Chip-Monks  ⁄  iOS  ⁄  Apple iPad mini 4
Apple iPad mini 4
14 Sep, 2015
  • Manufacturer
  • Launch Date
    September, 2015
  • Successor To
    Apple iPad Mini 3
  • Colors
    Dark Grey, Gold, Silver

There’s more to the new iPad mini 4 than meets the eye!

The deceptively small mini 4 puts uncompromising performance and potential in your hand. It’s thinner and lighter than ever before, yet its powerful enough to help you take your ideas even further.

The iPad mini 4 is powered by a second-generation 64-bit desktop-class architecture that can handle even your most demanding apps. With 60% graphics performance, whether you’re editing a video, browsing photos, or both, your experience will be smooth and seamless.

It’s got a better screen that removes reflection, tracks gestures even more accurately and the rear camera delivers advanced optics, an improved sensor, and an Apple‑designed image signal processor. The front‑facing FaceTime HD camera has been redesigned, too, with a refined sensor and larger pixels for even better low‑light performance.

The upshot? All your photos, videos, facetime calls and selfies look incredibly vivid.

iPad mini 4 runs iOS 9, which is one of the best operating systems in the world and for the first time ever, it rides an OS that was largely made for tablets – enabling new multitasking features like Slide Over, Split View, and Picture in Picture which are all available only on tablets.

Whatever you use the iPad mini 4 for, it’s ready for it!

Apple iPad mini 4
14 Sep, 2015
  • Display Size
    7.9 inches
  • Display Type
    IPS LCD, Retina display
  • Screen Material
  • Display Attributes
  • Aspect Ratio
  • Pixel Density
    326 ppi
  • Resolution
    2048 x 1536

The display on the iPad mini 4 is not just thinner, it’s a better display.

As Apple explains it, the displays on previous generations of iPad mini were constructed with three separate components. With iPad mini 4, Apple has combined those three layers into one. It’s called a laminated display (which was first seen on the iPad Air 2) and it is a significant change.

– This eliminates gaps between layers, thus eradicating internal reflection caused by sandwiched layers.

– The redesigned display also delivers greater color saturation than before, a whopping 44% more.

– The fully laminated design in combination with deeper color saturation produce greater contrast and lifelike colors for sharper text and vivid images.

– With he LCD layer is now closer than ever to your eyes (and your fingers), so when you touch the screen it truly feels as if you’re touching your content.

– Apple has also improved the sensitivity of the screen, so it tracks your finger even more accurately, especially when you make quick gestures.

– iPad mini 4 display features a custom-designed antireflective coating that reduces glare by 56% compared with previous iPad displays. Thus, everything is clearer and more readable in any kind of environment – offices, classrooms, and most importantly, outdoors, in bright sunlight.

Apple iPad mini 4
Form & Materials
14 Sep, 2015
  • Shape/Type
  • Length
    8 inches
  • Breadth
    5.3 inches
  • Thickness
    0.24 inches
  • Weight
    304 grams
  • Body

The iPad mini’s frame has always been so thin and light that its borderline unbelievable that it encompasses a fully-functional aluminium based tablet. One truly needs to hold it physically to know what light means.

Purpose-built to fit into just about any bag and even most jacket pockets, it’s the perfect size to be carried around sub-consciously.

This tablet measures just 203 mm (8 inches) in height, which means it’s 3 mm inches taller than the iPad mini 3, yet at 6.1 mm it is 1.4 mm thinner than the mini 3!

That’s not all… it is 33 grams lighter than it’s predecessor!! It is a super light 295 grams. And this really should be all the reason you need to choose the 4 over the mini 3 or the mini 2 (should you be at the cusp of a decision. Every micro-gram manifests itself when holding aloft an object for sustained periods of time.

Talking about compromises – we couldn’t find any. Super-strength aluminium, trademark chamfered edges (hopefully treated with sufficient anodisation to prevent flaking), satisfyingly precise buttons, including the workhorse Touch ID enabled Home button, strengthened glass, stereo speakers, wind-resistance and noise cancellation – it’s all there.

