to the actual beach, that’s an important feature. Although nothing beats a paper-based book or even the Kindle Paperwhite, the retina display on the iPad 7 and 8 comes close. You’ll also find the Fire HD 10’s automatic lighting adjustment works well when you’re outside.
  • Today’s top tablets automatically adjust to the lighting in the room you’re in. If this is important to you, stick with the Fire HD 10 or iPad Pro since the regular iPad doesn’t have that feature.
  • If you’re planning to watch movies or play games on your tablet, power is everything. The Kindle Fire falls short in this area, but you can take your pick of the iPad editions. For best results, splurge on the latest iPad Pro, which promises to be three times faster than previous editions.
  • Tablets can be great for storing music and photos. You can even download movies and TV shows to watch when you’ll be away from Wi-Fi for a while. But you’ll need plenty of storage for this. The latest iPad offers up to a full terabyte of storage, provided you buy the most expensive version. The Fire HD 10 offers only 32 GB of storage, but you can expand up to 400 GB using a MicroSD card.
  • You’re probably planning to watch films or TV series on your new tablet. For that, you’ll need a headphone jack, especially if you’ll be listening in public. One negative to the latest iPads: the lack of a headphone jack, which means you’ll need a special lightning-equipped set of earbuds to listen. Even then, if you’re trying to charge and listen, you’ll run into trouble since there’s only one jack for that. If headphones matter to you, consider the Fire HD 10, which has a standard 3.5mm stereo jack.
  • Before you buy, decide whether you’ll need to be able to move files from your tablet to another device. Much of this sort of thing is done through the iCloud these days, but with Apple, it can be complicated if your other devices aren’t Apple products. The Kindle Fire isn’t much better. In either case, you’ll need to connect your device using a USB and move the files manually.
  • Apps are an important part of tablet ownership. It’s important to note that with any Amazon tablet, you’ll need access to an Amazon Prime membership to listen to music and watch movies. The iPad, however, lets you download whatever apps you need, although you’ll still need to pay for many of them. With the Samsung Galaxy tablet, you can download apps through Google Play.
  • Every tablet needs accessories. Look into the options for keyboards and covers. If a keyboard is important to you, you’ll want to stick with the iPad Pro, since the standard version doesn’t have the keyboard connector.
  • Tablets can find themselves in some precarious situations, often landing in the hands of children or enduring adventure-filled vacations. That makes ruggedness an important consideration. Neither Amazon’s nor Apple’s models are waterproof, nor are they designed to withstand extreme conditions. However, you can buy cases that will offer protection.
  • If you’re heading out for the day, it’s important to have a tablet that will last. The latest iPad Pro promises up to 10 hours of battery life. The Fire HD 10 promises the same, but the battery tends to drain much faster if you’re doing activities like streaming video.
  • When your battery does run down, it can help to have a battery that charges fairly quickly. The newer iPads feature Apple’s quick-charging capabilities, but you’ll need the right accessories.
  • Digital pencils are all the rage. If you want to draw, handwrite or just make gaming a little easier, consider an iPad. The latest models are all compatible with the Apple Pencil.
  • All that aside, though, price is perhaps the biggest differentiator. You can get a new Amazon Fire HD 10 for around $120 — even cheaper if you catch it on sale. The standard iPad goes for around $350, while Pro versions tend to be more in the $1,000 range.
  • It’s worth noting that tablet design hasn’t changed much since Microsoft revealed the first one in 2000. The design was very similar to what’s seen on the market today. In 2002, Microsoft launched a version with Windows XP that continued the design.