iPad mini 3: Battery life
With the same specs and battery as its predecessor, we weren’t surprised to find that the iPad mini 3 lasted just as long.
We got just under 10 hours of constant use, which included three hours of gaming (2D and 3D), three hours of web browsing, three hours of watching Wi-Fi streamed video, and an hour of reading and taking photos. It’s exactly on par with the iPad mini 2, which only shows that Touch ID doesn’t seem to impact battery life in any significant way.
One thing that did impress us was that our year-old iPad mini 2’s battery lasted as long as the iPad mini 3’s. We’d expect some deterioration of the battery from the hundred-plus charges, but in our like-for-like test of playing the same on-board standard-definition video, both tablets dropped the same amount of stamina.
Should I buy the iPad mini 3?
There’s not enough new with the iPad mini 3 to warrant buying it over the better-value iPad mini 2.
The 16GB version costs £319/$399, which goes up to £399/$499 for the 64GB model and £479/$599 for the 128GB one. If you really want the latest iPad mini, then the 64GB model is the one to go for, but be aware you’ll need to add £100/$130 if you want a 4G connection on the go.
The problem with the iPad mini 3 is that it’s so similar to the mini 2 that’s still on sale. For £80/$100 less, you can get the 16GB model, but we’d recommend going for the 32GB one that will set you back £279/$349 – a significant £120/$150 less than the 64GB iPad mini 3.
If you can live with the extra size and price of the iPad Air 2, it’s well worth looking at. It’s better in almost every way and costs the same as the iPad Air did last year. The iPad mini 3 costs the same as the iPad mini 2 when it was first sold last year, but is almost the same tablet. We’d be a lot less critical if Apple had dropped the price for the entry-level iPad mini 3.
Setting iPads aside for a moment, there are plenty of other tablets at this size and price range to consider.
The Nexus 9 looks like it could be an excellent tablet and the Tesco Hudl 2 is remarkable considering the low price point. If all you’re interested in is using your tablet to browse the web, play the occasional game and watch streaming services, you’ll find the Hudl a great choice. Alternatively, if you’re really into your gaming you can get the Nvidia Shield Tablet with a games controller for £290.
Apple hasn’t delivered anything new – you can get essentially the same tablet for a lot less in the iPad mini 2. Which begs the question: why should anyone buy the iPad mini 3? Unless you really want the latest iPad mini or Touch ID, you shouldn’t – Apple hasn’t improved it enough.
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Score in detail
Software & Apps 9
Sound Quality 8
Screen Quality 9
Battery Life 9