Something that performs this beautifully deserves an equally beautiful finish. The iPad mini 4 comes in Silver, Space Gray, and Gold.

Apple iPad mini 4
Hardware & Performance
14 Sep, 2015
  • Processor
    Apple A8
  • CPU Clock Speed
    1.5 GHz
  • Graphics Processor
    PowerVR GX6450
  • RAM
    2 GB
  • RAM Type
  • Inbuilt Storage
    16 GB
  • Max Expandable Storage
    No Expandable Slot
  • Battery Capacity
    5124 mAh
  • Standby Time (on 2G)
  • Standby Time (on 3G)
  • Wireless Charging

Let me start by quelling a fear – that lithe frame that makes the iPad mini 4 so imminently ubiquitous, does not imply compromises. The internals on the iPad mini 4 are so capable as to be akin to a sports car – no matter what gear you’re in, there’s always more power on tap. You could be watching a 23 GB high definition movie on this iPad, and it will always be awake with all background processes working, you’ll get all your notifications, you’ll be able to toggle applications and jump back into the movie – all without a stutter.

Let’s start from the top. At the heart of the iPad mini 4 is the A8 chip (the same as that on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus) with second-generation 64-bit desktop class architecture. It does everything, effortlessly. And no, we don’t only mean running gazillions of apps. That’s never a measure of capability, by the way.

Compared with the A7 chip in the iPad mini 3, the A8 chip delivers up to 30 percent faster CPU performance. From launching apps to playing games, everything is more fluid and responsive. And all your actions – swiping, pinching, zooming, scrolling, and rotating – happen quickly and smoothly.

The processor’s astounding capabilities makes everything from editing a movie to playing 3D games smooth and effortless.

People have this misconception that the iPads are glorified e-book readers. That’s hardly the case!!

Apple wants the iPad mini to be your all-day friend, so they’ve even put in the new M8 motion coprocessor. This coprocessor continuously monitors motion, measures data from the accelerometer, compass, gyroscope, and a new barometer. The best part? It shares all the information it picks up with your iPhone (in case you’re counting steps and/or stairs you’ve climbed), via your iCloud ID.

Further, the M8 shoulders a lot of the A8’s work, for improved power efficiency – meaning that since the motion coprocessor continuously calibrates all five sensors, when you want to play a game or use the Maps app, iPad mini 4 is ready and primed.

The A8 chip isn’t just powerful, it’s also power efficient.  With up to 10 hours of battery life, iPad mini 4 gives you plenty of time to study, play, or create whatever you want, wherever you want. And thanks to advancements in iOS 9, iPad mini 4 can make that power last even longer.

Let’s just say – we tried really hard to make the iPad trip up. And failed. It didn’t even break a sweat.

Apple iPad mini 4
OS & Interface
14 Sep, 2015
  • OS in the Box
    iOS 9
  • OS Upgradable To
    iOS 11
  • Manufacturer UI
  • Personal Assistant

Per Apple, iOS 9 is world’s most advanced and secure mobile operating system. We can’t really measure that. But we can definitely agree that its the best iOS yet.

We said back in July 2015 in our article “Gossip About The ‘iPad Pro‘” that Chip-Monks believed that iOS 9 was actually being “purpose-built for the iPad Pro (and not so much the iPhone)”, we were almost right! From the elegant interface, it’s amazing fluidity, to the new multitasking features the iOS 9 is designed to meet all the diverse customers’ needs from their iPad (be it the iPad mini 4, the iPad Air 2 or the iPad Pro).

New in the iOS 9:

– Slide Over allows you to temporarily open a second app without leaving the one you’re currently in. This is different from acting on a notification in iOS 8 – that interaction was limited to a select few actions in the second app. Slide over enables all the features of the second app.  And then you can slide right back to what you were originally doing.
Its something Samsung tablets have had for a while, and its good to see it implemented on an Apple product.

– Split View allows you to work on two apps concurrently. So you could copy text from a memo into a presentation, and then a graph from the presentation and put that into the memo. Get it? Multitasking simplified.

– Picture in Picture: as the name suggests, you can continue watching a video as you work on something else. For example – you can now watch a cricket match while working on your email! Think of it as something you see on the YouTube app.

– QuickType is a feature that clearly indicates that Apple is trying to make iPads content-creation devices, not just consumption ones. A reworked iPad keyboard now enables a new formatting and text selection capability and put some shortcuts (as first seen on the iPhone 6 Plus) right at your fingertips.

You can also now shape up your text in no time with an all-new Shortcut Bar, convenient editing tools, and a handy new way to select text with multi-touch gestures. When you use a wireless keyboard with your iPad, you can enjoy even more keyboard shortcuts.

All in all, the new iPad mini 4 gets a major boost thanks to the new iOS, which also helps Apple differentiate the experience for you and make you do more on your iPad than you could earlier.

Apple iPad mini 4
14 Sep, 2015
  • Rear Camera
  • Image Resolution
    8 MP
  • Video Capture Resolution
    1920 x 1080 (Full HD)
  • Aperture
  • Flash Type
  • Image Stabilization
  • Optical Zoom
  • Digital Zoom
  • Front Camera
  • Image Resolution
    1.2 MP
  • Video Capture Resolution
    720 - HD
  • Aperture

The iSight camera (i.e. the rear camera) in the iPad mini 4 uses an Apple-designed image signal processor. To speed things up, Apple built it right into the A8 chip.

While it’s still got an aperture of f/2.4 as per its predecessor, the improved sensor, advanced optics, and a cutting‑edge image signal processor, the 8 megapixel rear camera in iPad mini 4 captures incredibly detailed photos and 1080p HD videos.

You can fire off 10 photos per second in burst mode, and the iPad will automatically detect smiles and blinks to grab the best shot. You can shoot slo-mo videos at 120 fps or use Time-lapse mode to world-views and long-duration events (maybe even 30 hours long!) into engaging mini-movies.

The front camera (they call it the FaceTime HD camera) too, receives a new sensor, has a larger ƒ/2.2 aperture (that lets in 81% more light) to help make your video calls look better, even in low light – though you may not get to enjoy that benefit personally. It makes for better selfies too, though people might look at you strangely if you’re holding up an 8-inch by 5-inch tablet like a trophy!

Both cameras support advanced camera- and video features facilitated by the iOS 9 – like better face detection and enhanced noise reduction, better low-light photography. Overall, it’s easier to shoot higher-quality photos and videos with the mini 4.

There are two microphones in iPad mini 4 that use sophisticated noise-reduction technology to suppress background noise so your calls (FaceTime or Handoff) sound much better, as do your video recordings.

Here’s some trivia – when you switch cameras from front to back (or vice versa), the microphones switch, too. So as Apple says – “what your iPad sees is also what your iPad hears“.

Not to forget, the high‑resolution Retina display makes a spectacular photo viewer. So whether you use it as a camera or not, do remember to get your photos onto the iPad mini 4 (iCloud Photo Library, Google Photos, Flickr or plain old SD card via an adapter). They look absolutely, fantastically, gorgeous!!

Apple iPad mini 4
14 Sep, 2015
  • Download & Play Media Directly
  • FM Radio
  • Sound Enhancement
  • Stream-out (Wired)
    Lightning, Aux 3.5
  • Stream-out (Wireless)
    Bluetooth 4.2, Wi-fi, Airplay
  • Game Center

The A8 chip in the mini 4 has an astonishing 60% faster graphics performance than the mini 3’s A7 chip.

So iPad mini 4 boasts of graphic performance that was once possible only on desktop computers and gaming consoles. Graphics-intensive games, video editing apps and videos themselves run superbly, and look gorgeous on the beautiful Retina display.

To get the greatest graphics performance out of the A8 chip and iOS 9, iPad mini 4 takes advantage of Metal – an Apple technology that lets developers design highly immersive console-style games. Metal is optimized to allow the CPU and GPU to work together to deliver detailed graphics and complex visual effects. So every imaginary world feels more realistic.

That’s not all that you could do to entertain yourself – the new iOS 9 comes with a great new music app called Apple Music.

Apple Music is Apple’s way of reimagining their music app. It’s extremely feature-rich and detailed, bordering on being confusing (we’ll write more about that another time). But, it opens up a huge world of music to you. So you’re no longer limited to the your old, existing library that you’d undoubtedly listened to 3 million times.

Then there’s the world’s largest online store – perhaps bigger than Amazon’s and Alibaba’s websites combined. It’s that place called the Apple App Store.
Games, crossword puzzles, photo editing, recipes – its all there

Get ready to get lost!!

Apple iPad mini 4
Business & Security
14 Sep, 2015
  • Parental Controls
  • Phone Access Protection
    Password, PIN, Fingerprint
  • Biometric Security
    Device Unlocking, App Store Purchases, Access sensitive data/apps
  • Restrictions
    Tier-1 (Settings Protection), Tier-2 (Applications Access), Tier-3 (Page Restriction)
  • Lost Device Locator
    Find my iPhone
  • Remote Wiping of Device

iOS has always, always been the most secure mobile OS in the world. And the partnership between iPad mini 4 and iOS 9 ensures that it stays that way.

The iPad mini 4, like the iPad mini 3 and the Air 2, comes with Apple’s proprietary Touch ID biometric sensor. It’s brilliant, and simple. While it’s primary function is to unlock your device (and it does that accurately almost 100% of the times, irrespective of how you hold your device), it can also be used to make payments, unlock apps (like Google Drive), and even to buy apps off the App Store.

Now lets delve into the technology behind Touch ID. The Home button on iPad mini 4 is made from a sapphire crystal surrounded by a stainless steel ring. When you touch the button, the steel ring detects your finger and the crystal sends an image of your fingerprint to a sensor. Software then reads the ridges of your print and confirms a match. All this happens in the blink of an eye.

Apple has employed an advanced security architecture within the A8 that keeps personal information private. Passcode and fingerprint data never leave the iPad. They’re not backed up to iCloud, nor are they shared with Apple or anyone else, so you can rest easy.

Other than biometric security, the iPad cam be secured via Apple’s Find My iPhone functionality, which also allows wiping clean a lost iPad, and prevents the “finder” to use the iPad ever again – since it asks for your Apple ID to unlock such a “locked” iPad – thereby forestalling any short-lived joy for the “finder”.

There’s more – almost all your data (documents, photos, contacts, calendar, notes etc.) can be uploaded automatically to a cloud service of your choice – so in the event an unfortunate loss of device (physical damage or *face-palm* misplacing of your iPad), that’s all you lose. Not your personal data.

Last: almost every business/enterprise software is available/configurable on iOS 9. Hence you’re in good hands, to use the iPad mini 4 for business.

Apple iPad mini 4
14 Sep, 2015

There’s not much that can be listed as USPs specific to the iPad mini 4, however considering it’s pedigree, the mini 4 is well stocked.

Apple iPad mini 4
Our Verdict
14 Sep, 2015

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If you are looking at buying an Apple tablet, you currently have four choices – the iPad Air 2, the iPad Air, the iPad mini 4 and the iPad mini 2.

Yes, the iPad Air and iPad mini 2 are still in circulation, but if you’re looking to get something contemporary, and one that will be able to leverage all of iOS 9’s new features and capabilities, its just the the iPad Air 2 or the iPad mini 4 for you.

Of those two, which one should you get?

Well, let’s just say:

– I’m convinced that the mini 4 is every bit as capable as the larger iPad Air 2, in most ways.

– An Apple tablet has never been more capable, convenient or more portable than the mini 4.
And even though it’s only 6.1 mm thin, it doesn’t sacrifice strength. The durable aluminum unibody offers seamless beauty and strength that will last for years.

It all comes down to which display and hence device size you are comfortable with, and to an extent who all is going to be using it.

– If you want a highly compact and portable tablet then the mini 4 is the one for you!

– If you like to play games and watch movies (which means that you’re more likely to be holding the iPad in your hands for a longer while) – mini 4

– If your kids are going to be using it – mini 4

On the other hand (no pun intended), if you want a tablet for some serious work that require larger screens/real estate or if its going to be used on a table, I’d say go for the larger iPad Air 2.
Read up on our review of the iPad Air 2, to know more about it’s strengths and applicability.